Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting.

A rich, tender homemade chocolate cupcake topped with my favorite vanilla frosting. You’ll find every excuse to make this classic cupcake over and over again!

The one and only homemade chocolate cupcake recipe you need! Topped with fluffy, rich vanilla frosting.

I’m taking a break from all things overloaded today. Don’t get me wrong, an Oreo cake with Oreo crumb topping, Oreo cream filling, and milk chocolate buttercream is welcome in my apartment any day. But sometimes I crave a little simplicity. And it doesn’t get much simpler than a classic chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.

And sprinkles… uh, naturally.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes topped with creamy, rich vanilla frosting. A classic cupcake recipe you'll make time and time again! By @sallybakeblog

Speaking of overloaded, a couple weeks ago I made Marshmallow-Filled S’mores Cupcakes. Have you tried them yet? PLEASE DO. (Sorry… shouting.)

Well in that post, I briefly told you about my new favorite chocolate cupcake, which is used as the base underneath all that s’mores stuff. Today’s cupcake recipe starts with the same basic, simple chocolate cupcake batter. Let me explain these homemade chocolate cupcakes a little further because they are in the spotlight today.

Chocolate Cupcake 101

While I have a tried and true homemade chocolate cupcake recipe – which appears with chocolate frosting on my blog and with butterscotch frosting in my cookbook – I wanted to change things up. No rhyme or reason… playing around in the kitchen is simply what I enjoy most. I didn’t change much; just a few things here and there. Instead of using melted butter, I use a little oil. The oil produces an incredibly moist cupcake!

I leave out the 2 ounces of melted chocolate, so the cupcakes get all their chocolate flavor from cocoa powder. These cupcakes are still so fudgy! I find my original version to have more of a deep, dark chocolate flavor while today’s chocolate cupcakes more of a milk chocolate flavor. And my gosh, chocolate is all you’ll taste. Don’t you just hate biting into a homemade chocolate cupcake only to find a subtle taste of chocolate? What a waste.

The BEST Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

I love adding brown sugar to my homemade chocolate cupcakes. I find subbing some white sugar for brown sugar gives the cupcakes a little something extra and provides an even richer taste than most other chocolate cupcakes I’ve tasted.

Chocolate cupcakes paired with vanilla frosting is a match made in heaven. A dessert that everyone loves! And my fluffy, creamy vanilla frosting is the perfect topper for these homemade fudgy cupcakes. If you’re nervous about making homemade frosting, don’t be. It’s one of the easiest things to master, trust me.

I whipped these cupcakes up for my birthday last week and my friend said they tasted as tender and moist as cupcakes from a bakery. The kicker? She had one on day 2! Chocolate cupcakes are notorious for drying out as the days pass (cocoa powder has that effect on baked goods), but these stay perfectly tender and rich. They’re a great cupcake to make ahead of time for a party and frost right before serving.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Frosting. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

I felt a little fancy in the kitchen the day I made these chocolate cupcakes and ended up baking a second batch and swirling vanilla and milk chocolate frostings on top. For all of you with frosting A.D.D. like myself, you have got to try it.

Here’s a lengthy post I wrote on How to Make Swirled Frosting. I also show you exactly how to fill a piping bag with frosting (the easiest way!), as well as how I pipe frosting using the Wilton 1M swirl piping tip – which the tip I used for today’s cupcakes.

Be sure to read that helpful post!

How to Make Swirled Frosting

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Frosting. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is a great go-to chocolate cupcake recipe you will use over and over again. Far superior to anything from a box!

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Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

A rich, tender homemade chocolate cupcake topped with my favorite vanilla frosting. You'll find every excuse to make this classic cupcake over and over again!

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners - this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently stir - about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter won't be very thick.

Pour/spoon the batter into the liners - fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Mini cupcakes will take about 10 minutes, same oven temperature.

Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Frost cooled cupcakes however you'd like. I used Wilton 1M piping tip. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

For Swirled Frosting - if you wish to frost your chocolate cupcakes with swirled frosting as pictured above, please see this cupcake recipe to obtain the correct amounts (and recipes) for the vanilla and chocolate frostings. Then, see this post to learn how I swirled them. 

Adapted from my Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

*Room temperature eggs are required for the cupcakes. 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.

*For the frosting, heavy cream or half-and-half will give your frosting the creamiest texture. You may use milk instead, keeping in mind the frosting won't be as creamy.

*I bought these rainbow sprinkles from Walmart (Wilton brand), but also love to buy them in bulk here

© 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.

 

Looking for that perfect vanilla cupcake recipe? Try my Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

Very Vanilla Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Or even my Ultimate Marble Cupcakes.

Marble Cupcakes by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

You just can’t beat a classic, and it doesn’t get much better than this!

The one and only homemade chocolate cupcake recipe you need! Topped with fluffy, rich vanilla frosting.

 

 

See more cupcake recipe ideas.

 

 

 

   

140 Responses to “Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting.”

  1. #
    61
    Carolinaposted June 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Sorry about my english, I’ll try harder…

    Is a 6-cup standard size muffin pan, but the recipe is for 14. Is there any problem if the batter stay on the bowl? I can only make 6 at a time :(

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 16th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Yes, that’s fine – you may let the batter sit in the bowl as you bake in batches. Enjoy!

      Reply

      • Carolinareplied on June 16th, 2014 at 8:11 pm

        You’re the best! Thanks :)

  2. #
    62
    Kayposted June 19, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Could I freeze these after they cool and frost them later?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 20th, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Definitely! I find they taste best fresh, but freezing works as well. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then frost.

      Reply

  3. #
    63
    Liezlposted June 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I loved your recipes specially cupcakes.
    Anyway, can i use brown sugar instead of light brown?
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 20th, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Yep, you may use dark brown sugar here.

      Reply

      • Liezlreplied on June 20th, 2014 at 10:30 am

        Thank you Sally its so kind of you to reply. God bless dear!

  4. #
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    dinaposted June 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    yummy looking cupcakes!

    Reply

  5. #
    65
    Patti D.posted June 23, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Sally: I am confused by the line in this recipe that reads: the batter won’t be very thick. My batter was VERY thick. I thought that perhaps, I measured ingredients incorrectly, so I mixed another batch of batter, and it was the same consistency. I did enjoy the final product, however!

    Reply

  6. #
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    Ashley | Our Full Tableposted June 26, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    These look beautiful!

    Reply

  7. #
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    Andreaposted June 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Love your blog first off, I had a quick question about this recipe though. I have made this one and your snicker doodle cupcakes and both of them sinked in the middle before the timer went off. Do you know why this happened? I put all the dry ingredients in for both tries and they just came out looking terrible.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 28th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Sinked while baking in the oven? That’s so strange. Are you opening and closing the oven door while the cupcakes are baking? You can try lowering the oven temperature – and make sure not to overmix the cupcake batter.

      Reply

  8. #
    68
    Marisaposted July 10, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I always like to make 2 dozen cupcakes. One dozen doesn’t go far in my house. Can I double this recipe exactly with the same results? Should some ingredients not be doubled? Also, can I double all of your cupcake recipes. They all look absolutely scrumptious and can’t wait to try more.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 10th, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Hi Marisa. I usually prepare two separate batches for all of my cupcake recipes, instead of doubling. It guarantees a more uniform texture among each cupcake. But if you’re in a rush, you may double all of the ingredients.

      Reply

  9. #
    69
    Antonia Gilalamasposted July 14, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Amazing recipes…hard to choose which to do first.! Did the chocolate cupcakes with two tone frosting…loved by my kids..look wonderful.! Thanx. Have a question as live in Greece and trying to find heavy cream. We have normal cream, light cream and ‘fatty ‘ cream which seems thickish !!! Unfortunately can’t be beaten! Can your heavy cream be beaten? What should I use in the frosting ? Thank you

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 14th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Antonia! Heavey cream here can be beaten, yes. I would use your light cream in the frosting.

      Reply

  10. #
    70
    Zeeposted July 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Only just popped these in the oven 5 min ago and they already look like they’re going to be a smash hit (though I might be slightly optimistic) :) I’ve been following your blog for a long time, baked loads of stuff from it…you never fail me :D Keep up the good work !!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 16th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Zee! Happy you’re enjoying my recipes. Love these cupcakes!

      Reply

  11. #
    71
    allyssaposted July 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I just made these about 10 minutes ago. They taste JUST like the boxed chocolate cake mix, so yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  12. #
    72
    allyssaposted July 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Oh and I made a fresh raspberry cream cheese buttercream to top them off with, my fiance loves raspberries and they’re for him and our son’s birthday. It’s an amazing combination. I may or may not have eaten like 7 mini cupcakes…. just to test them out of course.

    Reply

  13. #
    73
    Jessica @ Sweet Menuposted July 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Sally, could you make this recipe into a cake? I’m looking for a nice chocolate cake recipe but these really caught my eye!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 23rd, 2014 at 7:14 am

      Definitely! Use a 9 inch cake pan (fill only halfway – there may be extra batter to make some cupcakes) – but I am unsure of the baking time.

      Reply

  14. #
    74
    Lynnposted July 23, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Hi,
    Am planning to make 84 cupcakes for my sister’s 21st (nervous) wondered about the icing – is one batch just enough for 12 and so I will have to make 7 batches? Or is there usually leftover icing and I can make less?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 23rd, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Hey Lynn. There is sometimes a little extra frosting. You could probably get away with only 5 batches of frosting.

      Reply

      • Lynnreplied on July 23rd, 2014 at 7:58 am

        Thank you!! Fingers crossed I get it all right :)

  15. #
    75
    Aliceposted August 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I was just wondering…did the amount of frosting that you make with this recipe be enough to do the swirl on each cupcake? I know that the swirl takes up a lot of frosting.

    Thanks,
    The Inspired Baker
    Alice

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 3rd, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Yes, it is enough for each.

      Reply

      • Alicereplied on August 5th, 2014 at 10:13 am

        Ok thank you!!

  16. #
    76
    Cherylposted August 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I need to make cupcakes for my granddaughter’s birthday party. I always make cakes so I’m not extremely confident about making cupcakes. I would like to make then the day before and frost on Sunday morning just before the party. Do I need to be a seasoned decorator to make those perfect swirls? Once they are frosted, do they need to be refrigerated or will they hold for several hours?
    Please help a nervous grandma!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 11th, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Hi Cheryl. The frosting will hold for several hours. I linked to my “How to make Swirl frosting” a few times in the post. In that tutorial, I explain how I use the Wilton 1M piping tip to make the swirled look.

      Reply

      • Cherylreplied on August 12th, 2014 at 11:23 pm

        Is it okay to make the frosting and refrigerate also until the next day? Anything that I can do before hand takes away some of the stress.

  17. #
    77
    Lillyposted August 14, 2014 at 2:12 am

    If I wanted to make these into mini cupcakes, what would be the right temp? And for how long?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 14th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Lilly – mini cupcakes are noted in the instructions of the recipe.

      Reply

      • Lillyreplied on August 14th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        Hi Sally, I am so sorry, but I can’t seem to catch where in the instructions. Sorry!

        • Sallyreplied on August 15th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

          Mini cupcakes will take about 10 minutes, same oven temperature.

  18. #
    78
    Fatimaposted August 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Hey Sally! I was wondering if I could use the normal whisk instead of the paddled one?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 18th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I whisk attachment may be used for the frosting, yes.

      Reply

  19. #
    79
    Kayposted August 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Spot on with the number of cupcakes it make. Really great and easy recipe. I made a Nutella buttercream icing to go with this cupcake. yummy together.

    Reply

  20. #
    80
    Brittanyposted August 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I made these for the first time last night and they were wonderful! I needed classic chocolate cupcakes for my friend’s birthday and I couldn’t have found a better recipe. These were delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply

  21. #
    81
    Amandaposted August 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Sally….just wanted to say thanks for all of your amazing recipes! I discovered your blog a few months ago and your cupcake recipes are my absolute favourite! Also, thanks for the side note about substituting coconut oil for vegetable oil ( I try to avoid canola as much as possible) it was a delicious substitution!

    Happy baking :-)
    Amanda

    Reply

  22. #
    82
    Lexyposted September 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I have these cupcakes in the oven right now. I was going to use cake flour in place

    Reply

  23. #
    83
    Lexyposted September 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I have these cupcakes in the oven right now. I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour as stated, although I wanted to use cake flour. It is a part of my ongoing mission to actually bake cupcakes and cakes that taste good. I cook everything else, including breads and muffins really well. Just cakes stump me to no end. I pray that these are delicious and my boyfriends co-workers love them. I am certain our daughter will no matter what they taste like, she’s got a little sweet tooth herself.

    Reply

  24. #
    84
    Lexyposted September 1, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    They’re definitely sunk, cupcakes are not my forte. By sunk I mean they tried to crawl under my cupcake tin. They were very sunk. No I did not open the door while baking. I did everything as stated. And yet . I still need cupcakes for tomorrow, it’s 8 I clock at night. I have had a really long day.

    Reply

  25. #
    85
    Meganposted September 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Do you have good recipe for strawberry frosting??

    Reply

  26. #
    86
    Sara Andersonposted September 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I made these last weekend. They turned out well, but I had a question. I usually use your weight measurements because I like it, it is more accurate, and it means less dishes to wash. My question is regarding the weight for the cocoa powder. I measured the cocoa powder at 64 grams, and it looked like too much to also be 1/2 a cup. I then weighed my 1/2 cup measuring cup of cocoa powder, and it was only 31 g. Nit sure what to do, I went ahead with your weight of 64 g. The cupcakes still tasted great, but possibly a little dry. How do you determine the weight of the dry ingredients. Is my 1\2 cup measuring cup way off? I appreciate your time in addressing this question. I do love your recipes. I bake something from your blog or cookbook at least twice a week. I am also a runner. Your 100 mile per month challenge this summer also challenged me. I was able to get 100 miles for the months of June/July/August. Congratulations to you on your month of August. That is great! Good luck with your final wedding preparations!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 5th, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Hi Sara, pardon my error. 1/2 cup of my cocoa powder measures 42g. So give that amount a try next.

      Reply

  27. #
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    Vesaposted September 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

    I just made these cupcakes and they are really pretty and delicious. They came out perfectly. Thank-you for the great recipe. I’ll have to try some of your others too.

    Reply

  28. #
    88
    Jayposted September 5, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Hi sally! Can I use canola oil for this recipe? I always used corn oil whenever I made it (every week I think :P) but I’m trying to switch to canola.

    Reply

  29. #
    89
    Danielleposted September 15, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Made these this evening and they were a HUGE hit! I’m sure they will be gone by tomorrow afternoon. Very delicious, thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    Reply

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