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chocolate cupcake recipe

Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

The best moist chocolate cupcake recipe with tons of rich chocolate flavor thanks to buttermilk, brown sugar and a touch of oil. These chocolate cupcakes bake up with a nice little dome that's perfect for a nice swirl of chocolate buttercream frosting!
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Serves: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 373kcal

blog Chocolate Cupcakes from Sugar Geek Show on Vimeo.


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 5 ounces (142 g) butter softened
  • 6 ounces (170 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (113 g) brown sugar sifted
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (227 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces (57 g) cocoa powder dutched or natural
  • 1 Tablespoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces (284 g) buttermilk warm
  • 2 ounces (57 g) vegetable oil

For the chocolate frosting

  • 4 ounces (113 g) pasteurized egg whites
  • 16 ounces (454 g) powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces (85 g) cocoa powder sifted
  • 16 ounces (454 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Mixer with whisk and paddle attachment (stand or handheld)


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF and prepare your muffin tin with paper liners

For the chocolate cupcakes

  • Warm buttermilk in the microwave (roughly 100ºF) and combine with oil and vanilla. Set aside
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sifted cocoa powder and espresso powder. Set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, white sugar, sifted brown sugar and salt with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one. *see notes*
  • Add in the eggs one at a time while mixing on low. Letting the first one mix in before adding the second.
  • Scrape the bowl to be sure that everything is mixed well.
  • While mixing on low, add in 1/3 of your flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of your buttermilk mixture. Alternate two more times until just combined.
  • Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 18-20 minutes until set. Do not overbake.
  • Let cool completely before frosting

For the chocolate buttercream

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip together egg whites, powdered sugar, and sifted cocoa powder until combined. Then turn up to high
  • Add in softened butter in small chunks and continue whipping until light and fluffy. Add in your vanilla and salt. Give it a taste, if it still tastes like butter, keep whipping.
  • Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a 2F piping tip for mine


If you don't have a paddle attachment, continue mixing by hand with a spatula to avoid overmixing. 
If you don't have buttermilk you can substitute with regular milk plus two tablespoons of white vinegar


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 373kcal (19%) | Carbohydrates: 45g (15%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 22g (34%) | Saturated Fat: 14g (70%) | Cholesterol: 72mg (24%) | Sodium: 196mg (8%) | Potassium: 161mg (5%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 33g (37%) | Vitamin A: 706IU (14%) | Calcium: 44mg (4%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)