Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.

Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers only!

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

This recipe is dedicated to all of you chocoholics.

Pure, unadultered, inexplicable, out-of-this-world love for chocolate.

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

I know many of you adore chocolate.   My most popular cake recipe is – chocolate!  My Triple Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is what inspired me to make these death by chocolate cupcakes.  Today’s cupcakes are a different recipe than that cake, but they are just as rich, fudgy, and decadent.

They are dark chocolate cupcakes with a thick dark chocolate frosting on top and sprinkled with chocolate chips. The cupcakes are not overly sweet – they are deep and intense. Pure chocolate. And a lot of it!

I have made about 7 batches of chocolate cupcakes so far this summer. I am not exaggerating!  Some batches ran over the sides and looked more like brown mushrooms, not cupcakes. Others did NOT taste like chocolate. Others were crunchy on top (eww!), dry, bland, and blah. Blah blah blah.  I have been searching and testing and testing (and testing some more!) to find that perfect chocolate cupcake recipe.  Finally, I took a few things I’ve learned from all my mistakes to come out with the best. I only give you the best of the best!

I’ve brought you chocolate cupcakes before on my website.  These chocolate cupcakes are loved by many of you!  And these chocolate cupcakes are quick, easy, and ultra moist. Both chocolate cupcake recipes are fantastic! However, I did not develop either of them on my own.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. Moist, rich, tender, and SO much fudgy flavor.

Today’s new recipe produces rich, moist, and flavorful cupcakes.  I use a mix of melted chocolate and cocoa powder to make these cupcakes ultra fudgy. I nearly double the amount of cocoa powder than previous recipes that I’ve tried this summer. 2 eggs, brown sugar, and buttermilk gives each bite a tender, moist texture.  They are the complete opposite of dry and bland!

Buttermilk is required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake.

Don’t have buttermilk?  You can make your own.  Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

The batter for the cupcakes is very thick. I’m warning you now!  Very thick – almost like frosting or chocolate pudding.  Just taste it.  You KNOW you’ll have amazing cupcakes after you taste the batter. So deliciously fudgy.

The frosting I use for these cupcakes is one of my favorites.  It’s the same frosting recipe that I often use to frost my peanut butter cupcakes.  The wonderful thing about this frosting is that there is not that much butter in it.  It’s not a buttercream frosting. It’s pure, thick chocolate.  Like melted fudge, but thicker.  You all love it so much.

I could eat this dark chocolate frosting with a spoon and be happy for the rest of my life.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. Moist, rich, tender, and SO much fudgy flavor.

Ultra rich and creamy homemade Dark Chocolate Frosting

It’s ultra smooth and velvety.  One of the best frostings I’ve ever had.

I piped the frosting on with Wilton tip #12. I use this tip almost exclusively on my cupcakes, as well as the Wilton 1M. (See how I swirl frosting here.)

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

I am in LOVE with these chocolate cupcakes. By far my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.

I made a version of them for my cookbook – you will LOVE what I did with them. 🙂  Trust me, you have to try these chocolate cupcakes. Soft, moist, tender, intensely fudgy, chocoholic-heaven!  Everything about this recipe is perfection to me and I know you will adore each and every bite, too.

Chocoholics unite!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers only!

Yield: 12 cupcakes


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour* (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 and 3/4 cup (330g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (95ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (60g) semi-sweet chocolate chips for decoration, optional


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time. You may also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop. Stir until smooth and set aside to slightly cool.

In a medium sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the cooled butter/chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate chips as desired. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Store covered in the refrigerator is desired for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes:

*Using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour is OK. I find the cupcakes to be slightly softer using cake flour.

*Room temperature eggs are required for this recipe. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes.

*Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

*Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting if you're not a fan of dark chocolate.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


If you’re a chocolate lover, you need to try these recipes next!


Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake


1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie (recipe for ONE large cookie)

1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie


Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Cupcakes





  1. I’ve made these cupcakes a number of times and I think it’s amazing! Thank you for sharing. 

  2. Sally,
    Can you tell me why I shouldn’t use Dutch Processed cocoa powder for the cupcakes?  What is your recommendation about using it in the frosting?  I have some in my pantry I need to use up.  Thank you.

    • Hey Nancy, you can use dutched cocoa in the frosting. But natural unsweetened, which is acidic, is needed for the cupcake batter because it reacts with the baking soda. If you’re interested, I wrote an article about all that right here.

  3. These come out a bit dry for me, can you recommend a way to solve that? Also, I will need to make a batch using only one egg (for someone who is sensitive to eggs), can you recommend an egg replacer?

    Thank you (I love your recipes and blog!)


  4. Hi Sally,

    Can I  make the frosting a day ahead and refrigerate overnight?


  5. OMGGGGGGGGG the cupcakes were soooo good, sooo fudgy, I’d kiss you! These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made 😀 :D. One question though, my cupcake tops are a bit hard, how to fix that? or avoid that!

  6. How many mini cupcakes does this make?

  7. What am I doing wrong? I would love to love these – this is my second time making these and i cant seem to get them right! The tops dip in whIle baking, they are a little crusty on top, they crumble away when I pull the paper back and a bit dry. I’m a pretty good cook and rarely have an issue! Please help!

    • Mine too. They were not “dark” as Sally stated. They were on the spongy side and not “fudgy”. A bit crumbly too. I’m utterly sad because I had very high hopes for this. I wonder if a teaspoon of coffee powder would make a difference.

  8. I just made these for my nieces  19th birthday and they are my new favorite chocolate cup cakes. And the icing is to die for. Thank you for making me “the best Aunty ever”.

  9. I’ve never commented on a recipe, so this is a first.  But I just had to write to you to say how amazing the Icing was on the cupcakes I made! Absolutely stupendous! So thick and yet creamy, but held their shape.  Thanks so much!

  10. I’ve noticed some rather wide variability in sources reporting cocoa weight vs volume measure (1 cup = 80, 90, or even 118 grams).  Your cupcake recipe calls for 1/2 cup (42 grams) but the icing recipes calls for 2/3 cup (80 grams).  Clearly they’re using different conversion factors.  Which is correct?

    • Hi Amy, thanks for catching that. I updated the recipe with gram measurements and made that error. The 42g for the cupcakes is correct and you’ll need about 60g for the frosting.

  11. Hi Sally,
    I made these cupcakes for my family of Chocoholics and these were awesome! We have found our new favourite chocolate cupcake recipe 🙂
    I didn’t make the frosting, because I had some leftover chocolate buttercream from a previous cake. Next time, I will try it with this frosting.

    Thank you for the lovely recipes. I have been reading your blog for years, but Ihaven’ tried too many recipes from here. Whatever I have tried were really good. I enjoy your style of writing and your food photography, above all. Thanks, again.

  12. Can you make this into cake pan. Will it be enough to fill pan?

  13. Thank you for this lovely recipe, Sally. Thanks also for including the metric measurements in your recipes, I really appreciate it.

  14. Can I use bittersweet baking chocolate instead of semisweet for this cupcake batter or even
    my favorite bittersweet chocolate bar or melted chips? thank you from yuklan

  15. Hello sally,
    Thank you for the recipe;
    I would just like to ask if i can use the chocolate recipe but i would like to change the icing not chocolate, instead i will use vanilla frosting
    And if I will use russian tip icing will it hold and be firm?
    thank you

  16. Hi Sally,

    do you think I can use gluten-free self-raising flour for this recipe or your classic chocolate cupcake recipe? (minus the baking soda and powder)

  17. Hello, congratulations for the blog. I have a question. I have your first book and the recipe of Dark chocolate cupcakes (p.131) ask for 112 g semisweet chocolate or 2 oz. But 2 oz are 56 grams approximately. And I don’t know which is the correct amount. Many thanks 🙂

  18. Hellooo sally…
    I made ur cupcakes and it taste really good.
    Just wondering if i can make it as a cake?
    What would be the difference in ur chocolate layered cake
    Thank you

  19. 5 stars for this recipe! cupcakes were awesome 😛

  20. These are my new favorite chocolate cupcake recipe…. I total get the name. They are perfectly moist and chocolaty! 
    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe 🙂 

  21. I just finished baking these cupcakes and am enjoying one as I am writing this. I must say that these cupcakes are by far the best tasting cupcakes that I have ever made. There were a few adjustments I had to make as I was limited by the contents of my pantry. ALthough the recipe called for “not Dutch processed” cocoa, I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa which is a mixture of both natural and dutch processed. To me this cocoa only added to the rich, bold chocolate taste which I personnally preferred. In addition to this, I did not have buttermilk and so had to use a substitute of 1tsp white vinegar in half cup milk. This worked just like regular buttermilk and maintained the perfect level of moisture. . The baking time of 18 minutes resulted in perfectly baked cupcakes. The texture of the cake is a uniform sponge like texture, not fudge-like, as described above.The frosting paired really well with the cake, and was not too sweet. All in all, this was a very easy recipe to follow and I would recommend trying it.

  22. Thanks a ton Sally. This recepie was a huge hit! I baked 60 of these for my babies first bday bash. It was a red and white hello kitty theme. I made a cupcake hello kitty cake..with buttercream frosting in red and white! All the kids absolutely loved the cupcakes! 

  23. This was delicious! Absolutely delicious! I was looking for something other than buttercream frosting that is fudge, this was perfect. I added espresso powder to both the cupcake and frosting mix because that’s my favorite. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  24. Anyone knows if this quantity of frosting is enough to cover and filling a layer cake?

  25. Made these for our halloween party at work! They were amazing! Only thing I might change next time is to use milk chocolate instead of the semisweet baking chocolate..cause the name does do it justice.. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE! They’re very chocolatey..but still so delicious!

  26. Hey Sally, would it make a big difference if I use milk instead of heavy cream in the frosting? 

  27. Hey , if im using the cake flour , I still have to use the baking powder and baking soda as prescribed ? 

  28. Hi Sally, I love to bake and now exclusively bake from your site, no other recipes will do! My Dad is a serious chocoholic, this sounds exactly like what he would love. But I think my Dad would prefer cake to cupcakes, can you recommend adjustments; cake pan size and baking temp and times to accommodate as a cake? (Probably 8″ layer). Again, best baking site ever, please post more recipes using your shortbread crust, phenomenal!!!

  29. The cop cakes and frosting are delicious but my frosting comes out too hard. How can I fix the problem?

  30. Hello!  How long would these last in the fridge please (without the frosting) thank you! 

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