If you are looking for a chocolate cupcake recipe that is soft, fluffy and moist, then look no further! Made from scratch with cocoa powder and simple pantry ingredients, these chocolate cupcakes are so easy to make and are packed full of chocolate flavour! Whip up a batch for afternoon tea, a special party treat or “just because”!
Every home cook needs a chocolate cupcake recipe in their collection, because aside from being delicious, the humble chocolate cupcake is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways!
They can be dressed up with rich and decadent chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cupcake toppings for a special occasion, lightly iced with frosting or dusted with icing sugar for a simple afternoon tea or topped with your favourite cupcake additions to suit your personal tastes.
This recipe has been adapted from my soft chocolate layer cake and I hope this one becomes your go-to recipe too!
For extremely moist chocolate cupcakes for any occasion, this is the recipe that I use, every single time, because it is so easy and SO delicious. And the smooth chocolate frosting that accompanies these cupcakes is pretty amazing too! For cupcakes to impress, try filling them with a little homemade salted caramel sauce before frosting. Or for something a little different, try this divine peppermint buttercream recipe instead.
This moist chocolate cupcakes recipe is very quick and easy to follow. It is oil based, so there is no whipping or softening butter involved in the baking process. All you need is a bowl, a whisk and a spoon.
How to make this moist chocolate cupcakes recipe
This easy recipe for chocolate cupcakes is made using the following ingredients;
- Plain flour
- Cocoa. Use natural, unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe, rather than Dutch cocoa.
- Baking powder and bicarb soda.
- Egg. At room temperature.
- Vanilla bean paste.
- Canola oil. This is the ingredient that makes these cupcakes so soft and moist! Canola or vegetable oils can be used.
- Milk. Or use buttermilk instead to make these cupcakes extra soft.
- Boiling water. Adding boiling hot water to this recipe helps the cocoa to “bloom” and release an intense chocolatey flavour that you will love.
To make these cupcakes, simply;
- Prepare your cupcake trays with a little oil or paper cases.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Sift if there are any lumps.
- Add the egg, vanilla, oil and milk and stir until the mixture comes together.
- Carefully add the boiling water and gently whisk until the mixture is smooth and completely combined.
- Add the cupcake mixture to the prepared cupcake tins and bake until fluffy and completely cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool (if you have the willpower!) and decorate with chocolate frosting and your favourite sprinkles or cupcake toppings.
This chocolate cupcakes recipe makes 12-14 cupcakes, but can be easily multiplied for more. The cupcakes can also be made ahead, frozen in an airtight container and thawed and decorated for later use.
After adding the boiling water to the cupcake batter, the mixture will appear quite thin and runny. This is completely normal, don’t panic! They will come together while baking and turn into the most deliciously soft cupcakes.
These cupcakes will rise quite a bit during baking. The paper cases or cupcake tins should not be filled more than ½-¾ full, or they may overflow or bulge out too high. If you need to make 14 instead of 12 so that they are not too full, that just means more cupcakes!
These cupcakes will stay soft and moist for days. Eat them at room temperature if possible, but store in the fridge due to the butter in the frosting. Remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating, where possible.
For more chocolate lover’s recipes for my fellow chocoholics, give these a try!
- Double chocolate brownies (completely gooey and delicious!)
- Chocolate and salted caramel layer cake
- 4 ingredient chocolate mint truffles
- Chocolate avocado mousse
- Salted chocolate tart
More cupcake ideas
For more amazing flavour combinations and delicious cupcake flavour ideas, try these caramel apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pink lemonade cupcakes, lemon meringue cupcakes or these peanut butter cupcakes with salted caramel!
If you are looking for a chocolate cupcake recipe that ticks all of the boxes for softness, flavour and texture, I hope you give this a try. If you do, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group.
A Chocolate Cupcake Recipe for Any Occasion
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1-2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ cup milk or buttermilk
- ½ cup boiling water
For the frosting
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups icing sugar confectioners sugar, sifted
- ¼-1/2 cup milk start with ¼ cup and add a little more, if needed
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp salt flakes
For the cupcakes
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C° (350F). Prepare cupcake trays (deep muffin trays are best so the cupcakes don’t overflow) with oil spray or paper cupcake cases.
- Add the dry cupcake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, oil and milk and stir together until combined.
- Carefully add the boiling water and whisk slowly until the water is completely incorporated into the mixture. The mixture will be runnier than normal cupcake mixture, but this is ok!
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 14 paper cases, ensuring that each are no more than ¾ full. The cupcakes will rise while baking. If using shallower cupcake trays, you may need to make more to avoid them overflowing.
- Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes are fluffy and bounce back slightly when gently pressed in the middle.
- Transfer cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting
- Stir the butter and vanilla together with the cocoa and a ¼ cup of the milk. Add the icing sugar and salt and mix until completely combined and smooth.
- The frosting should be soft enough to pipe, while still holding its shape. If too thick, add a little more milk.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe on the frosting and decorate with your favourite toppings! Enjoy!
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