Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting | Cupcake Project

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

WINNER WINNER WINNER! Search no more, you have created the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake! These were hands-down the BEST chocolate cupcakes I have ever tasted, let alone baked myself. I am a sucker for cupcake bakeries and I honestly don’t believe any of the cupcakes I have paid $5 a piece for come even close to these.

That was a quote from Amy Hendricks, one of the Chocolate Cupcake Recipe Cupcake Project Explorers (my team of 50 test bakers that helped perfect the chocolate cupcake recipe by baking seven rounds of cupcakes and providing feedback).

You should know that the Explorers did not go easy on me.  When I sent them the first recipe almost a year ago, I was sure that it would be the best cupcake recipe. It only got a 25% approval rating – ouch!  I went back to the mixing bowl and came up with a second recipe for the Explorers to try.  “Surely, this will be the one,” I thought.  It took 7 rounds of Explorer testing and a total of 69 different chocolate cupcake recipes baked by me before we found the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

I learned that, for the most part, the Explorers wanted the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake to be light and fluffy (not brownie-like) with an intense chocolate flavor.  It was a hard balance to find.  As I made the cupcakes lighter, they tended to become less chocolatey; packing in cocoa powder made the cupcakes too heavy.  It took almost a year of experimentation to nail down the perfect combination of ingredients.

Then, there was the question of the chocolate itself.  Some Explorers preferred milk chocolate, while others liked deep, dark chocolate, and the rest liked everything in between.  How could I please everyone?  I almost gave up – more than once.

The recipe that I created for round 7 (the one that you read the quote about above) took all of the Explorers’ feedback into play. I created chocolate cupcakes where the cake was moist and light with an unmistakable chocolate flavor.  They got an approval of 63%.  If that sounds low, consider that more than half of all tasters not only thought that the chocolate cupcake recipe was good, but also thought that it was the best chocolate cupcake recipe they have ever tasted.  It’s a number that I’m extremely proud of.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

Thanks to Kakao Chocolate for custom-making a cupcake stand and crown befitting the king of cupcakes.

Here’s what some of the Explorers had to say about the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe:

  • Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate is the only way to describe the taste in my mouth. Sweetness is perfect. Cake is not dry. Cake practically melts in my mouth. It’s impossible to take one bite of cake. After one taste, my mouth wants more. Delicious. The ultimate chocolate cupcake.
  • What can I say? Perfect!
  • I have participated in all seven rounds of the cupcake experiment, and I will even admit I have labeled past trials as “perfect” and as The Ultimate; however, THIS IS IT.  THIS IS THE ONE.  If others don’t agree, so be it, but this is the one for me.  I will more than likely not continue the process because I simply can not imagine a chocolate cupcake that tops this version.  Everything about it was, for lack of a better word, PERFECT!
  • I remember really tasting chocolate on my first bite and not having to search for it like you do on many standard chocolate cakes.
  • Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!  The best ever!
  • I am usually the one who likes the frosting the best.  I was pleasantly surprised on the taste of the cupcake.  It had a nice chocolate taste and was not overpowering.  The flavor was so good it didn’t really even need any frosting.
  • I’ve had way too many brown-colored cakes that taste faintly of dust. But this cupcake tastes chocolatey without overdoing it.
  • I felt like the bite I took just melted in my mouth. One person said she preferred the cupcake without icing because it was that good. I would definitely make this one of my “go to” recipes.
  • These babies, in my opinion, are the honest-to-goodness ultimate chocolate cupcake!
  • I can sleep soundly at night with these as the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!  The texture, appearance and taste were all just right – a perfect combination.
  • Though I have loved the past several rounds, each time I do agree that they get even better – which I didn’t think was possible!
  • Lovely. Just lovely.
  • Whoop! I think we really found it this time! Perfect in every way!! :)
  • Absolutely the best!
  • The immediate reactions both from myself and my taste testers make me feel that this chocolate cupcake is a winner! Good chocolate taste, excellent texture had us all making yummy noises!
  • Even my friends who aren’t big dessert people asked for a second cupcake. I can’t imagine a better recipe!
  • It is by far the best made-from-scratch chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had.
  • Perfect in all aspects of a cupcake!
  • Easy to bake, easy to eat!

Choose Your Own Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

As I said above, one of my biggest challenges with the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe was pleasing everyone.  To do so, I ended up developing what I call a “choose your own” Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  You have three choices to make when you bake these cupcakes – don’t worry, there’s no wrong answer and, if you have no clue where to begin, I’ve got suggestions.

  1. Choose your own cocoa powder.
  2. Choose your own chocolate. 
  3. Choose whether or not to use coffee.
    • Many people insist that coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate.  These folks say that you can’t taste the coffee in the cupcakes; I often can and the chocolate itself has enough caffeine for me.  So, I wrote the recipe with a choice.  You make the call, coffee or not.  Of those who voted these cupcakes the Ultimate, 62% used coffee.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 ounces of your favorite chocolate (You can use any plain chocolate that you like except white chocolate or candy melts. The chocolate doesn't have to be one typically earmarked for baking - any chocolate bar that isn't flavored and doesn't contain mix-ins like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc. will work.)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 fluid ounces) vegetable or canola oil, measured in a liquid measuring cup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounce) full-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder (natural or dutched will both work with this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) room temperature water, measured in a liquid measuring cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  4. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
  6. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
  7. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.
  8. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
  9. Mix in water until just combined.
  10. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and put in the oven.
  11. Check for doneness at 18 minutes - a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.
  12. Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature. Although they are really good when they are hot, be sure to wait until they are room temperature to give your evaluation.

Notes

If you would like to add coffee to the recipe, either add 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules along with the sifted dry ingredients, or replace the water with room temperature brewed coffee.

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2013/06/chocolate-cupcake-recipe-the-ultimate-chocolate-cupcake-test-baked-by-50-bakers-and-counting.html

Frosting

You can frost the chocolate cupcakes with any frosting that you choose.  Check out my top ten frostings for some ideas to get you started.  However, for the full chocolate experience, I suggest frosting with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Cupcake Project Explorer Reviews

As a special thanks for being Cupcake Project Explorers, I’ve promised the team that I would share any blog posts they write about this recipe and the Explorer process.  As their posts come in, I will add links to them right here.

Coffee with Cathy
Cake Deco
Leslie Reese
There’s No Place Like Oz
Running Blonde

Love These Cupcakes? Give Water

I often stop and think about how much time, effort, and money my team of Explorers and I spent to make a perfect chocolate cupcake when there are people in the world who don’t even have clean water to drink (let alone milk to go with rich, decadent cupcakes).  I thought about selling the recipe and giving the money to charity, but I want everyone to be able to bake these cupcakes without charge.  But, if you make this recipe, love it, and can afford to do so, it would mean a great deal to me if you would make a small donation to FilterPure.  For $35, one family will be able to have clean drinking water for five years.  Even $1 will help.

Is This Your Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe?

You may have noticed that in the title of this post, I said, “Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting.”  While you may not have been an official Cupcake Project Explorer, I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe.  If you bake it, please share your thoughts in the comments.  What cocoa powder and chocolate did you use?  Did you use coffee? What did you frost with, and did you use any fillings?  Did you make any changes that people might want to hear about?  Let’s all learn from each other!

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338 Responses to Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting

  1. Ivy June 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Ohmigosh, I’m so proud of you even though I’ve never really commented or anything before! Congratulations! Now, to convince my friends that they need even more chocolate in their lives….

    • cupcakecrazy August 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      I baked these cupcakes today and they were scrummy! I used Hershey’s milk chocolate and Bournville cocoa powder (uses 100% cocoa bean). I cut back the amount of oil and replaced sour cream with yogurt.I hope to try them with sour cream next time. Thanks for the recipe! It made 14 cupcakes. The cakes did have a slight bitter taste at the end. Maybe because of the chocolate? But chocolate does have a bitter taste.

    • Deauna @ Honesty’s Protégée September 15, 2014 at 6:12 am #

      Made this with Lindt milk chocolate bar, Hershey cocoa and espresso powder, but I mistakenly dissolved the espresso powder in the water before reading all the recipe notes. I also used Siggi organic yogurt because it was the only plain one I could find in a small container at the store. Made ganache too drizzle over it with half 1 part Lindt milk chocolate and 3 parts Godiva dark chocolate. My husband LOVES this recipe and it’s my go to one whenever I make chocolate cake now.

  2. Christina June 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Congratulations! I’m excited to try these.

  3. Jaenmarc June 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    I have been anxiously waiting for this to come out ever since the search started. I even thought you gave up and I was about to ask you, then BAM! I visited your blog and it’s thumbnail is the first thing that caught my eye. It looks stunning.

    I am definitely trying this. Congratulations on your success.

  4. Kitty @ The Foodies' Kitchen June 4, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Can’t wait to bake it myself! The recipe looks gorgeous!

  5. sara June 4, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Yum, I’m excited to try this! :)

  6. Spinning Cook June 4, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Perseverance pays – congratulations to you and your many dedicated Explorers! Such an ambitious recipe development method…America’s Test Kitchen eat your heart out! Can’t wait to bake these up and feast on the results. Love the custom stand and crown.

    Cheers,

    Ryan

  7. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting June 4, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Ooooh I can’t wait to try this!!!

  8. Jennie June 4, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    I’m definitely baking this very soon!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes,…

  9. Jennifer June 4, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    I notice in your notes you mentioned adding coffee… but I don’t see coffee in the recipe. Would you put it where you have the room temperature water? I personally love to add some King Arthur Flour Espresso powder to all my chocolate cakes and it adds a little extra something. I’ve only had one person who was able to actually tell me they could taste it and pick out the flavor specifically.

    This recipe looks fantastic and I can’t WAIT to test it out. Thanks so much for not giving up! I love your Ultimate Vanilla cupcake recipe and it’s totally my go-to recipe. I’m sure this will be my go-to chocolate recipe too!!

    • Stef June 4, 2013 at 8:10 am #

      Thank you so much for pointing that out! It was meant to be a recipe note. I just added it in.

  10. Lori June 4, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Beyond excited, but I also have a question: option #3 for coffee has me confused, because I can’t find the step in the recipe where I could add the coffee if I wanted to. Now, I am assuming I would add brewed coffee INSTEAD of the 1/2 c. (4 fl oz) water, but we all know what can happen if I start assuming….. Not yet sure if I will add the coffee on this first attempt (for my about-to-be 12 year-old son’s birthday tomorrow), but I want to be sure I do it “correctly” if I end up going that way. Also, did the explorers who used coffee brew it themselves, use store-bought brewed, make instant, or what – we aren’t coffee drinkers at my house, and although I do keep some Starbucks Via packets around for occasions such as this, once again I don’t want to stray too far from what has been successful for 62% of the folks who LOVED this cupcake (at least, not this time). So, guidance please, oh Maker of the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!!!

    I will be baking this afternoon, so I will check here later today to see if you have thrown me a life preserver (hee, hee!). Also, if you will tell me where I can share a photo of my finished product (Facebook?), I will definitely give you my feedback on the cupcake itself AND tell you if my Cupcake Project-inspired frosting/filling/finishing plan comes together in reality as awesomely as it has in my head!!! (Here’s a teaser – chocolate-covered cherry……hi hat……nope, that’s all you get right now – more later!)

    • Stef June 4, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      I’m so sorry!! I meant to add the note about the coffee and I forgot. I just added it in for you so you’ll know what to do.

      Yes, please share the photo on FB. I’d love to see it!

  11. Arlene June 4, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Excited to try!

    Did you have any ‘close to ultimate’ recipes that did not contain butter or sour cream? Would love if you’d share!

    • Stef June 4, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      All of the recipes had butter. You could use yogurt instead of sour cream if you’d like something less rich.

    • Colinda September 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Hello! I have a dairy allergy so substituted coconut oil for the butter and used canned coconut milk, well mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar to sour. These were the best dairy-free chocolate cupcakes ever so I imagine the dairy ones are the best as well! I had not read the blurb and was surprised when the recipe didn’t have coffee as I find that coffee (or espresso powder which is what I usually use) always adds to the richness of chocolate cake, as long as it is a small amount (I did 1 tbsp espresso powder).

      I ate them plain, and made chocolate buttercream for my friends who can enjoy dairy. I have a hard time finding anything better than a real buttercream (not the butter + icing sugar model).

  12. Anne June 4, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    WOOOOOH! I’m so glad we finally did it! that was a long time coming and i’m glad i can shelve my cocoa powder (for now).
    While baking the test cupcakes we tried an awful lot of frostings (because when test eating a lot of cupcakes we needed some variety). Our favorite frostings ended up being Peppermint Whipped Cream (especially in winter around the holidays), Cookies and Cream frosting, and Hazelnut Whipped Cream.
    Thanks for not giving up! it was worth all the hard work

  13. Julie June 4, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    LOVE that chocolate crown!

    Also I was one of the lucky people who got to do some testing (not all rounds) and this was definitely the ultimate chocolate cupcake in my opinion. Better than any store bought cupcake for sure! Loved it!

  14. nessa June 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    This needs to happen in my house ASAP!

  15. MichelleK June 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but can you qualify “butter”. I am not American and I have heard that your definition of butter is different from what we use in Europe… That quite often either shortening or margerine is used, is this the case here?
    Congrats on finally finding the ultimTe chocolate cupcake!!! Can’t wait to try it :-)

    • Anne June 12, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      i was one of the testers and i only used actual butter (never shortening or margarine) in the recipes. hope that helps

    • Diana September 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      Take the whole milk from cows, skim off the heavy cream and churn it with a heavy paddle until it thickens into butter- it will “set up” in the refrigerator. I believe you can also just churn all of the milk and when the butter starts setting up you take it out and refrigerate it, then the liquid that’s left if the buttermilk.

      • Diana September 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

        *is the buttermilk- sorry typo

  16. Lisa June 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    I made this recipe as soon as I found it, and absolutely loved it! It was very moist, almost like a brownie, yet still had the same airiness of a cupcake. everyone enjoyed them!

  17. Jacqueline June 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Yay! I’m so glad you all came to an consensus, and I can’t wait to try these :)

  18. DaisyT June 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    These sound amazing and they are in my oven baking. I can hardly wait to try!

  19. Chris B June 5, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Congrats! I am going to have to make these ASAP to see how they are comparec to my favorite chocolate cake/cupcake recipe.

    • Chris B June 5, 2013 at 1:19 am #

      Just popped them in the oven :)

  20. Minh June 5, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    I’ve been waiting for these and just made them. Here’s my feedback: definitely airy and fluffy but still very chocolatey – exactly what i was looking for in a chocolate cupcake! Amazing taste and consistency. Will be serving to coworkers today with a tiny swirl of Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Love the “choose your own” options. My only gripe would be that although they rose beautifully in the oven, they sank back to flat cakes after taking out. I followed the recipe to a T. Is that how they are supposed to be, or did I do something wrong?
    Also love the donate water idea, will definitely do that. Thank you for bringing this ambitious project to the end. I hope this is as satisfying to you as to us, when we bite into the ultimate chocolate cupcake :) ))

    • KraziKris June 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      I made these last night and noticed the same thing, they rose in the oven but then flatted out after cooling. They were still great but I too want to know if this was supposed to happen…

    • Minh June 9, 2013 at 5:53 am #

      P.S. Also wanted to mention, I doubled the recipe and didn’t get 32, but 50 cupcakes! That was one very long baking session ;) I usually fill mine with an ice cream scoop and I didn’t get the impression that they were under-filled. Thank you so much for your feedback on this.

    • Elli August 2, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      You know, that happened to me too! the only thing i did differently was using low fat sourcream, because it was raining and i didnt want to go outside to buy full fat… i also wonder if i did something wrong..

  21. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking June 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Haha, I love the little crown! If this is the best chocolate cupcake ever, it is definitely worth a try in my kitchen! I’m ON IT.

  22. tracy {pale yellow} June 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Wow! I can’t wait to try these out. I adore your ultimate vanilla cupcake, so I trust this will be tasty! Thanks for all your hard work!

  23. Sam June 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    YES! You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this recipe<3

  24. Dru @ Teenage Cakeland June 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    So glad you finally found the perfect recipe!! I made these just now and had one right out of the oven-amazing.

  25. Amy June 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    Congratulations!!! I’m so impressed by your perseverance and dedication. A year is a REALLY long time to keep at it, and I’m sure these really are your ultimate chocolate cupcakes! I can’t wait to see what cupcake flavor you try to make an “ultimate” version of next!

  26. Joann June 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    We are always looking for new ways to do classics. Made these tonight and put them in front of my trusty panel of food critics, (husband and boys). They declared them DELICIOUS! I absolutely appreciate your forgiveness in the recipe for coffee/non-coffee, chocolate, cocoa powder. It made the recipe feel like my own yet with the confidence of the many test hours of your bakers behind me. Well done and very appreciated. In my opinion, as a caterer, these are ‘event’ worthy.

  27. Laura @FoodSnobSTL June 7, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    YEAH! I know you put so much work into these, and it’s exciting to finally see the results!

  28. Jen June 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi! I am a 13-year-old girl who loves to cook and bake, and I was really excited when I saw this recipe was posted, being a chocolate lover myself. So I decided to make the cupcakes, and I was mixing the wet ingredients…when it seemed that something was off. Something about the consistency. I baked them, and they seemed okay, but smelled kind of funny. It was only then that I realized I had put TWO sticks of butter in the batter instead of one–I had put out two sticks for both the cupcakes and the frosting, but I forgot and added both! How silly of me! They taste decent, but I will definitely try these again. Mistakes happen. :) Thank you, Cupcake Project, for posting such awesome cupcake recipes and being an inspiration for me as a baker.

  29. Kelly@RunningBlonde June 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Hey Stef – I have my post about the challenge up! You can see it here:
    http://runningblonde.com/ultimate-chocolate-cupcake-recipe/

    Thanks again for letting me be a part of the fun! I look forward to future challenges.

  30. K-Tyn June 9, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Hey Stef, great job on this recipe. I really admire your tenacity and perseverance (’cause god knows I’d never have the patience to have done this). XD

    On a separate note, do you think this could be adapted into a layer cake recipe? Specifically an 8″ or 9″ cake?

    • Sarah April 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      I was actually going to ask the same question as K-Tyn–i’d like to know what one batch of the recipe translates into

  31. Barbara June 10, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Yes, this is the Ultimate for me! I made it Friday. Today is Monday and it’s still as fresh and moist as when I made them. I love that the cake is light but the flavor so intensely chocolately. Thanks for all your hard work!

  32. Jenn June 11, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    They are fabulous! I made a double batch (got 34 cupcakes). Used the chocolate I had on hand (Nestlé dark chocolate chips and Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder). Texture is amazing, so soft and moist. I frosted them with a variation of Joy the Baker’s Best Chocolate Buttercream (mostly less liquid for piping). I’ve already eaten 3…

    • Jenn June 11, 2013 at 12:28 am #

      Oh, and no coffee, just water.

  33. Chloe June 12, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Would it be possible for me to make these cupcakes without sour cream, or would this make the cupcakes to dry?

    • Jennifer January 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      I left out the sourcream and they were still amazing. I made a double batch that was gluten free (for me) and dairy free (for my daughter). 140 g of gluten free flour per cup of regular flour (20% sweet sorghum, 20% millet, 30% sweet rice, 30% potato starch by weight + 1/4 t psyllium husks per cup of gluten free flour) This means for a double batch I used 280 g gluten free flour and 1/2 t psyllium husks. I replaced the butter with margarine because my daughter is not lactose intolerant but seems to react to milk proteins which is why butter is still not good for her unless it is clarified. I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate and coffee. It made 24 cupcakes. They were wonderfully rich and rose quite well. I think I had to leave them in the oven at least 25min. I made them for my three year old daughter’s birthday party and they were a big hit. The day before for her daycare party I used a different recipe that was gluten free, dairy free and egg free. Those were ok but not all in the same league as these. Because I had made that other batch the day before for comparison I knew that I could leave out the sour cream and still have wonderfully rich cupcakes. Yum. Thanks so much.

  34. Shayna June 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Oh my goodness!!! This is totally the ultimate!! I have been waiting for this and it was well worth the wait! I used Saco Premium Cocoa and Bakers semi sweet chocolate. They literally taste like hot chocolate in cupcake form! I topped them with a caramel swiss meringue frosting. The most perfect cupcake I have ever eaten! Thank you so much!!

  35. Sam C June 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I just made these with coffee, green & black’s milk chocolate, and hershey’s cocoa (mix of natural and dutch processed) and they are amazing! They really are the best chocolate cucpakes I’ve ever had. My new go – to chocolate cupcake recipe.

  36. Chrystina June 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Stopping by from Leslie’s page, I absolutely LOVE how this was executed – and with all of the work and effort that went into these, I absolutely feel like I should try them. I’m looking forward to exploring your site more when I’m not on my phone – and excited to look at all the frosting options :) . PS my coworkers say thank you in advance.

  37. jas June 17, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    Can we have it in grams for the uk bakers please!!!!!!!!

    • andy June 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      hi jas – email me at ajssettle@gmail if you want the translation – well worth a try in my opinion! andy

  38. Channon June 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi Stef,
    My son wants a cake layered with chocolate & vanilla…it only makes sense I want THE ULTIMATE flavors.

    Can both of your ultimate cupcake recipes be used to make a cake?

  39. Rita June 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    I am sorry to say that my family did not think this was the ultimate chocolate cupcake. In our house we like a chocolate stout cupcake recipe I modified from Smitten Kitchen
    Although I did like this recipe as an alternative for when I don’t have stout in the house.

  40. Yuri June 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Congratulations! and a BIG Thank You for sharing the recipe. Love your Ultimate Vanilla too.
    I’ve been waiting for this – Ultimate Chocolate! I made this as soon as I found it. The cupcakes are so moist and yet light. My family loved them and colleagues, inhaled them within a sec!!
    The only concern I have is because the cupcakes are so moist, not all but majority of the patty pans peel away from the cakes after they cooled down.
    Has anyone had the same problem? I wonder if double lining the cupcakes would work…?
    Please advise how I can improve on this. Thank you.

    • Stef June 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      I’d try using different brands of liners. Some fall off much more easily than others.

    • Toni August 27, 2013 at 1:31 am #

      I had the same result; liners coming away from the cupcakes….I have noticed that this is a hit and miss occurance with Chocolate recipes…..I sourced bulk dark brown liners from a bakery supplies store and yes – some recipes pull away and some don’t but it is always Chocolate recipes!
      I wish i knew why…I am going to try different liners just in case because this recipe is EXTRAORDINARILY excellent!!

      Love your work Stef.
      From Toni of littlecupsofheaven.com
      =)

    • Toni August 27, 2013 at 1:31 am #

      I had the same result; liners coming away from the cupcakes….I have noticed that this is a hit and miss occurrence with Chocolate recipes…..I sourced bulk dark brown liners from a bakery supplies store and yes – some recipes pull away and some don’t but it is always Chocolate recipes!
      I wish i knew why…I am going to try different liners just in case because this recipe is EXTRAORDINARILY excellent!!

      Love your work Stef.
      From Toni of littlecupsofheaven.com
      =)

  41. Kristie June 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi there,

    I tried these today for my son’s 3rd birthday, and they sunk?! Is that normal, did I do something wrong? I have reviewed your directions and I feel like it did everything correctly, but surely they should have sunk?

    Oh well, will fill in with frosting and hope they look ok :)

    Thanks!!!

    PS – I did your vanilla cupcake and strawberry whipped cream frosting for my daughters first birthday – HUGE HIT!

    • Tammy's Cupcakes January 25, 2014 at 1:42 am #

      This is form cake central

      If they sink AFTER they come out of the oven they are underbaked. Even thought a toothpick comes out clean. Try the press the center method. It should spring back. If it leaves any indention, then they are not done. And yes, the toothpick can come out clean and still not be done. I no longer use the toothpick method to check my cupcakes.

      If they sink in the oven before you take them out, they are overleavened.

      mine are in the oven…. I’m so excited! The batter definitely tasted like batter of an ultimate chocolate cupcake!

    • Tammy's Cupcakes January 25, 2014 at 2:14 am #

      Ultimate for sure! Delicious and stable.
      my feedback: I sued Caillier Chocolate powder and a Swiss cooking chocolate. I baked for 21 minutes. At 18minutes using the touch/indent method to check for doneness, they were not done.
      I topped with my own vanilla buttercream this time around because I already had it made, but next time I’ll top with chocolate.

      THANK YOU: It’s my new favourite chocolate cupcake recipe!

      Tammy, of http://www.tammyscupcakes.com also on FB

  42. Domonique Chauvaughn June 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Completely delisious !!! I had given up on chocolate cupcakes because the flavor just wasn’t right. This was perfect. For those who are not sure add the coffe! It was exactly what I was missing! Love this blog!

  43. Domonique Chauvaughn June 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Also, I used Hershey’s cocoa powder, giradelli creamy devotion milk chocolate bar (5 square), land o lakes butter, spice island pure vanilla extract , and a hand mixer. If I can do it anyone can. I usually buy Betty Crocker and add a little something. Looking toward to actually saying I can bake!

  44. C.R.E.A.M June 25, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Ah this looks amazing. I have attempted to perfect my chocolate cupcake recipe but this looks intriguing. I’ll be posting mine on my blog ( creamstar.blogspot.co.nz ) soon and might just have to bake double and do a comparison! Thanks for posting

  45. andy June 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    just a quick note of thanks for the recepie. i have literally just finished making these for my children’s school cake sale. the hardest bit for me was translating the recepie from american to english, but having just tasted one it was well worth the effort. i also made the chocolate frosting you suggested and i have to tell you these are the nicest cakes i have ever made!! i look forward to trying more recepies in the future, and my kids will look forward to the tasting im sure – thanks again., andy (UK)

  46. Anna June 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    You said it needs 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks. When you say eggs, do you mean just the egg whites, or the white and yolk.

    • Stef June 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      The whole egg – white and yolk.

      • Andrew February 9, 2014 at 2:35 am #

        So I add 2 complete eggs and then 2 additional yolks?

        Giving me 4 yolks and 2 sets of egg whites?

        • Stef February 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

          Yes.

  47. Melinda June 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    These are AMAZING. I decided tonight last minute that after my 2 year old daughter got a nasty cut/bruise on her toe from dropping a nearly full metal water bottle on it that she needed a treat to make it all better! I used Hershey’s cocoa and Nestle’s semi-sweet chips and only had low fat sour cream on hand, but OH. MY. GOODNESS. I can’t even begin to describe the decadent texture of this cake. The slight crisp on the top that almost resembled a brownie-but not quite-and the cake that was just like velvet. I have a friend whose birthday is coming up. Now I have an excuse to make some more! Oh, and I didn’t have cream cheese (and chocolate buttercream is never chocolate-y enough for me for some reason, it always tastes too much like sugar) so I ate mine straight up no frosting. Again, thank you so much for sharing your talent with the world! It made our house a happier place tonight :-)

  48. CuppyLuv July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    What will happen if I substitute more butter for the oil?

  49. Dot July 3, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    What did I do wrong? It was not moist, very dry and not so good:( i followed ur recipe to a T but something happen along the way. though I love the ultimate vanilla recipe-amazing !!!

  50. Erin July 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    I made these cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. The recipe came out just in time!!! I love the ultimate vanilla recipe and had made them previously several times and was really hoping that this recipe would come out in time. I didn’t include coffee (as recommended) and all my guests thought that these cupcakes were amazing and very chocolaty as is. I used the chocolate cream cheese icing which was quite nice with the cupcakes as the cream cheese gave a nice break from the chocolate and made it really creamy. I do have to say that I thought that they were better when put in the fridge but that is my preference.

  51. Sarah July 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    What about using 100% unsweetened chocolate? That’s what I have here, a lovely brand. But how much more sugar would you estimate I add in? Thanks!

  52. Mary July 7, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Just made these for my mom and dad’s anniversary. My dad is a huge chocolate cake snob but I think that he will be VERY impressed with this recipe.

    I made them into mini-cupcakes (took 12 minutes versus the published 18 for full-sized cups and made 42 cups) and topped with your Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (used 3 cups of powdered sugar versus the published 4 cups).

    Both recipes are light and not too sweet but filled with chocolate! And super-moist!

    By no means am I an accomplished baker but I am an accomplished eater of baked goods and these are right on! I can’t wait to try your Ultimate Vanilla recipe – if I had vanilla bean paste I would made them right now!

  53. didero July 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    hi, we have no sour cream here and i wanted to ask if i could use normal cream instead?

  54. Tamie July 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Made these tonight – so delicious! Haven’t frosted them yet but had to try one just to be SURE they turned out (it’s a rough job but I was willing to do it). They are a bit brownie-like in their taste, but with a wonderful cupcake texture. Mine did have the little bump on top (in the middle) which I have learned usually means my cupcakes will have tunnels. I was so sad. Then when I broke into mine I saw it was perfect inside. Yay!!! I don’t think I need to look for any other recipe after this. Thanks for everyone’s hard work. For my chocolate I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, and my cocoa was Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

    • Stef July 16, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      Yay! Glad they worked out for you! :)

  55. P July 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    These cupcakes look great. I want to make them today but I have a question. Why are some of the ounces off? For example, we all know 1 cup + 8 oz so why only add 7oz of sugar? Same for the flour.
    Thanks :)

    • Jaenmarc August 16, 2013 at 4:33 am #

      I think that only works for butter and chocolates. Different ingredients have different densities, and a cup is referring to volume, not density.

  56. balicravings July 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    these are great and I really like your best chocolate frosting.
    thank you!

  57. GG July 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I followed this recipe exactly and the taste was great but they were dry :(

  58. Abdelrahman ElBedawy July 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    This was the very first thing I’ve ever baked in my entire 16-year-old life and I have to admit that though they tasted utterly ambrosiac I felt that the cake fell apart and couldn’t hold it’s structure when the cupcake liners where taken off -they were by far too moist. Do you think that if I increase the butter and decrease the oil content would be in favour to more consistency? Thank you so much for putting more than alot in this amazing blog.

  59. Ray July 27, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    I had been looking for a chocolate cup cake recipe and when I found this one, I was so excited couldn’t wait to try! I followed each step though I cut all measures by half as I didn’t want to make many for a try. It is hard to get sour cream so I used whipped cream and added fresh lemon juice to create my own sour cream. The cup cakes were amazing! Tasty, very fluffy and melts in the mouth ;) Thank you so much!

  60. db July 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    I love these cup cakes. We baked 3 batches of them, what I found is 18 minutes is too long, they came out dry. I should have done a test bake first before i baked all 3 batches. All in all they are the bomb. i think 15 minutes will do…Next time.

  61. Danielle July 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I made these for my 21st birthday, and they were all really delicious. The cupcake liners were smaller than the standard ones, and I ended up baking them a bit under the stated temperature (320F). It was actually a bit of an accident (hehe) but they tasted awesome and weren’t too dry at all. Thank you for this recipe, I will be making them over and over again! :)

  62. Mayra July 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    OMG the BEST chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever made!! These were sooooo good!! Incredibly soft and moist, not like the usual recipes that turn out tasting like a “Pinguino Marinela”.

    I didn’t have sour cream so I had to substitute it with whole milk; and therefore added a little less water at the end. Also the Hershey’s cocoa is too bitter but since that was what I had i added a bit less cocoa and a bit more melted chocolate.

    I topped them with peppermint buttercream and some others with coffe buttercream. My God, I’ve become addicted.

    Thank you for all your hard work in developing this recipe!!! Mission accomplished!!

  63. Summer August 6, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I made these chocolate cupcakes for a ‘cupcakes and cocktails’ get together I had with some girlfriends. I used a Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar for the melted portion, Hershey’s cocoa powder, Land O’ Lakes butter, and 1/2 cup coffee in place of the 1/2 cup water. They turned out wonderful! Very moist but fluffy and with a rich chocolate flavor. I think using coffee and dark chocolate definitely gives them a more grown-up taste. My 8 year old that loves, loves cupcakes commented that it tasted a little burned, but that was the flavor of the bold coffee and dark chocolate. Once they were frosted, everything came together and I thought the cupcakes were amazing. I made vanilla buttercream topped with sprinkles for half and caramel frosting with dark chocolate shavings and a drizzle of caramel on the others. Both very good! Great recipe!!

  64. Greer August 6, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    My cousin asked me to make cucakes for her 30th birthday and I had a thought to make chocolate cupcakes. I did a google search on, “the best chocolate cupcakes” and found this one. I knew it would be a hit because over a year ago I did the same search for a vanilla cupcake and found it here as well! My cousin said that the cupcakes were “sooooo good!” and I have to agree. I made the chocolate cream cheese frosting – which I was initially leary of – and it was amazing! It doesn’t taste cream cheesey at all. I’ll be writing a blog post about these very soon!

  65. Ames August 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Just made these cupcakes, and they happened to be my very first ever cupcakes from scratch. THEY ARE AMAZING!!!! I had to sub plain yogurt for the sour cream because I didn’t have any s.c., but they turned out completely delicious and fluffy anyway :)
    Thanks for all your hard work in making this recipe….I will now be checking out all of your other recipes!!

  66. Billie August 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    I made these for my granddaughters birthday party after doing a search for super moist cupcakes. As soon as they cooled enough to try i had to have onebto try of course, they are amazing! I made it just like the recipe read, except I used coconut oil instead of vegetable and I used the coffee. They are so very moist and delicious! Thank you for the wonderfully delicious recipe! I have tried many different ones in the past,and I think I finally found my favorite, these will definitely be my go too!

  67. Sirisha August 13, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I tried this recipe n it was a super hit.Now it’s my favorite chocolate cake recipe.thanks so much..

  68. Jonathan August 14, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I live in a high altitude city (SLC) will I need to bake the cupcakes longer?

  69. Marilyn August 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    My my my… I baked these tonight and the cupcakes turned out wonderfully delicious. They sunk just a tad in the middle, but the flavor made that issue non-existent ;) I used Baker’s German chocolate (that was all I had on hand), Nestlé unsweetened cocoa powder. This cupcake really does not need frosting, but I frosted them anyway. Homemade German chocolate frosting on some and store-bought chocolate frosting. I don’t need to search for another recipe. This was quick, easy, moist and oh so flavorful!!

  70. Jaenmarc August 16, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    I have a question. If I used yogurt in place of the sour cream, do I also need to substitute baking powder for the baking soda since I am removing an acid?

    • Stef September 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Nope. You can just make a direct sub.

  71. Kelsie August 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Made this today, but as a cake. Used a 9″ pan that I greased, lined with parchment and greased again. Puffed up nicely and came out without any problems. Baked approx 35 min. Would bake 30 and then check and add 3-5 min. Haven’t tasted yet as it’s for an event on monday (it’s in the freezer). Just wanted people that asked to know that, yes, you can make it as a cake.

    • Rebecca August 26, 2013 at 3:54 am #

      hi kelsie,

      Could you give feedback on the taste and did you decorate the cake? thinking of experimenting this recipe for a tiered cake?

      • Kelsie October 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        The taste was great! I only frosted it with her chocolate cream cheese frosting. Planning on making it today (double recipe) and making a double layer cake. Should work out fine

        • M November 9, 2013 at 12:35 am #

          Thanks for sharing this, Kelsie! I’m planning to make this as a cake as well for my daughter’s birthday. I was wondering what size of pan I was going to use.

  72. Becky August 21, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Hi

    I would like to try this recipe. Sorry if I am being dense but do you have to use dark chocolate as the your favourite chocolate part? Also I am a brit what do you mean by sugar? Caster sugar or something else? Thanks

    • Becky August 21, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Hi

      I would like to try this recipe. Sorry if I am being dense but do you have to use dark chocolate as the your favourite chocolate part? Also I am a Brit what do you mean by sugar? Caster sugar or something else? Thanks

    • Stef September 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      No, you can use any kind of chocolate. I mean granulated sugar.

  73. Peta September 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I made these cup cakes today wow they turned out really well and everyone thought they were really tasty and yummy. I used double cake papers but there was no sticking everything perfect. Thank you Team Chocolate cup cake researchers.

  74. Denise September 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    I just baked these and they were awesome! The only thing is that they didn’t rise. They were really flat and didn’t even rise to the top of the liner. My butter wasn’t room temperature and my sour cream was lite, does that make a difference? Does over mixing cause them to be flat too? Any feedback would be appreciated!

    • Stef September 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      That all could have made a difference (also, maybe you didn’t fill them enough?).

  75. Fadtk September 8, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Hey! I tried this recipe yesterday along with your chocolate cream cheese frosting. Apart from the delectable taste, which my family devoured, I had two issues :
    1. My cupcakes didnt rise. If anything , they sunk in even more. I had used yoghurt as a sub instead of sour cream.
    2. The frosting was very soft. It dripped off my cupcakes. Even though i almost doubled the amount of sugar in it.Even tried refridgerating it, but its still the same. It tasted excellent, but there was absolutely no stiffness. What could have been the reasons.
    please help!

    I love your website! Thanks a bunch for such wonderful recipes! :)

  76. Evelyn Francis September 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I made this recipe this past weekend and OMG! They were absolutely delicious! They reminded me of a cake-like brownie…so rich and chocolatey. Thank you for all the hours you spent to create such a great tasting chocolate cupcake!

  77. Catherine September 12, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    I made these yesterday for my cousins birthday. ….OMG, they are AMAZING!!!! The taste, texture, density is just perfect!! I could quite happily eat them on their own without any frosting. Mine rose beatifully with no air pockets. I was really concerned during the making process that at no time did they require beating as each stage only stated ‘until just combined’ but I decided to follow the instructions exactly and I’m so glad I did! This will definitely be my ‘go to’ recipe from now on. Well done on creating the perfect chocolate cupcake and a big thank you for sharing!!!

  78. Mels September 12, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I made these for a conference my husband attended. I used an easy white chocolate frosting, a beautiful contrast to how dark these turn out. They were delicious and gorgeous. As evidenced by their disappearance! I’m about to make them again for a bake sale. Hope I remember the choices I made last time!

  79. Natalie September 26, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Baked this recipe twice and it came out perfectly! Both times added Nespresso chocolate flavor coffee…really pops the flavor to a new level! You know a recipe is good when you are happy to eat the batter and not bake it! Lol! There’s always competition for who gets to lick the bowl. I do substitute the sour cream with buttermilk, no issues though. And I use unsalted butter. Thanks for an awesome recipe. It’s gone in my book for hand down to kids and nieces. Will definitely do the water donation. I live in South Africa and well aware of the struggles for fresh drinking water….God bless you!

  80. Elle September 30, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    Hi Stef, I thought it was the chocolatiest ever! But my boyfriend thought it was dry and crumbly. I baked the cupcakes for 15 mins at 350F (according to my oven thermometer). I tested with the toothpick and went out clean so i took them out of the oven. Should it be like that? I followed the recipe and added coffee to it. I used Cadbury unsweetened cocoa and 72% chocolate. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • meg April 1, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      The trick, for cupcakes since they are so tiny, is to never have them fully cooked. When you insert a tooth pick you always want one or two crumbs on it as opposed to your tooth pick being completely clean. The will continue baking in your pan after removed from the oven.

  81. Rachel October 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi i was wondering if you used caster sugar in this recipe or normal (coffee/tea) sugar?

  82. Jess October 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Having baked a few winners from your blog, i was quite excited to try these out, investing in some dark couverture chocolate for both the cupcakes and a whipped ganache planned for frosting.

    unfortunately i was pretty disappointed with the outcome, the cupcakes ‘tasted’ awesome, but they were dry and hard to eat, i thought i had timed the baking wrong or not filled the pans too much, so made a second batch, baked for less time, and the same result, a light crispy crumb on the outside and just a throat cloggingly dry cake (which amazed me with a sour cream cupcake recipe) the only saving grace was the creamy whipped ganache which i piled on top to help with consumption..

    sadly this was the only batch of cupcakes i have ever made which i had to ferry ‘unwanteds’ home with me, hanging their little dry cupcakey heads in shame.

  83. Lica October 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    Hello! Can I use Buttermilk instead or Sour Cream?

  84. Stephanie October 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Your recipes have never failed me and are always inspiring. In this case, they inspired me to create an orange twist (now named Boyfriend Cupcakes).

    http://spiritedbites.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/boyfriend-cupcakes-chocolate-orange-cupcakes/

  85. Lori October 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I used this basic recipe but made it gluten free. The cupcakes were amazing, they were moist and fluffy, couldn’t even tell they were gluten free!!! Yum! Thank you!

  86. julia October 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    I keep making these and i keep getting told they are better than *relations* lol i LOVE these cupcakes

  87. Charlotte Sewpershad October 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Best chocolate cup cake ever! I had to bake cupcakes for my triplets birthday to take to class, teachers and children just loved it. I used Nestl’e coco powder and chocloate.

  88. Meryll October 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I made this last night. I topped it with a vanilla cream cheese frosting (4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, 1/4cup sugar, 2tsp vanilla, half the zest of 1 orange mixed on a stiff 8 oz heavy cream with 1 tsp cream of tartar). I am not crazy about cupcakes and when I tried it after cooling off I was not crazy about it but my family loved it! They asked for seconds! I placed the rest in the refrigerator and we ate some again today and lo and behold, they were awesome! It’s like suddenly it transformed to how I would like it! I was so puzzled on how that was possible and I concluded maybe it just needed a longer time to sit for the flavors to really come together. This recipe is perfect and thank you so much for the extra effort on putting the weight measurement in ounces! That really made things easy to follow. This was the first cupcake I ever made and it was a success!!! Oh I used Hersheys Semi Sweet for the chocolate and Equal Exchange organic baking cocoa powder. Guess who’s gonna be eating more cupcakes now? =D

  89. Nancy October 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    This is the best recipe I’ve found. Best chocolate cupcakes ever!

  90. Monica October 28, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    Hello. I was wondering if you can use cake flour instead? I use cake flour in all my cupcakes. Thank you!

  91. Addy Davis October 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    This looks great! Will be trying this tonight.

    Curious though what is the purpose of the water in the recipe?

  92. Dee October 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Thank you!!! This is hands-down, the BEST chocolate cupcake recipe ever!….and i’ve tried MANY! So moist, so flavourful!

  93. Sallie October 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    I just made these for my friend’s wedding this weekend. Absolutely delicious. I used half water\half coffee, just a slight hint of coffee to bring out the richness of the dark chocolate. I also added a dark chocolate ganache to to the centers and topped with a salted caramel cream cheese frosting. It was also a perfect use for the egg yolks I had left over from the lavender orange short bread cookies. This recipe is more moist & chocolatey than the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Thank you.

  94. Dale October 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    These are wonderful……… I just found the perfect chocolate cupcake …….Thank you:)))

  95. LJ November 4, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    i made these with the coffee and they tasted GREAT. they were absolutely moist. But a little too dense for me. is it possible to sub the AP flour with cake flour for a lighter crumb?

    • Monica November 20, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      I don’t know how yours came out dense. I’ve made them about 4 times in the past 2 weeks with AP flour and they came out just as fluffy as boxed cake mixes. Maybe you should try creaming the butter with the sugar longer :-) .

  96. Luisa November 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi, I have been seeking the ultimate chocolate cupcake for quite some time and just happen to stumble across your site. I just made the cupcakes and I have one main concern. Although they are superb and sensational and I could eat about 10 one after another (according to my husband who is definitely no food critic), I can taste an acidic and bitter flavour. How can I rectify this issue and why did this happen? Your response is appreciated. Thanks.

    • Stef November 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Hmm.. not sure why that would be. It could be the type of chocolate you are using. Maybe try a sweeter chocolate next time?

      • Luisa November 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

        Hi. I used Lindt chocolate. And Hollands best cocoa powder. So I believe these are two good quality ingredients. I’m not sure if it could be due to the fact that I oiled the patty tin with olive oil before putting in the batter. Otherwise it seems to me to be the baking soda. What do you think?

        • Alice February 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

          It probably was the olive oil, at certain high temperatures the oil will begin to “cook” and give off an odd taste.

  97. M November 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    I am so glad I found this recipe and your site!

    I first made this last week with a local (cheap) chocolate- I loved the texture, but found it lacking in taste. I baked this again last night to AMAZING results- I used Hershey’s dark chocolate bar mixed with milk chocolate (maybe 2:1), and Hershey’s cocoa powder. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    It made about 28 cupcakes with a 1.5inch base (a little too full- maybe 30-32 would be a better quantity) Baked at about 14 to 15 minutes.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! :) Can’t wait to try out your Ultimate Vanilla one next!

  98. Belinda November 11, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    hi, do you think it is absolutely necessary for the water? I live in a really humid country and somehow when I added the water, the cupcake became way too moist. Do you think I can leave it out?

  99. Angela November 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Oh my goodness!! I’m not big on cupcakes, but am big on chocolate, and so I had to try this recipe. It really is the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake! How do I begin to describe it? Very moist, rich and flavorful. Not dry at all. It reminds me a little of the crockpot chocolate cake I make sometimes that also uses sour cream, and it’s also a lot like the cake I make from the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Special Dark baking cocoa I love to make. By the way, I used the Hershey’s Special Dark baking cocoa and Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips for the 2 oz of chocolate. If you want the perfect dark chocolate cupcake, this recipe is for you! I’m going to fill mine with the dark chocolate frosting recipe on the cocoa, and after I do, I’ll post an update on how that turned out. Thank you so much for this recipe, Stefani!

  100. Monica November 20, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Perfect! Made these 4 times already with consistent results everytime. People rave! I use hersheys dark cocoa with dark chocolate chips for dark chocolate & unsweetened cocoa & semi sweet chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong. No need to look for other recipes. Only thing is I like my cupcakes super moist & as is, the recipe doesn’t cut it. Added 1/4th cup more oil & it was perfect.

    • Monica November 20, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Semi sweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate*

      • Mike November 21, 2013 at 2:01 am #

        I just made these, and followed the recipe to a ‘T’. They were my first scratch cakes of any kind.

        They turned out perfect and delicious! Thank you so much Stef and Cupcake project!

  101. Alexandra November 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi! I look forward to making these cupcakes! I have a question though! The recipe says 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (2 ounces) however half of a cup is 4 ounces not 2 ounces. So does the recipe use 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup of cocoa powder? Thanks!

    • Stef November 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      1/2 cup doesn’t have a set weight, it depends on what is in the 1/2 cup. A 1/2 cup of feathers would weigh much less than a half cup of bricks.

  102. Beano5 November 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I was very worried at first as my mix was very runny and I’m used to more thick, gloopy mix so I tried a test bake. It rose well but like others as soon as they’re out of the heat it shrunk back down. My next bake I have filled the party pans higher, about 90% full.

    They taste great!

  103. Whitney November 29, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    I try all kinds of baking projects from all kinds of baking blogs/sites, but I’ve never commented on anything before. I made these for Thanksgiving yesterday (one batch with caramel buttercream frosting and another with cookie dough buttercream frosting) and they were AMAZING. They were absolutely perfect. Usually my favorite part of the cupcake is the icing, but with these it was the cake part! From now on this will be the only chocolate cupcake recipe I use.

  104. Claire December 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I have just baked these chocolate cupcakes they are absolutely delicious.I have tried so many chocolate cupcake recipes and I haven’t been pleased with them at all.But when I saw this recipe I thought I would give it one last go and I am glad I did.i personally don’t like Dutch Cocoa powder so I tried Cadbury and it worked.Fantastic job!!!

  105. maria December 8, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    can u please change the recipes to gram, because i lived in country where u use gram in everything, if i change my self it is always different in the result, pretty plzzzz, i lovee ur recipe, thank u sooo much :-)

  106. Ilyana December 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    tried them! loved them! thanks for doing all the hard ground-work! Cheers from Panamá!

  107. Contessa December 10, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    hello! can i use this recipe into a cake instead of cupcake? :D cheers!

    • Cinthia December 17, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Yes you can, someone commented above that they made a 9″ cake with this recipe.

  108. fae December 13, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    If the finished cake is half as good as the batter, these really are going to be the best chocolate cupcakes ever!

  109. Whitney December 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    I had a question…if I wanted to use this recipe for a base for other kinds of cupcakes, what would I have to change? Would the whole recipe be changed if I left out the cocoa? And if I used some kind of white chocolate for the 2oz of candy bars, would you be able to taste it a lot? I imagine not, but you’re the expert :) I just absolutely loved this recipe and want to be able to make non-chocolate types of cupcakes that taste as good.

    • Stefani December 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      Have you tried my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes? That’s the recipe that I use as the base for non-chocolate cupcakes. It works really well! I don’t think you would taste the white chocolate all that much, but you could try.

      • Whitney December 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

        Thanks, I’ll definitely check it out! :)

  110. Dee December 18, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I’ve been on the lookout for a perfect chocolate cupcake recipe forever. The ones I’ve made so far have been too sticky, too dry, too springy, crisp on top, too fudgy, and way to eggy. I made these dreading that tell-tale egg taste that I can’t seem to shake off but oh my! My cupcakes turned out softer than clouds, deep and lusciously chocolaty. I’ve never had anything come out so right! Thank you so much! I was going to top with a lovely strawberry and white chocolate mousse but I don’t see them lasting that long

  111. Dee December 18, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I’ve been on the lookout for a perfect chocolate cupcake recipe forever. The ones I’ve made so far have been too sticky, too dry, too springy, crisp on top, too fudgy, and way to eggy. I made these dreading that tell-tale egg taste that I can’t seem to shake off but oh my! My cupcakes turned out softer than clouds, deep and lusciously chocolaty. I’ve never had anything come out so right! Thank you so much! I was going to top them with a lovely strawberry and white chocolate mousse but I don’t see them lasting that long

  112. Parvathy December 25, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Hi,
    The cupcakes were awesome….that is the feedback I received from my family.I am very critical about my baking….though they were incredibly soft and moist and tasted amazing,the top of the cake was a little dry and I could see sugar granules on the top.That is something I donot prefer to see in a cake.Can u please help me out?

    Parvathy.

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  114. hazel December 29, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    I recommend you use this recipe I made them for our Christmas family gathering and they were hands down the best ever cup cakes I have ever made no one even left a crumb on their plate . Since then I have baked another batch and given them to other family members I am excited to say that there were no failures with this recipe. It is so good I wish I had found it sooner !!!!

  115. Angie December 30, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    We had family come out for the holiday and my nephews wanted chocolate cupcakes. I found your recipe and made it. As I frosted one, it barely left my hand before it was gone. When I was done I realized I never got one to try myself. Everyone raved over it. After they had left my husband gave me one had he hid in a ziplock in the cabinet. After I told him how sweet he was for saving one for me he fessed up and said he actually had hid it for himself to eat later. Lol! Thanks for the recipe.

  116. Teresa December 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I must say, I was pretty sceptical of your ultimate chocolate cupcake especially as I made it and saw how watery the batter was. But I’m truly impressed and thankful for your recipe! I was in search of a high rising cupcake and have tried SO many…its not even funny. I tested them a couple at a time using various amounts of batter each time. I finally got my PERFECTLY high rising cupcake making these adjustments:
    1. I used a slightly heaping cup of cake flour
    2. Added 1 tbls of baking powder
    3. Used 1\4 cup of instant coffee ( water added)
    4. 1\4 cup of water
    5. Filled a regular cupcake liner with a scant 1\3 cup of batter (almost to the top, but not…if that makes any sense)
    6. Baked that at 400 degrees for a ” timed” 15 minutes

    ( I used Hershey’s cocoa and my melted chocolate was Ghirardelli) they turned out with a super nice dome which was exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’m also lazy so I just dumped everything in the bowl ( I did sift the flour) and combined it all by hand then put it in the mixer for a very short whirl :-)

  117. Gia December 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Thanks for a great recipe. Previous reviews were right on when they said they melt in your mouth and that they are delicious without any icing. So easy to make. BTW, I used espresso coffee in mine and Ghirardeli baking cocoa. Definitely a keeper!! Thanks for sharing.

  118. Sabrina December 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    This is by far the BEST chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve ever made. I went a little crazy and put a ferrero rocher in the center of the cupcake and topped it with nutella buttercream. I also put vanilla buttercream on some and it was sooooo good. There are some pictures of them on my blog if you want to check it out. Anyways, thank you so much for all the time and effort everyone put into this, it was definitely worth it.

  119. Naomi January 4, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!
    I used this recipe as a guide to make VEGAN chocolate cupcakes and they turned out to be amazing!
    I substituted the egg with 1 banana and the sour cream with a dash of soy milk.
    I also only used about 2 tbsp of oil and 2/3 cup of sugar – personal preference.
    Thanks again!

  120. Daniela January 16, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    AMAZING!

    I made the recipe and sold 45 in an afternoon… the best cupcake ever!

  121. Myranda January 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    These are seriously delicious!!! I had to comment to let you know your attempts and time paid off!

  122. Cole January 19, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    One quick comment about cocoa powders. You cannot use Dutch-process cocoa in a recipe that calls for baking soda as the leavener. Dutch-process cocoa has a neutral PH and is not acidic like natural cocoa. If you are going to use Dutch-process cocoa, you must sub baking powder for the baking soda. I would recommend doubling it, so use 2 tsp. baking powder for each tsp. of baking soda called for in the recipe.

  123. Genevieve February 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    I never post comment, but I absolutely have to break that rule today. These cupcakes are awesome. They are moist and light and so so good. I’ve made them for Christmas, with a chocolate and orange ganache inside and a chocolate orange frosting and it was heavenly. Thanks for this great recipe, it will be my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes for years to come!

    • Stef February 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Love the orange and chocolate combo and I’m so glad that you love ultimate chocolate!

  124. Hannah February 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    These were sooooo amazing, I went ahead and ate one while I was waiting for it to cool :) Favorite cupcake recipe in the world, I can already tell this is going to be my go to recipe!

    • Stef February 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Yay!! Thanks for letting me know!

  125. Monica February 6, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I’ve made this so many times. Recently though I’ve started using cake flour(1 cup+ 2TB) and omg they are that much more amazing…super fluffy bc with all purpose flour it’s not that fluffy. I also do not use any coffee bc some people can actually taste it.

    • Rachel Sierra April 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      Monica do you still add baking soda if using cake flower?

  126. Sammy (Gibraltar) February 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi, I am not a big fan of chocolate, but I know most people love it. So I decided to go on a mission to find a chocolate cupcake recipe and stumbled on to your blog. Having read that you spent a lot of time and effort to perfect a cupcake I thought I’d give it a go. Instead of sour cream I used full fat milk with mascarpone. I made a batch of these cupcakes for work colleagues and they were a hit. I had great feedback. I used Cadbury bournville coco powder and dark cooking chocolate (I grated the chocolate to melt quicker).
    I also used your cream cheese frosting recipe but used mascarpone instead of cream cheese, everyone wanted to know what I did to make the frosting not buttery since they all loved the lightness to it. I did the perfect blend to not make it too sweet or too buttery tasting.

  127. Emma February 13, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Mmmm! My go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes!

    • Emma February 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

      I also used a little yogurt instead of all sour cream

      • Emma March 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

        and u can melt chocolate for cocoa powder

  128. Mo February 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    I must say that this is THE absolute best chocolate cupcake recipe EVER. I’ve tried so many and this one really lives up to its name. My boyfriend isn’t a big chocolate fan but he really liked these. So I just have to say thank you, thank you, thank you! My search is over!

  129. Sheryl Fellows February 15, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    Just baked these awesome cupcakes. I doubles the recipe and go 12 jumbo cupcakes that had a beautiful crown. I used half Hershey’s special dark cocoa and half regular Hershey’s cocoa. The only thing I changed was I used 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate when I doubled the recipe. Just tried one without any icing and it was simply heavenly. I don’t see a need for icing but I’m sure it’s gonna kick it up to the next level. Thank you so much for sharing. Now I can’t wait to try the vanilla.

  130. Sarah February 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    My friend baked the cupcakes from this recipe and they were sooo good. I’m thinking about making some myself now.

  131. Alicia February 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I’ve just finish making these cupcakes. I was really excited to try this recipe, having just made the “ultimate vanilla” with spectacular results. I used a combination of Ghiradelli milk and semisweet chocolate and Hersheys cocoa in the dry mix. I also used the coffee since it was the preferred method by most of the testers. The end result is very disappointing. I did not adjust the measurements of a single ingredient. The cupcakes are light, but also rather dry and although not at all rich or fudgy like a boxed brownie mix, the flavor is very similar. I have slathered each with chocolate buttercream icing, which is all that will save them.

  132. Cate February 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Hi, the recipe for cupcakes was good, but it was very dense and the top was more of a crust then the top of a cupcake. I wouldn’t suggest this recipe

  133. Bj February 24, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    I can’t find sour cream where I am , can I remove it totally or substitute with yogurt? And if I do, what else do I change in the recipe ?

    • Stef February 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      Yes, you can sub it for yogurt. Use and equal amount.

  134. Erin February 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Do you think it would work out if I substituted Canola/vegetable oil with melted coconut oil?

    • Stef February 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Yes, but it might changes the flavor a bit.

  135. Missy February 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    These cupcakes tasted like chocolate but nothing special. They were just okay. The local cupcakery makes them so much better. I would not waste time making these again.

  136. MissMissy February 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    I did not think there was anything special about the way these tasted. They were a little bland. The local cupcakery makes them so much better. I would not waste time making them again.

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  138. Bev March 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Okay, these cupcakes were fabulous. I haven’t read the other comments but, I have not been a successful cupcake baker until trying this recipe. This is the first time I have baked a cake without baking powder and with using part chocolate instead of all cocoa. They are rich, moist and yummy. My next pursuit is the perfect raspberry buttercream to top them with.

  139. Bev March 5, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Okay, these cupcakes were fabulous. I haven’t read the other comments but, I have not been a successful cupcake baker until trying this recipe. This is the first time I have baked a cake without baking powder and with using part chocolate instead of all cocoa. They are rich, moist and yummy. My next pursuit is the perfect raspberry buttercream to top them with. Thanks……

  140. Jasmine March 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    These cupcakes are AMAZING!!! I’m trying to find the one,and I think I did!:) Delisious,Delisious,Delisious!!!!!

  141. danni March 7, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    I googled cupcake recipe bc I didn’t have a box mix on hand and my daughter is having a dinner party tomorrow night.(She is 12, hence, cupcakes.) This recipe is what popped up and I made them (using dark dutched cocoa, 1 t. espresso powder and the cream cheese buttercream, oh and dark guitard chips). They ARE hands-down the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. I am shocked, bc I don’t love cupcakes. Usually frosting is grainy or disapointing and forgetabout the cake itself. I just ate one, the rest are for tomorrow night, and I had to hide them from my houseful of teenagers and try one before serving them and I am so dang pleased with the recipe that I had to write. Super job~

  142. Christine March 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Thank you for this recipe! I made these today for my sons 5th birthday. They were awesome! I will definitely make them again.

  143. Cay March 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    mmmm, just took these out of the oven. Baked until 18 minutes in a very finicky oven and came out beautifully. I did turn the pans around at 9 minutes (very carefully) because things tend to burn in the back. Just ate one of the mutant cupcakes that didnt quite look perfect (my fault!) DELICIOUS. Will add instant coffee next time. Topping them with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

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  145. Tiffany March 30, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    This is such a wonderful recipe, I made this over the weekend, however I seem to of had some issues with it, I made 12 regular sized cupcakes, and one batch of minis, however both of them sank a bit when they came out, and the bottoms are domed up as if the cupcake just sort of collapsed on itself. Maybe I misread the instructions, but it wants me to put all the liquid in at once (oil, vanilla, sour cream) this just felt wrong when I did it. I’m not quite sure what exactly caused them to sink and dome like they did. Any ideas what could have caused this? Maybe I should have added the liquids slower?

    Also my eggs may not have been quite room temperature. Any help would be appreciated!

  146. Siti April 1, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Tried and tested so many chocolate cupcakes and all have come out with “ok” responses. Found this recipe, gave it a go and is loved by everyone. Not too chocolaty and moist. Highly recommend to everyone to try.

  147. Rachel Sierra April 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    the best chocolate cupcakes i have ever made or tasted!!
    I used Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips and cadbury cocoa powder, I added some instant coffee and I can taste a subtle hit.
    I also made a filling of home made turkish delight and added this to the baked cupcakes then used a rosewater flavoured buttercream for the frosting and garnished with a small square of the home made turkish delight on top and dusted with confectioners sugar. As I am in Australia we have Self Raising Flour and Plane Flour options not “All Purpose” so I used Plane and the cupcakes didn’t rise as much as I would like so next time I will add a little more baking soda to help them rise but the mini cupcakes I made still remained soft and fluffy but the larger size became a little dense for a perfect cupcake :)

  148. Josie's Cupcakes April 4, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    I’m so glad I found this, and can’t wait to try it. I can never seem to find the right chocolate cupcake recipe.

  149. Aucourant April 8, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Has anyone successfully translated this recipe into a 8″ cake or two? Since the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake can be made into 2 x 8 inch cakes (‘Ultimate Vanilla Cake’ – also on this site), I’m pretty sure this one can too.

  150. nadira April 11, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    I used to hate chocolate cupcake, but from time time had to make them for family and friends..they usually love the chocolate cupcakes I made but I was not satisfy with the taste or texture or moistness or the amount of chocolate I want to taste in them. I switch recipes after recipes which are known to be the best and came to the conclusion that I love chocolate as chocolate not as cakes or cupcakes. Today I made cupcakes from your recipe and oh my ..this was it. lovely texture, just the right amount of chocolate and cocoa, everything is so well put together what can I say, this is the recipe I want to make for me and eat the whole batch (which I often do with your ultimate vanilla cupcake). thank you Stef

  151. Benj April 12, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Hi. I’m confused with the instructions above particularly on the 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder ingredient. Isn’t 1/2 cup equivalent to 4 ounces? Thanks for your time. Will try out these recipe and will tell you bout the results. :)

    • Stef April 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      A half cup weighs something different depending on what’s in the half cup. A half cup of bricks is much heavier than a half cup of feathers. Enjoy the cupcakes!

  152. Anecdata April 14, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    Hi! I made these with Ghirardelli cocoa and chocolate, and substituted Cointreau for the water. They were AMAZING.

  153. Tami April 15, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    These cupcakes were amazing. I used Hershey’s cocoa and Bakers for the melted chocolate. I did the recipe twice. The first time, I did everything exactly as stated for the 16 cupcakes. And they came out so yummy — super moist and really perfect. But I had to make more for my daughter’s birthday party, so I tripled the recipe, and the cupcakes came out dry. Do I have to tweak things when making a larger quantity of cupcakes?

    Oh, when I made them, I also added a mocha filling for an added touch.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

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  155. Karen April 18, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    I tried your ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe and it was a smash hit! I frosted with vanilla buttercream and a couple of hours before serving, we placed a strawberry sliced in half on top of the cupcake and drizzled it with dark chocolate…yummy! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.

  156. Caroline April 24, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    Okay, let me just say that my 12 year old daughter baked these cupcakes and they were DELICIOUS!!!! OMG, they are truly winners!!!
    Now that I got that out of the way, they did not rise…. She followed the recipe to the T. What happened?
    Can someone please help us? She wants to bake them for her birthday Friday the 25th of April. Yikes!
    Heeeelp!!

  157. Petal April 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I’ve just printed out this recipe, can’t wait to try it. Would you consider using the metric system for consistency? Or an alternative recipe using the metric system? Would be easier to measure grams instead of 1/4 cup of butter, for example. Thanks from Australia!

  158. Chiara May 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I made these cupcakes this past december for my boyfriend’s birthday to RAVE reviews. I used about half ghiradelli milk chocolate chips and half scharffen berger (the really nice 90% dark) for the melting chocolate, and I used hershey’s special dark chocolate cocoa powder as well. Everyone loved it and is begging me to make more! I can’t wait to find an excuse to make them again (it’s difficult only because of the price of scharffen berger and, you know, college).

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  160. Anne May 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Thank you for this! It’s amazing and easy and tasty. I didn’t have sour cream, so I used 1/4 cup buttermilk and it’s moist and flavorful and chocolaty and great. This is a keeper.

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  162. mery zhou May 21, 2014 at 2:54 am #

    I really love this recipe.. it always works for me…
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  163. shopandbake.com May 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    I tried this recipe and it really is the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe. Thanks for this recipe!

  164. lillian mittner May 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    These cupcakes are awesome I used 2 liners in each pan and they came out perfect. Since I am not a big fan of chocolate frosting I used a butter cream frosting that I found on Sarah’s Bake Studio it is really good and left over frosting will keep in the refrigerator for weeks

    Lil

  165. Donna May 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    I’m an experienced home baker and I decided to give this a try even though I have an amazing, go-to, chocolate cake recipe. I used Callebaut Belgian chocolate and Bensdorp Dutch process cocoa, plus 1 tsp instant espresso powder in the water. I baked for 16 minutes at 350. I did not veer from the recipe at all.

    I found the crumb to be so fine, it remind me of Devil Dog cakes. A crumb that fine is much drier than a slightly coarser crumb and that was true of my outcome. I wouldn’t call them bone dry but you definitely need milk to eat these cakes.

    The taste wasn’t anything special at all. When my husband ate one, he asked me why they didn’t taste “normal” manspeak for not the same as always. When I told him I tried a new cake recipe, he told me to stick with the good one.

    I’m sorry, but this baker does not think these are the ultimate. I thought they were mediocre. Not horrible by any stretch but certainly not the best I’ve ever had.

    • Alexe St-Germain May 29, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      Hi Donna,

      Can you tell us what you do differently? I would love to know :)

      Thanks.

  166. Alexe St-Germain May 29, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    I need help!

    I tried this recipe twice, and everytime, when I put together sour cream, oil and vanilla, the sour cream becomes all weard and in small pieces. I just bought the sour cream, it’s brand new.

    Can someone tell me what happened?

    Thank you.

    Alexe

    • Stef June 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      What happens when you bake it? Is the sour cream still weird?

      • Alexe St-Germain June 4, 2014 at 8:32 am #

        Well I decided to throw it away because it was weard and I add the ingredients directly to the preparation…I don’t know if the result is as good as it could be.

        • Julianne Farrey June 15, 2014 at 12:24 am #

          Mine did that too. looked kinda wierd and somewhat lumpy. but i just kept adding ingredients…turned out ok!

  167. Michelle May 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I made these for my little guy’s 4th birthday. They are very good and chocolaty! Thanks :)

  168. Nneamaka Nweke June 7, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    These cupcakes are amazing!! Just made them tonight! So moist and delicious!!! Best recipe ever!!!

  169. Julianne Farrey June 13, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Cannot wait to try these soon! I love that they have real chocolate and sour cream in them.

    • Julianne Farrey June 15, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      Tried these today! I like how chocolatey tasting they are :) And the color is simply amazing too. I put a mocha buttercream on top and put a chocolate covered coffee bean on top each one. We are ready for the grill out tommorow!

  170. Emma June 13, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    I have a question about the eggs. So I’m total 4 egg yokes and 2 egg whites ? Is that correct ?? Please help!

    • Stef June 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      Yes!

  171. cha June 25, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    I used hersheys unsweetened cocoa powder and cjocolate chips semi sweet since I only have those at the moment…best recipe ever, I substituted the soyr cream to buttermilk and tasted so good!!!

  172. Asia June 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Can you substitute AP flour with cake flour?

  173. Irene June 26, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    I’m going to give these a go. I made the “Ultimate Vanilla” cupcakes a while ago and they were fantastic! Question: Can I use 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs and 2 yolks?

    I guess it would not be as rich but with the cream and all that oil/butter I can’t imagine that one yolk will be missed…

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  175. Bloga Momma July 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Ooh! These look delicious! I’ll have to try this recipe soon. I made some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting: blogamomma.com/chocolate-and-vanilla-cupcakes/

  176. Tanyia July 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Hi,
    I just would like to thank you for this lovely chocolate cupcake recipe. It is absolutely delicious. I just made it this evening and now finished the Buttercream Honey Frosting! wow – just so delicious. It will be my favorite frosting and cupcake recipe from now on. I want to also mention the chocolate powder that I used was the Original Sacher Chocolate powder from Wien Austria which is probably the best chocolate powder around – they came out so tasty, light and wonderful. The chocolate I used was Hachez (chocolatier) plain dark chocolate.from Bremen in Germany,that I just happen to have in the house.

    Again, thank you so much for your free recipes and I look forward to viewing the rest of your website!

    Tanyia

  177. Fiona July 12, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Hi I have made your cupcakes many times and loved them, was wondered for this time poor mum that works too much if they would freeze well so I may use the time I have and still hopefully have fresh cupcakes to serve on my little man’s birthday

  178. Missy July 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Would you recommend bleached or unbleached flour? Does it make a difference?

    • Stef July 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

      I used unbleached, but it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

  179. Sherry July 16, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    I just made the cupcakes and followed the recipe exactly, only substituting 1/2 cup of brewed coffee for the 1/2 cup water. The flavor is excellent, however, there is something not quite right. The cupcakes look moist and feel moist when you bite in to them but after chewing they seem somewhat dry…almost as if there is too much cocoa? I’m sure I measured properly. Could it be the type of cocoa that I used?

    I am an extremely experienced baker and have good quality ingredients in my kitchen (I used Ghirardelli Cocoa).

  180. Priscilla July 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    I just baked these tonite. Great flavor. I really don’t like icing but really enjoyed the chocolate buttercream icing recipe. I felt like the cake part was a little dry. I was disappointed because it has a great flavor. Is it possible that I cooked it too long? Or maybe I should have put more batter in the cupcake tin? I timed it to 18 min and the cakes that were 2/3 full came out clean when tested but there were a couple that were more full that didn’t come clean so I baked the undone ones longer. Maybe if I baked them a shorter amount of time, they would be more moist. If not, next time I would fill the center with frosting because they taste amazing!

    • Tammy July 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      I used a scale to weigh the ingredients and I used Safflower oil which I prefer for baking.

  181. Amanda July 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    I made these tonight and they taste was great! I used Callebaut chocolate. However, I followed the recipe to a tee and mine came out dry and crumbly. I was cautious about over mixing but I am wondering if the elevation has anything to do with it? I live in Colorado so I feel like I have a hard time getting my baked goods to perfection!

    • Stef July 25, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      Yes, elevation could definitely be a probably. Baking at high altitude can be tough. Sorry!

  182. Tammy July 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    These are soooo good! The chocolate taste really comes through but not in a way that is too sweet which ruins a good chocolate. I added 2 tsp of instant coffee to the water and I used homemade vanilla and our farm eggs.

    My cupcakes rose but were still flat on top (no humpy middles) and stayed flat after removal from the oven. For cupcakes I want “flat” so that the icing stays put.

    Your site is beautiful!

    • Stef July 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks!!

  183. Lauren July 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I made these for a birthday using Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder and Chocopologie dark chocolate disks. They were amazing! They rose much better than any other chocolate cake recipe I’ve found and had a really nice crumb. Even after 2 days of refrigeration they were still moist and springy. I crumbled bacon into half the recipe (which was awesome) and served them with strawberry balsamic buttercream, chocolate covered strawberries, and an extra piece of bacon on top for garnish.

  184. Crazyforcupcakes August 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    I baked these yesterday and what a beautiful, dark, rich cupcake! I only had one egg, just enough sour cream and only a few (maybe 10) chocolate chips (I had just baked 6 dz+ cupcakes the day before) so I halved the recipe and got 8 beautiful cupcakes. I noticed a slight crumble, I’m sure due to not having that extra egg and a few more chocolate chips, but this recipe will be my go to chocolate from now on!!! I paired it with my suzy-q filling and chocolate buttercream icing, they are amazing!!

    • Stef August 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      Got to ask — what is suzy-q filling?

  185. AKS August 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Made these for the first time today. The heavens opened, angels sang and I wept. Just kidding…but it came close. These were easy to make and they came out of the oven looking divine. Mine took 21 minutes total and they were moist and decadent, even though they were light and airy. I used Ghirardelli Semi Sweet chocolate, Penzey’s cocoa and I added the coffee. I topped these with a butter/cocoa chocolate buttercream swirl and colored flower sprinkles. THANK YOU!!! This is my new go-to recipe and I will definitely try it in cake form. Definitely the ULTIMATE chocolate cupcake.

    • Stef August 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      Yay!! So glad you enjoyed!! :)

  186. Susanne Arena August 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    I did not like these at all!! They were very oily and dense and didn’t look like a cupcake should when they bake and had these horrible volcano holes on top. And the sugar to cream the butter should have been caster sugar, the grainy ordinary sugar never broke down in the mixing process.I won’t be using this recipe again.

  187. Linda Billingsley August 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Made these tonight. I used 72 percent dark chocolate from endangered species chocolate, and the cocoa powder was from raw and organic chocolate powder! Add i used one tablespoon of cake enhancer from King Arthur! I frosted them with teal buttercream icing with teal crystals like the Elsa from the movie frozen. The cupcakes came out awesome! Thank you so much! I will make these for a birthday party later this week!

  188. Aly Hoover August 6, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  189. Cetona frambuesa August 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Me divierte el artículo. Me guardo el Feed y así no perderme nada en adelante.

  190. Madelyn August 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks a lot for this post. Tried the recipe last night. The dark chocolate really adds up to the taste…. Will give it a try once more soon…

  191. Madelyn August 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Dark chocolate is always a best ingredient for such recipe. Tastes so nice and try it again :)

  192. Alexandra August 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    2 questions… can I sub buttermilk for water and can I sub greek yogurt for the sour cream?

    • Stef August 26, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      You can’t sub buttermilk for water, because the acid in the buttermilk will affect the rise. Yes, you can sub greek yogurt for the sour cream, it just won’t be quite as rich.

  193. PaisleyK8 August 21, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    I make a lot of cupcakes and rarely (seriously almost never) do I repeat a recipe … I like to tailor flavors to my recipients’ preferences and/or my whim at the time, plus there are just so many tasty options to try! :) So with that said, about these cupcakes … I have now made this recipe four times in the last few months and fully intend to make it many more! So delicious and moist and the chocolate cream cheese frosting is just perfection! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!

  194. Azi August 23, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Hi,
    Thanks for the recipe. I made a batch last night and they turned out great. However, I forgot to add the 1/2 cup of water but they were fine. I’m reading the recipe again now but can’t see where I would have needed to add water. Is adding water necessary? I might add the water next time before adding the dry ingredients to see if it has a positive affect on the cupcakes. Thanks again for the recipe.

    • Stef August 26, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      It will be more fluffy with the water.

  195. chris August 31, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    I tried this recipe and its delicious!!!
    I just want to ask… How long will it last before it expire in normal temperature and in refrigirator?
    Thanks!!

  196. Elisheva Dadoun September 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Hi! I want to try these Tmrw but I cannot have dairy! Does tofu sour cream work??? Or anything else to replace it with??? Also do we store these in the fridge or is counter top okay? Thanks!

  197. Jasmine September 21, 2014 at 2:41 am #

    Haha I know this is a cupcake recipe, but is it possible to make this into a full 9 inch round cake?

  198. J. McGeary September 30, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    I made this recipe with a gluten-free flour mix (brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, corn starch, xanthan gum) instead of the all purpose flour and it came out AMAZING. Had to bake it a little longer than a regular wheat-based batch, but the texture was overall wonderful- and as per your request I donated to the FilterPure folks afterwards. It’s only fair, for something as great as this. Thank you!

  199. Holly October 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    I have made these cupcakes many times, and my family absolutely love them! I have used high-quality cocoa powder and the cheap stuff, doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to me. When I first made these, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I prefer to use either unsweetened or bittersweet baking chocolate. I always use coffee to give the cupcakes a richer flavor. Mine are always done at 15 minutes. Delicious!

  200. Morgan October 8, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Quick question about the recipe as someone who is brand new to baking: I understand that ‘mix until just combined’ means you want to avoid overstirring. is it best to mix the ingredients with an electric mixer or by hand?

  201. julie rawat October 14, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Chocolate is one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to medicate.Full Melt offers a variety of fun and delicious flavors to choose from including both plain milk and dark chocolate bars for those who want to experience the true flavor of cannabis.

  202. Fatima October 15, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    I trolled the internet for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe and these are amazing! The irony is, that because of time constraints when making them, I did not properly read the method and did everything wrong! Including accidentally baking them at 150 degrees instead of 180 (350F)! They still came out delicious! Thank you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake – 50 bakers crowned a winner | There's No Place Like Oz - June 5, 2013

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  11. Dark Chocolate Sour Cream and a Napa Blanc de Noir | bubblesandsprinkles - July 9, 2013

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  35. Christmas Cupcakes and Holiday Fun | Luxury Travel and Product Nut - December 22, 2013

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  54. Chocolate Cupcake – A Perfect One For Everyone - May 4, 2014

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    [...] the chocolate cupcakes, I used the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe and Giada’s Chocolate Frosting [...]

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  57. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosted Cupcakes - June 28, 2014

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  60. Mouthwatering Mocha Almond Fudge Frosting | Cupcake Project - July 12, 2014

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  65. Cupcake Wars | Bunneh Baking - October 6, 2014

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  66. snag that man | Emerging Gracefully - October 10, 2014

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