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. 

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

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


Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers only!


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* (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*

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 pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/3 cup (60g) semi-sweet chocolate chips for decoration


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). 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.


  1. Flour: Using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour is OK. I find the cupcakes to be slightly softer using cake flour.
  2. Eggs: 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.
  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. Milk Chocolate Frosting: Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting if you’re not a fan of dark chocolate.
  5. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: death by chocolate cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes


  1. 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. 

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

  3. 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 ❤

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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

      1. Wendy Chiavalon says:

        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?

      2. Shouldn’t change the bake time!

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

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

  10. 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”.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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

  15. Peachy Baker says:

    These are my new favorite chocolate cupcake recipe…. I total get the name. They are perfectly moist and chocolaty! 
    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe 🙂 

  16. Thanks a ton Sally. This recepie was a huge hit! I baked 60 of these for my babies first bday bash. It was a red and white hello kitty theme. I made a cupcake hello kitty cake..with buttercream frosting in red and white! All the kids absolutely loved the cupcakes! 

  17. This was delicious! Absolutely delicious! I was looking for something other than buttercream frosting that is fudge, this was perfect. I added espresso powder to both the cupcake and frosting mix because that’s my favorite. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  18. Made these for our halloween party at work! They were amazing! Only thing I might change next time is to use milk chocolate instead of the semisweet baking chocolate..cause the name does do it justice.. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE! They’re very chocolatey..but still so delicious!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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

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

  24. 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?


  25. 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!

  26. I made these and they rocked the party!!!!!!! Amazing!!!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

    1. Hey Hayley! My favorite super-moist chocolates cupcakes are definitely a little more moist (because of the oil). I think you’ll enjoy them!

  29. Jennifer Smith says:

    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.

  30. Jennifer Smith says:

    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.

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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