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!


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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 (64g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour*
  • 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) 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 (80g) 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.

Divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan. 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.

*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





361 Responses to “Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Raquelposted April 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    thank you so much for the quick response!!


  2. #
    Juniperposted April 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I just made these and they are yummy, but, these are much more like a chocolate muffin than a cupcake, these just don’t have that cupcake feeling for me! I just made them tonight for a birthday party tomorrow and I think I might have to run out to the store and whip up another recipe ):


    • Sarareplied on April 7th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      I made them last night and couldn’t figure out what they resembled, they were tasty but after reading your comment, I feel like they are much more like muffins than actual cupcakes.


  3. #
    Kellyposted April 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I made a brand name cake for my kids (they finished a huge school subject and wanted to celebrate.) Iwhen I google a busking recipe I always add “sallys baking addiction” to it. We decided to make this frosting & it was literally the most amazing “icing on the cake!” :) I told the kids that it was “Sally’s recipe.” One of my boys replied that “that Sally makes some of my favorite recipes.” :) thought you’d get a kick out my family’s conversation. Thanks for an amazing frosting recipe.


    • Sallyreplied on April 9th, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Kelly, I am cracking up. Your sons are so cute. I love that comment! So fun they finished a big project – great getting that stuff out of the way and celebrating with CAKE!


      • Kellyreplied on April 9th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        The cake was my daughter’s idea& her 3 brothers were more than happy to agree w/ that idea.

      • Kellyreplied on April 9th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        And sorry about the lame auto correct. I was trying to say when I Google a baking recipe. :) when I woke up this morning I was still thinking about how amazing that frosting was!! It took all my self-control not to have it for breakfast. My husband commented that it did have eggs in the cake so that could count as breakfast right? Lol thanks for an awesome recipe. :) it is a keeper!

  4. #
    Lindseyposted April 11, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Hi! I was just wondering how to make these cupcakes more light and fluffy, but still moist. I’m looking for a not-super-fudgey recipe here so what would I need to change?


    • Lindseyreplied on April 11th, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Because I already made it once, and I loved the flavor but not the texture.


  5. #
    Mjposted April 11, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Hi, I was just comparing this recipe with your SUPER FUDGY MOIST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES aka Chocolate Cupcakes White Chocolate Frosting and here it aays 1/2 cup (64 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder and in the other obe it saus (45 grams) for the same 1/2 cup… I think 64 is the right obe but could you check it please? Thanks a lot. Love your recipes


    • Sallyreplied on April 11th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Yes, 64 is the correct amount – thank you MJ!


  6. #
    Christinaposted April 11, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Hello! I was looking to make these for Easter. If I wanted to make more than 12 cupcakes, should I double the recipe, or make two separate batches? Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on April 11th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Hey Christina! I find that making 2 separate batches makes the batter so much easier to work with. It also lessens the possibility of over mixing since you’re working with less batter.


  7. #
    meenakshiposted April 17, 2014 at 5:50 am



  8. #
    Claudia Roitmanposted April 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Sally!! I was wondering if I could turn this cupcakes into a cake? Do I probably need to double the batter? I need to bake a cake that someone ordered and these cupcakes look so moist and yummi!! ♡♥♡ thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on April 17th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Claudia! No need to double the recipe – this batter will fit into a 9 inch cake pan. I’m unsure of the exact baking time though.


      • Claudia Roitmanreplied on April 17th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

        Sally thank you so much for your prompt response. The other day I made your coffee cake twice as people kept on asking for more cake! I didn’t even had the chance of eating not even a crumb!! I truly love and enjoy your recipes, because they turn out as good and gorgeous as the ones posted in your blog!! Once I bake that cake I will let you know how long it takes in the oven, in order for you and other readers to have a reference. Regards from Venezuela!!

  9. #
    rodney myersposted April 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Looks good. Love the name death by chocolate. I’ve been using that name as well for my chocolate lava cake.


  10. #
    Claudia Roitmanposted April 19, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Hello Sally!! I heard that you went to panera!! Oh my! That is my favorite place I cannot wait to hear about it! The other day I asked about doubling this recipe for a cake, well I made one recipe and a half and baked it in a 21 cms cake pan, I preheated my oven to 350 and baked that bad boy for 45 exact minutes, the aroma of the cake is sublime.. that is a shame I cannot taste it, as I am baking for a client. Hope it helps for anyone else that wants to turn these muffins into a cake. ;)


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