Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

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You’ll also love my super moist 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. 

Other chocolate desserts to make: chocolate cream cheese bundt cakesuper moist chocolate cupcakes, favorite chocolate buttercream, triple chocolate muffins, chocolate hand pies, salted dark chocolate cookies, chocolate sugar cookies, peanut butter chocolate lava cakes, and double chocolate crinkle cookies.


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 cups (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


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake/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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.


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 have been searching for moist chocolate cupcakes/cakes. I have tried both version of recipes from your website. And I must say….they are super moist and niceeee. Not too sweet (which is what I love – and others who have tasted my cake/cupcakes too!). Received alot of compliments from Mr.Hubby, his colleagues and mine on how great do these cupcakes/cake taste. Thankful that I have found your recipes and worked out perfectly even at first trial. One happy baker.

  2. Hi Sally, I love this recipe. I sold a dozen of them for $100 this weekend at a charity cake auction. I was wondering if you have any tips for making them a little moister. I feel like the cocoa powder makes them a tad dry. I’ve heard adding an extra egg yolk might be helpful. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. Wow!! That’s awesome for your charity!! Is it possible you used too much flour? I like using a kitchen scale and measuring out grams (more accurate), and also making sure to spoon and level, not scoop out of the bag with measuring cup (which affects the amount of flour you are actually using. 🙂

  3. Hands down this is probably the best chocolate cupcake and frosting recipe ever! Followed the recipe to the T and they came out amazing! Love LOVE it!

  4. I am dying to try these out i will definitely give them a go. My husband are both chocolate lovers & so happy to have found ur blog. Awesome u inspired me to start baking

  5. Love these cupcakes so much! They are my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. So moist, chocolatey, and rich! Do you leave your cupcakes in the pan to cool or take them out right away or after a specified period of time? Thanks so much!

  6. I just tried this recipe today and my family loves it. It’s so moist and melt in the mouth. Wonderful. Thanks loads.

  7. Hi
    My cupcakes turned out crumbly and dry. Great structure but not moist like everyone else has said. Is it possible that I overbaked them or is there something else I’ve overlooked?


  8. Hi There.  I want to try this recipe but when I was reading your metric measurements I was wondering if there is a mistake.  You have 1/2 cup or 42 grams of cocoa powder and for  your granulated sugar it says 1/2 cup or 100 grams.  They’re the same measurement in cups but different in grams.  I’m just wondering if it’s an error in grams ?  Thanks.  Can’t wait to try these.  

    1. cocoa powder weighs less than granulated sugar– the same amount of granulated sugar is much heavier. Hope that helps!

  9. How well does this frosting and the marshmallow frosting freeze?  I made too much and I don’t want to waist it. 

  10. Hi Sally,

    I am addicted to baking cupcakes now! I have baked the wedding cupcakes, and the very vanilla cupcakes a few days ago. They were divine! And I loved the moist texture. Tonight I gave the death by chocolate a try. They are truly fudgy but a bit dry…could I have overbaked them?

    1. They *could* be overbaked– that typically the culprit. So happy you enjoy baking cupcakes so much, I love it too 🙂

      1. Hi Sally,

        I finally nailed it! I kept a close eye on the timer and also took greater care to overmix. Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! Made it for my daughter’s night stay party and it turned out awesome. And I just love the buttermilk recipe. So quick nd easy!

  12. Here I found my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe. Although I have made the cupcake before, this is the first time I paired it with icing. It was the ultimate death by chocolate experience! Thank you, Sally, for a stellar recipe!

  13. Hello Sally,
    I have a few questions before giving this a try on the weekend. I’m gonna make this for my friend’s birthday. But I found only *unsweetened* chocolate baking bar. Here are the questions:
    1. How much sugar should I add into the mixture? 
    2. Should I add more of white or brown sugar?

    I can’t wait to bake these cupcakes!
    Thank you! 

  14. Hey! This recipe looks delicious!
    I do have a question. I would make 2 dozen of these cupcakes, so I’M doubling the recipe for the cakes. Do you think I would also need the double amount of frosting?

  15. Eeeee!! I’m so excited Sally, because this is totally going to be my son’s 2nd birthday cake!! He LOVES chocolate. He even loves dark chocolate!! I can’t wait to make this for him next month! I know it will be so incredible because all of your recipes are! Thank you for all your hard work.

  16. Hi, Sally how do these cupcakes compare to your super moist chocolate cupcakes or classic chocolate cupcakes? I’ve made these ones before and we love the flavour but I just feel like *something* is lacking, if that makes any sense. Would love to try the other ones as I see they’re oil, not butter, based. Thanks!

  17. Hi! I have made these cupcakes and they are so good! Anyway, I was wondering if I can use the frosting for a two-layer 9-inch cake. Will the amount of frosting be enough for this or do I need to double the recipe?

  18. Took less time to bake… despite my oven being spot on for correct temperature. I let them cool and then “lost” almost every top to the cupcake as I removed them from the tin Not sure where I went wrong My granddaughter suggested we use the frosting as “glue” so we tried our best to mend them back up, but unfortunately it wasn’t a success.
    First time any cupcake I made did this 🙁

  19. In my search for a great chocolate cupcake, I came across this recipe and had to try it. I can honestly say they are very moist, not overly sweet, and very delicious. I doubled the recipe and froze it so I can make some another time. So glad I did. My sister is making cupcakes for her friends shower and will be using this. She loved them.

  20. I hoping to convert the death by chocolate cupcakes to a sheet cake that I can then cut, layer and shape into a birthday cake for my son. How would i adjust the recipe? Thank you.

  21. I used this recipe for the third time today. I didn’t have all purpose flour so I used cake flour. They turned out great. I love this recipe. It has become my go to chocolate cupcake recipe.

  22. Hi Sally. Would this cake be sturdy enough to carve if I were to make it as a round cake instead of cupcakes? If not, do you have any choc cake recipe that you recommend for carving? Thanks!

  23. Hi Sally! This is the 2nd recipe of yours I have tried, and I LOVE the results! Some of my friends asked me to make these and they also loved it soo much! Thank you for the recipes! 🙂

  24. Hi sally I love your website!
    I just had a problem was hoping you can help me.
    My frosting turned out to be grainy I can taste the sugar crunch but the consistency is smooth what do you think the problem is?
    PS I sifted the sugar and cocoa.

    1. Hi Rana, First, make sure that you are using all room temperature ingredients. The butter and cream both need to be room temperature. Also, make sure that you are mixing them together for long enough. And lastly I have heard that some store brands of powdered sugar just end up grainy no matter what. The problem could be if using a brand that is not pure or cane sugar. I hope this helps!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally