Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

These chocolate white chocolate cupcakes are rich, moist, fudge-like, and made with semi-sweet baking chocolate. Even though it looks plain, the frosting on top is made with melted white chocolate, so you have extra flavor hiding in each creamy swirl. If you love chocolate, these crinkly-topped cupcakes are certainly an indulgent treat.

chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles

This recipe uses the same base cupcake recipe as our Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. We also have this chocolate cupcakes recipe, which produces a light, springy, yet deliciously moist texture. If you’re looking for a more structured chocolate cupcake (less sponge-like), you’ll enjoy today’s. In addition to the white chocolate frosting on top, we also have a chocolate drizzle and chocolate sprinkles. Chocolate lovers only!


Tell Me About These Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Flavor: The cupcakes provide the chocolate fix you’re looking for without being overly sweet. Readers have said that it tastes like “biting into pure chocolate.”
  • Texture: The chocolate cupcakes are tender, moist, and oh-so-soft. Just warning you now: the batter for the cupcakes is very thick– almost like frosting or chocolate pudding. You’re going to think you messed up somewhere making the batter, but trust us – you didn’t! Just taste it and you KNOW amazingly rich cupcakes are in your near future. The white chocolate buttercream frosting is undeniably creamy and holds a piped shape very well since it’s so thick.
  • Ease: These cupcakes are easy to make with just one extra step compared to your usual cupcake recipe – melting the chocolate and butter first before adding to the batter.

chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a white plate

chocolate cupcakes in a cupcake pan after baking

Success Tips for the White Chocolate Frosting

  1. Real chocolate. The frosting is made from (you guessed it!) melted white chocolate. Do NOT use white chocolate chips or candy melts. Instead, pick up white chocolate baking bars from the baking aisle– we prefer Ghirardelli or Baker’s brands, which are both sold next to the chocolate chips. If you love white chocolate, you’ll enjoy our white chocolate strawberry cupcakes too!
  2. Piping tips. We swirled the smooth-as-silk frosting on top with a 1M piping tip. We love using this piping tip for very thick frosting. When piped, the frosting resembles soft serve ice cream. You can see exactly how to do this in our piping tip tutorial and video. 
  3. Garnishes. Since there is always a need for more chocolate, we melted an ounce of it and drizzled it on top, along with some chocolate sprinkles. (You KNOW there is always a need for chocolate sprinkles too!)

white chocolate frosting in a pink bowl with hand mixer beaters

chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a blue plate

Overview: How to Make Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before we get started. 

  1. Prepare. Preheat the oven and line your muffin pan. We’re using a standard 12-count muffin pan for this recipe.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together and let cool slightly.
  3. Make the cupcakes. Whisk cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Separately whisk eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add cooled butter/chocolate. Combine with flour mixture and buttermilk. Buttermilk is key to the cupcakes’ moisture. See recipe notes for a DIY sour milk substitute.
  4. Divide between liners and bake.
  5. Make the frosting. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar. Stir in melted and cooled white chocolate and add cream, vanilla extract, and salt. 
  6. Frost and decorate. Top with melted chocolate drizzle and chocolate sprinkles, if desired.

chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a blue plate

More Chocolate Recipes Our Readers Love

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chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a blue plate

Chocolate White Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Super-fudgy, moist chocolate cupcakes made from scratch. Topped with creamy, fluffy white chocolate frosting. And chocolate sprinkles, of course.


Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces (60g) quality semi-sweet baking chocolate*
  • 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (94g) 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
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

White Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 ounces (170g) white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled*
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional for garnish: 2 ounces melted semi-sweet baking chocolate for drizzling and chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Switch the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Quickly stir the cooled white chocolate so that it is smooth and add to the butter/sugar mixture. Switch the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until combined and creamy. Add the cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat for 1 minute until combined. Frost the cupcakes and top with melted chocolate drizzle and chocolate sprinkles, if desired.
  6. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and frost the day of serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
  2. Baking Chocolate: You can find baking chocolate right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle– sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands.
  3. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cupcakes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  4. White Chocolate: Do NOT use white chocolate chips in this frosting. Use pure white chocolate, such as Ghirardelli or Baker’s brand.
  5. Cream: For the frosting, milk is OK to use instead of heavy cream. However, cream is preferred for creamiest texture. Yum!
  6. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: chocolate white chocolate cupcakes

2 images of chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles

50 Comments

  1. The best chocolate cake recipe – moist, not too sweet, lovely texture. Thank you!

  2. I only have dutch cocoa powder on hand, may i use dutch instead of natural? What are the differences that it will make? Love your book by the way!

    1. Use natural. Dutching cocoa removes its acidity; you need the acidity of natural cocoa to react with the baking soda.

  3. I don’t know if you can help me with this or not. I have used your recipes and they are usually my favorite ones…your vanilla one is amazingly out of this world yummy moist delicious. I just made this one and it was so dry the crumbs were everywhere you can even eat it unless you’re standing over the sink? I would like to try it again, but I’m not sure if the recipe is missing an ingredient? I see another one in your list of recipes that almost looks like the same recipe but it has vegetable oil in it which this one did not. anyway……I do want to add the kitchen smelled amazing while they were baking and they did taste very good. thanks

    1. Nancy, I adapted my other chocolate cupcake you refer to from this recipe. I love them both, though these cupcakes a little more dense. There is not an ingredient missing from this recipe. Butter is used instead of oil here. Did you perhaps change anything about this recipe? Did you overmeasure the flour? I ask because you mention your cupcakes are dry.

  4. Hi Sally!
    These look delicious! I’m planning to make them this week for a friends birthday, but my only issue is the chocolate. In the UK we only have milk, dark and white chocolate, rather than calling it semi-sweet/bittersweet, so would you happen to know which to use?
    Thanks,
    Carmen

    1. Carmen, it depends how sweet you like your cupcakes/chocolate. The frosting is quite sweet so I personally would go for the dark chocolate for this particular recipe.

  5. I’m so excited to try this frosting! Just one question though I have ghirardelli white melting wafers, would they work for the frosting or does it have to be the bar? I have tried a few or your recipes and they have become family favorites! Looking forward to trying all of them!!

    1. Those should be fine!

  6. Hi Sally,
    I just came across this posting and it looks fabulous! I wanted to pass along a recommendation regarding white chocolate. I have found that Callebaut Belgian white chocolate is the very best! It’s available at the Whole Foods near me but I’ve also seen it on the King Arthur Flour website and lots of other baking supply sites & stores. This chocolate will bring your delicious recipes to a whole other level. Thanks for all your lovely recipes!
    Cynthia

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Cynthia! I need to try that ASAP.

  7. Can i use hersheys white chocolate chips? if not why?

    1. Unlike pure white chocolate, they have stabilizers added and will not melt properly to make a smooth, velvet-y frosting.

  8. Hannah Saucier says:

    WOW! The batter is absolutely delicious (haven’t tried the cupcakes just yet, they are for a birthday party later tonight) .. Still- I am super impressed, this is the first recipe I’ve made that wasn’t “momma’s cake” from how I grew up with it, but I am so glad I took a leap of faith and tried these out.

    One thing I was a little sad about was that I either could have A) used bigger cup liners or B) made more cupcakes because I have serious “muffin” tops that spread out sideways and made em look a little funny .. I know, I know .. no one cares as long as they taste great.. but I figured I’d share how they came out. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Made these cupcakes today for my father-in-law and of course had to try one first myself. I was expecting dense and what I got was a wonderful chocolate light cupcake. I was even more impressed by the frosting. It was so light and fluffy. This will be my go to recipe.

  10. Oh. My. Goodness. I just tried the chocolate cupcake recipe….I’ve been trying to find a new one that I like for awhile now and just gave yours a shot. I took them out of the oven a few minutes ago and tried one warm. It’s like a perfect cross between a fudgy brownie and a moist, crumbly cake. Delicious. Definitely my new go-to chocolate cake recipe! And they look just as great as they taste!

  11. Hi Sally,

    I want to do this recipe for a Fourth of July party.  Would white chocolate frosting be ok to use with red or blue food coloring?

    1. Absolutely OK to dye another color, yes.

  12. I followed the recipe and the cupcakes turned out great! I definitely recommend making these! 

  13. Sally, I have made these several times now and each time the cake is so dry and crumbly. I have followed the recipe exactly each and everytime but for some reason they are very dry. They dome perfectly and I have even watched them closely and reduced the cook time by a couple minutes to ensure not to over bake them and they still turn out very dry. I make several of your other recipes and haven’t had this problem with any of the others… I love the flavor of these and the combination of the two chocolate flavors together (the cake and frosting), but they just aren’t turning out very moist at all. Any advise/suggestions I can try?

  14. Kirsten fuller says:

    I made these cupcakes for my boyfriends birthday and he said they were the best cupcakes he has ever had (and he has high expectations)!! I’m so happy I discovered this recipe!

  15. Hi Sally, thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I made them yesterday for my son’s birthday and they were a huge success! I had never used salt or heavy cream (only half and half) before in buttercream and I may just be hooked. Thanks for the delicious awesomeness!

  16. OMG. These were delicious. Did a trial run for my son’s birthday and these were divine!! As advised, I used the best chocolate and coco powder and boy what difference does it make.

  17. I made these cupcakes for my son’s first birthday party. I’ve used the recipe for the cake part a few times now with a variety of toppings and it never fails to impress. The white chocolate icing was stunning – my husband said it was the best icing he’s ever tested! Love your blog and have tried several recipes now, all very successful. Great that you provide all the measurements in grams too for us in the UK!

  18. SALLY the frosting on these is the best frosting I’ve ever eaten, and I pride myself on being a frosting connoisseur. Thank you for blessing my tastebuds and helping me find my new go-to frosting recipe!!!

  19. These cupcakes were awesome! I made 24 little ones and 6 normal sized cupcakes. The white buttercream frosting was really delicious, I had some of it left, my guests ate it right out the frosting bag. Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to make more of your recipes.

  20. Sally, thank you so much for completely reforming my cupcake and frosting repertoire! I’ve never been wowed by either, but your recipes have completely changed that! Today this white chocolate frosting tops your pistachio cupcakes that I made for our church’s fish dinner fundraiser. The hardest part was NOT eating them all last night! Thanks for the contagiously delicious enthusiasm!

  21. Hi Sally I would like to use this white chocolate frosting on a whole cake. Would the recipe be enough to layer a cake and have it on top and down the sides? Or would I have to double it? Thank you

    1. Hi Holly! I suggest doubling it for a layer cake.

  22. Hi Sally, I’m going to try this frosting on some vanilla cupcakes with cranberry filling. I’m hoping the combination of  white chocolate and cranberry will be quite festive! Also, just made your super moist chocolate cupcakes – big hit! A bit closer to Christmas, I’ll make them again and pipe with a peppermint buttercream (colored green) and decorated with sprinkles like little Christmas trees. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes! I LOVE that you include the metric weight. Recipes just turn out so much better when I weigh rather than measure. Again, thanks! Gonna go now and buy Sally’s Baking Addiction on Amazon!

  23. Hi sally, would you consider this frosting to be more or less stable in hot and humid weather, given it has the chocolate in it? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Sabrina! It’s a little less stable. Though it’s held up for me just fine on a hot and humid day, it tasted a little greasy.

  24. Hi Sally, how does this differ in texture to your super moist chocolate cupcakes? Is it more like a brownie? I have both and liked one more than the other, but I can’t remember which was which. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jeannie! These are slightly more dense than the super moist chocolate cupcakes. Theses require melted real chocolate and the super moist chocolate cupcakes do not. Maybe that will help you remember which you baked?

  25. I want to make this recipe in round cake pans for a layer cake. What would the adjustments be? I love your site, Sally!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Easiest way to go about this: use my triple chocolate cake recipe instead. (It’s a popular recipe and my favorite!) You can swap hot water for the coffee if desired. 🙂

  26. How do you recommend melting the white chocolate? Microwave, stove top, with or without milk?I also plan on baking these a day before the event. Do these need to be refrigerated? Thanks

    1. Hi Tina! You can melt white chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Do not melt it over direct heat on the stove, a double boiler is best. I usually use the microwave and melt it in 15 second increments, stirring after each until melted. I recommend refrigerating until the day of serving, then serving at room temperature.

  27. Hi Sally! I was hoping to use the white chocolate frosting on a 3-layer cake. What advice do you have on adjusting the ratios for the frosting to cover the cake? Could I simply triple the recipe as written? Thank you for all your hard work on this blog! You’re an inspiration.

    1. Hi Sam! Doubling the white chocolate frosting recipe should be enough. I think tripling would yield too much frosting unless you want to add some piping designs on top.

  28. This is just a review of the frosting as I made it to put on a different cupcake recipe (vanilla). The frosting is fantastic- it’s one of the best frosting recipes I’ve tried! I’m normally not even fond of white chocolate but this frosting tastes how I wish white chocolate tasted all the time. It’s creamy, light, and has more depth of flavour than regular vanilla frosting. I used Green & Black white chocolate as it has vanilla bean in it- I felt the vanilla bean really added to the flavour so I would definitely recommend this brand. I look forward to making this frosting recipe again and again!

  29. Hi Sally, is there any way I can adapt the frosting recipe to make it raspberry white chocolate?

    1. Hi Selina, if you can get your hands on freeze-dried raspberries, you can grind them into a powder like we do with strawberries in this strawberry frosting. Then replace 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar with 1/2 cup of raspberry powder.

  30. Hi Sally,

    Is the white chocolate buttercream able to have colour added to it? My daughter wants pink icing. Also, does it freeze at all?

    Thanks! Laura

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, Yes you can add color to this frosting! Unfrosted cupcakes freeze well (see recipe notes), and if you have leftover frosting you can freeze that in an airtight container for up to 3 months. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.

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