Two chocolate cupcakes on a white background
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4.88 from 163 votes

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

This is the best chocolate cupcake you will ever eat!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chocolate cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories: 218kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder natural or Dutched will both work with this recipe
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces chocolate Choose your favorite. You can use any 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 doesn't contain mix-ins like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc. will work.
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 9 tablespoons vegetable oil This is the same as 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon - measure in a liquid measuring cup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water room temperature, measured in a liquid measuring cup

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • 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. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  • Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
  • Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
  • Mix in water until just combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and put in the oven.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

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.
  • Using different cocoa powders will alter the taste of the cupcakes, but you really can't go wrong - it's all chocolate!
    • This chocolate cupcake recipe has been tested with many different kinds of cocoa powder, both Dutch-processed and natural. All varieties work well! If you've only ever tried one brand of cocoa powder, I suggest experimenting with some new ones to see which flavor profile you prefer. Some of my favorites are Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder, Penzeys Natural Cocoa Powder, and Cacao Barry (when I want something really dark).
  • The chocolate in these cupcakes doesn't have to be one typically earmarked for baking - any chocolate, bar, chips, or discs that don't contain mix-ins (like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc.) will work. This way, you can choose whatever type of chocolate you prefer to eat: milk, dark, or even flavored chocolate bars.
    • I and Cupcake Project readers have tested this with so many different kinds of chocolate with amazing results. When I make these for a special occasion and want something fancy, I reach for chocolate with less sugar and a more complex flavor. A melted Patric Chocolate bar yielded my favorite version of these cupcakes to date. I also enjoy TCHO, Scharffen Berger, and Lily's sugar-free chocolate.
  • If you don’t have sour cream in the house, I’ve done extensive testing and found that yogurt works perfectly as a substitute for sour cream.
  • For making chocolate cupcakes, use any mild vegetable oil.
    • I’ve used canola oil, generic vegetable oil, and safflower oil. While I love using flavored oils in baking, keep in mind that they will change the flavor of these cupcakes. You can experiment with using non-neutral oils and try baking these cupcakes with pistachio oil, for example, to get a totally different taste.
  • You can make this recipe as a cake. You will just need to increase the baking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3.6% | Calcium: 1.8% | Iron: 5.5%