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

Print Recipe

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.

Additional 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.

© 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





507 Responses to “Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Amyposted November 9, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    A math teacher’s birthday is coming up and she absolutely LOVES dark chocolate! This is the perfect recipe for it. So cannot wait to bake these! I am a huge fan of your baking and get almost all my recipes from you! God bless!


  2. #
    Soniaposted November 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Sally, 
    This is the most simple n yummiest recipe I’ve ever got.. One try and all goes so perfectly perfect .. Cupcakes were so soft, moist & irresistible..
    Thanks for recipe.. I’m glad I found this blog. Looking forward to try other recipes as well..


  3. #
    Sazzyposted November 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Hi Sally..
    I Followed all these to the T but its not as fudgy as mentioned here…kinda crumbly i’d say…where do i go wrong?


  4. #
    Adrianposted November 17, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I’ve made these cupcakes 4 times so far. They are absolutely amazing! I’ve adjusted the recipe three of the four times to fit the occasion (stuck a reeses in the middle and topped with a peanut butter frosting, and made adult ‘mudslide’ cupcakes) and everyone loved them! They are super fudgy and moist and very tasty. By far my favorite cupcake recipe. 


  5. #
    Rebeccaposted November 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Amazing cupcake recipe! SO easy to make and everyone loved them, thanks! 🙂 xx


  6. #
    Yemimaposted November 29, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Hi Sally, can I use this recipe for 6″ round cake? Thxx!! 🙂


  7. #
    Fatimaposted December 10, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Sally! 
    For someone who has had more baking disasters disasters than I’d care to share, these cupcakes were a turning point. They turned out to be absolutely perfect!! Thankyou so much for sharing such an amazing receipe and inspiring me to keep baking ❤


  8. #
    Fatimaposted January 10, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Hi Sally! 
    I’ve made this recipe various times and have always loved the outcome. I was wondering if they would taste the same if I eliminated the coca powder from the frosting and added colour instead ? I was hoping to get the same fudgy cupcakes with blue frosting ? Will it work ? Please respond 
    Love you! x


    • Sallyreplied on January 10th, 2016 at 10:41 am

      I don’t suggest that– I suggest making my vanilla frosting and tinting blue.


  9. #
    Lisa Reutzelposted January 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I haven’t tried the cupcakes yet, but the tops of mine were flat when I took them out of the oven. I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Still hoping they’ll taste good in spite of the flat tops, but I was hoping they would be a little prettier. Mine definitely don’t look like the cupcakes in the photographs. 


    • Lisa Reutzelreplied on January 14th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Update: They turned out pretty tasty, though a little on the dry side. The frosting was amazing though, by far the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever made!


  10. #
    Rawanposted January 17, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    hi sally, what can i use instead of heavy cream in frosting?


  11. #
    Katherineposted January 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Hey, so I don’t have much experience with baking and the like. I’m just now getting into it. My question is, can I make the batter the day before and bake it the next day? On the day the cupcakes will be eaten, I have to work a half day and I won’t be home until about 3:30. So will it screw up the chemistry of the ingredients if I refrigerate it for a day?


  12. #
    Kimposted February 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I made these cupcakes tonight and followed the recipe using White Lilly soft white self rising flour (omitted the baking powder & salt) and substituted  1T vinegar in 1/2 c 2% milk. Baked 15 minutes. The cupcakes were very chocolate, rich, not too sweet, and just the right texture. 

    I frosted them with peanut butter frosting: 1/2c butter, 1/4 c crisco, 1t vanilla, a 1/2 c peanut butter powder, 1lb powdered sugar and enough milk to to make it pipe able. 

    Very good. Thanks so much!


  13. #
    Amandaposted February 10, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Hi Sally:
    Can i sub coconut oil for the butter in the cake recipe? Would coconut oil work in the frosting also?
    Can I use coconut palm sugar for regular sugar in the cake recipe?


  14. #
    Whittneyposted February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Hello, just curious if I could swap in coconut oil like you do in your classic chocolate cupcake recipe ? Thanks 🙂 


    • Sallyreplied on February 11th, 2016 at 11:33 am

      No, that would not work in this recipe.


  15. #
    Tatianaposted February 11, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Tried this and they were AMAZING! Changed the recipe a bit and made a post about it if you’d like to see! Thank you so much!


  16. #
    Wendyposted March 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I have made your Classic Chocolate Cupcake recipe lots of times before and I love it! Question for you—I’m making an oreo cupcake this week. Basically, it will be chocolate cupcake batter poured on top of broken pieces of oreo crumbs, and then the cupcake will be topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting with oreo crumbs speckled throughout. 

    I’m wondering if based on your experience and taste of your chocolate cupcakes, whether you would recommend using your Classic Chocolate Cupcake as a base, or these Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. Not sure whether the oreo cookie crumbs in the cupcake batter would effect this choice. Not sure also the difference between these 2 recipes, as I’ve only made the Classic Chocolate Cupcake so far. I’m just wondering if one is more “chocolatey” than the other? Thanks so much.


    • Sallyreplied on March 15th, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      These! Definitely these! You’ll love your oreo cupcakes with this batter, trust me. They sound delicious by the way!


      • Wendy Chiavalonreplied on March 15th, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Thank you so much for you quick response Sally! 🙂 I do have one follow-up question. I saw a recipe that suggested putting coarsely chopped oreo crumbs in the cupcake batter itself. If I were to do this with your Death By Chocolate Cupcake recipe, will this effect my baking time or the cupcake batter?

        • Sallyreplied on March 16th, 2016 at 11:11 am

          Shouldn’t change the bake time!

  17. #
    Caeleyposted March 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I made these and the flavor was amazing and so chocolatey but they turned out kinda dry and crumbly?


  18. #
    Radhikaposted March 31, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Sally, I made these into mini cupcakes with your milk chocolate frosting as part of an Easter display and they turned out wonderfully! I didn’t have any buttermilk or white vinegar on hand so I used your lemon juice and milk trick and it worked wonderfully! Found that 11 minutes was just the right amount of time for my mini cupcake pan which is light metal. These stayed moist for a few days which was exactly what I hoped for! Thank you for the recipe 🙂 


  19. #
    Amy Miaposted April 14, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Absolutely Amazing recipe! Just tried it out today and it totally satisfied my chocolate craving. I loved it. Thanks for the Recipe Sally 🙂


  20. #
    Jamieposted April 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

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


  21. #
    Nancyposted May 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    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.


    • Sallyreplied on May 10th, 2016 at 7:20 am

      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.


  22. #
    Saraposted May 13, 2016 at 10:32 am

    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!)



  23. #
    Erinposted May 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Sally,

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



    • Sallyreplied on May 19th, 2016 at 8:30 am

      You sure can!


  24. #
    Nitposted May 19, 2016 at 7:10 am

    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!


  25. #
    Ameliaposted May 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    How many mini cupcakes does this make?


  26. #
    Debbieposted May 26, 2016 at 12:31 am

    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!


  27. #
    Anitaposted June 2, 2016 at 6:49 am

    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”.


  28. #
    Christinaposted June 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    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!


  29. #
    Amyposted June 16, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    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?


    • Sallyreplied on June 19th, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      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.


  30. #
    Leyaposted June 29, 2016 at 2:56 am

    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.


  31. #
    Sheila Cramposted July 11, 2016 at 11:17 pm

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


  32. #
    Pollyposted July 14, 2016 at 7:33 am

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


  33. #
    monicaposted July 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    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


  34. #
    franzposted August 3, 2016 at 4:31 am

    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


  35. #
    Marilynposted August 4, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    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)


  36. #
    Amyposted August 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    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 🙂


    • Sallyreplied on August 8th, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      It should be 2 ounces, so about 55 grams. Sorry about that!


  37. #
    Ranzposted August 15, 2016 at 11:32 am

    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


  38. #
    najha rashidposted August 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

    5 stars for this recipe! cupcakes were awesome 😛


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