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close-up of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 406kcal
Author Ryan Beck


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon hot black coffee
  • ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 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.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture 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 ⅔ 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.

Vanilla Frosting

  • 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.


  • Do not skip the buttermilk as it helps create the moistness you expect from chocolate cupcakes.
  • If you don't have sour cream, you can either replace with Greek yogurt or an additional 2 tablespoon buttermilk.
  • All refrigerated items should be at room temperature, which helps the batter mix easily and evenly.
  • Use natural cocoa powder vs Dutch-processed cocoa powder as natural cocoa powder isn’t as intense of a flavor.
  • The coffee helps just intensify the chocolate flavor. But if you don't believe me or don't have any, just use hot water.
  • When adding the batter to the muffin tin, don't fill more than ⅔ of the way as they do rise.
  • Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before adding the frosting, otherwise it will melt.
  • If you want mini cupcakes, fill mini liners only halfway and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F. It yields about 3 dozen


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.5mg