A rich and moist chocolate cupcake topped with an easy vanilla frosting will have you finding an excuse to make these cupcakes at every chance you get.
Tomorrow is Lauren’s 30th! Happy Birthday! Man we’re getting old. So what better way to celebrate than with some chocolate cupcakes. I was actually inspired by Half Baked Harvest’s chocolate birthday cupcakes with fudgy chocolate buttercream.
Chocolate and vanilla. There is just something so simple about those two ingredients, but they are two of the most popular flavors out there when it comes to desserts. Yes you can create some really crazy cupcakes and I’ve done them myself, but there is nothing wrong with something that is simple but tasty and these chocolate cupcakes don’t disappoint.
To me what puts these cupcakes over the top is the coffee. It just highlights the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have coffee, you can use boiling water in a pinch. We actually whipped these cupcakes up for a birthday party recently and they were a hit. This recipe is far superior to anything you’ll find from a box and really doesn’t take that much extra work. Believe me when I say it is the best chocolate cupcake recipe out there. And don’t be nervous about the vanilla frosting as it’s full-proof and can be used for a variety of cupcakes. So if you’re feeling like something simple but elegant, these chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting should be at the top of the list.
What Ingredients are in this Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe?
- Vegetable oil
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream
How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
There is no butter in these cupcakes so you don’t have to wait for it to soften. You get moist chocolate cupcakes from the different liquids. And for those saying they don’t like coffee, I’m in the same boat. The coffee helps just intensify the chocolate flavor. But if you don’t believe me or don’t have any, just use hot water.
These cupcakes really couldn’t be easier as you just mix all of the liquid ingredients, except for the coffee. Then fold in the dry ingredients and add the coffee last. It is a liquid batter, which contributes to being moist cupcakes. One key is when adding the batter to the muffin tin, don’t fill more than 2/3 of the way as they do rise. It’s important to allow the cupcakes to completely cool before adding the frosting, otherwise it will melt.
How to Make a Buttercream Frosting
The key with a buttercream frosting is beating the butter and sugar together on medium speed with a whisk attachment for at least 3 minutes so it gets nice and fluffy. At that point, you add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat for another minute. If frosting is too thin, add a little more sugar or if it is too thick, add some cream. It should be the right spreading consistency without altering however.
Why Sour Cream in Cupcakes?
Sour cream adds additional fat and a level of acidity that creates a light texture, while keeping the cupcake moist. You can also use Greek yogurt.
How Long Do Cupcakes Last?
To maximize the shelf life of cupcakes, place them in a covered airtight container or cover with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
- Cupcakes at room temperature will last 1-2 days
- Cupcakes in the fridge will last 1 week
- Cupcakes in the freezer will last 4 months
Other Cupcake Recipes
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp hot black coffee
- 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed until there are no longer any clumps. Add the coffee and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter 2/3 full among the muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. When cupcakes are done remove immediately from tins and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. Top with sprinkles if desired.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and heavy cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 more minute, adding some more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Place in fridge until ready to use on cupcakes.