Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with the Ultimate Chocolate Frosting

Having this classic recipe in your recipe box is a must! These perfect Chocolate Cupcakes are paired with the most amazing Chocolate Frosting. These amazing moist chocolate cupcakes will be your new favorite!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!

This has been a literal labor of love! I have tested recipes from every major recipe source and have not been able to find the one I considered to be perfect. My ideal recipe is one that is perfectly domed, that has the right amount of chocolate, that has a light and moist crumb.

This. Is. It.

Look no further… this is the BEST Chocolate Cupcake Recipe!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!

Not only is this the perfect chocolate cupcake, but I think I have found the perfect chocolate frosting. Let me tell you a little bit about why: this is a cream cheese based chocolate frosting which is a perfect compliment to a rich and decadent chocolate cupcake. You get a slightly enhanced (amplified) chocolate flavor with the frosting that is then paired with a natural and pure chocolate cupcake.

It’s cupcake magic!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!

I was surprised at how well this frosting held up to being piped. It holds it shape but remains soft, light, airy, and fluffy.

Here is a little video on how I did that!


Tips and Tricks:

If you have my book, Surprise Inside Cakes,  you know that my chocolate cake recipe uses sour cream. I am a big fan of Sour Cream Chocolate Cake and love that I was able to incorporate it into cupcakes. I also love how thick it makes the batter; you can scoop it with an ice cream scoop and every single cupcake will be perfectly proportioned.

The better quality ingredients you use, the better your cupcakes and frosting will taste. Try for room temperature ingredients when making these chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting.

Is it the same as my Best Chocolate Cake recipe? NO! Chocolate cakes and cupcakes are different in terms of the chemistry. They bake for different periods of time in different qualities and the recipe needs to reflect and adapt to those changes. It is best to use a cake recipe for cakes, and a cupcake recipe for cupcakes.

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!

This chocolate frosting is not your grandma’s chocolate frosting. There is a slightly tangy flavor… it is for that reason that I highly recommend it with this specific cupcake recipe. They truly compliment each other perfectly. If you are a true chocolate aficionado, try a bittersweet chocolate in the cupcake AND frosting. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much of that pure chocolate flavor comes through.

This Chocolate Cupcakes recipe is perfection!

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ultimate Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 18m
  • Total Time: 33m
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/2 c (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c (115g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 c (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips or chopped)
  • 1 1/2 c (3 sticks or 345g) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 c (250g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 c (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 -5 tablespoons brewed hot coffee



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. This recipe makes 12-14 cupcakes, so prepare one pan (or maybe two) with cupcake liners.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each time. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment; add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream and whisk on medium speed until smooth. (about 1 minute)
  4. In a medium sized bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the cooled butter/chocolate to the stand mixer and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly add in the flour mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time with the stand mixer on low.
  7. As soon as you are done adding the flour turn the mixer off. (You do not want to over-mix!)
  8. The batter will be very thick.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes. The center of the cupcake should spring back up if gently pressed.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. (should be about 1 1/2 minutes total)
  2. Place room temperature butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer, starting on low, then increasing speed to medium-high. Cream together until light, fluffy, and a pale yellow.
  3. In a separate bowl, add 4 tablespoons of hot coffee to cocoa and stir. If the mixture is still very thick, you can add 1 more tablespoon of hot coffee.
  4. Turn the mixer off and add in cooled chocolate and cocoa/coffee mixture.
  5. Turn mixer on to the lowest setting and add in confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time. Once incorporated, turn mixer on high for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Frosting will darken as it sets.
  7. Make sure cupcakes are cool before frosting.
  8. Garnish with sprinkles (chocolate jimmies) if you want!
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i love this recipe. i used fresh cream and tasted yum!!! its not too sweet but with the butter icing it really balances the sweetness


Hi, can I use stork instead butter…


I have been searching for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe! It makes sense that you say cake and cupcakes need to be from different recipes. I have a question along the same lines.. can this (and the cake recipe) be doubled without adjustments? I can double and triple and quadruple my vanilla cake recipe and it’s perfect every time that I have yet to find a Chocolat cake or cupcake recipe that will work when I double it.


I tried this recipe today. The cupcakes were perfect, but the frosting – though delicious, was very runny. I added 4 tablespoons of brewed coffee, not 5. I had a hard time trying to pipe the frosting and ended up in a big mess. And the quantity was way too much for 12 cupcakes.

Next time I make these, I would probably halve the quantity of frosting and add only about 1 tablespoon of brewed coffee.


    The consistency will vary from kitchen to kitchen and depends on your kitchen’s circumstances. Also, the amount will vary as well because people pipe differently and tend to use different amounts. 🙂 That being said, feel free to do as you did, and make adjustments as you go. You could also add more confectioners sugar to stiffen up the frosting a bit.


      How about chilling the frosting in the fridge a bit before icing the cupcakes, would that help with firming up the consistency? Also could you preserve some of the leftover frosting for use later?

Sarah Sims

To me, these taste more like brownies. They are very dense. They have a nice rich chocolate taste, but the texture isn’t fudgy cake like my family loves!


Following the recipe lead to extremely runny frosting, even after adding extra confectioners sugar. I don’t even see how chilling it will help. The photos with pretty piped frosting is definitely misleading.
I should have read the comments before choosing this recipe!


    The frosting piped on the cupcakes is the recipe, so not sure how that is misleading? It’s a good idea to work with recipes as the circumstances in your own home and supplies will vary from mine. Sorry you had issues! Hope you find a recipe that works more to your liking.


    I think you need to check your ingredient quantities as the frosting was way too runny to use.

      JoJo G

      Frosting was perfect as written, I had no problems with it. Maybe your butter was too warm.

Nadia Gardini

I have tried these delicious cupcakes. Even after a few days they remain soft and damp.
Yes, they are the perfect chocolate cupcakes.
Thank you, Amanda! 🙂


Brilliant cake recipe, they came out perfect; not too sweet, and moist, but not too dense. I made a vanilla buttercream to top them with so I don’t have any comment to add regarding the accompanying frosting recipe.

JoJo G

Made these cupcakes and the frosting today. Omigod, the cupcakes are amazing! I didn’t think I’d love the frosting because I don’t usually like cream cheese frosting, but it works perfectly with the cupcakes. Can I say again that the cupcakes are amazing? I’ve been a baker for 25 years and this is one of the best new recipes I’ve tried. The frosting came out perfect as written. The only complaint I have, which really isn’t a complaint at all, is that I have more than half of the frosting left. It’s a lot for only 12 cupcakes. But that’s OK, it’s in the fridge giving me an excuse to make more cupcakes!


    SO glad you liked them!! Thanks for the feedback on the frosting amount… I will take a look at improving it! <3


I do not like the taste of coffee at all. Can this be tasted at all or would it work without the coffee?

Beth Hocking

Absolutely love the blog but my waistline doesn’t! How much chocolate in grams would I need? When I convert 2oz it says I only need 57g…is that correct? Planning to make these for my daughters birthday party
Thank you


Replacement for sour cream? TIA


Is there anything i can substitute sour cream with? Its very hard to find sour cream where i live.


    I’m no pro, but I often use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.


I have been baking for years and have gotten my recipes from sites like this one. I made these ultimate chocolate cupcakes, 2 batches, and followed the recipe exactly like it says. Wish I could post a picture, but they did not rise and they are so dry that they crumble. I will not be making these again and will take it off my Facebook page. I was very disappointed.