Just because it's from scratch, doesn't mean it has to be hard! These Easy Chocolate Cupcakes make baking easy and will get you from Point A to Point B with the least amount of effort and yield moist, delicious, chocolatey cupcake results.
These Easy Chocolate Cupcakes are loaded with major chocolate vibes and can be used as the base for any chocolate cupcake recipe. We use it for our Oreo Cupcakes, Mummy Cupcakes, and even our Ghost Cupcakes!
Looking for more awesome cake recipes to try? Bookmark these easy Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes in your internet browser for next time!
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED...
There are three things you will want to do before you begin mixing up your easy chocolate cupcake batter from scratch:
- Preheat your oven
- Prepare your pan
- Set out your ingredients
PREHEATING THE OVEN AND MORE OVEN TIPS
When it comes to baking, preheating well before your cupcakes go in is very important. If your oven is not hot enough, and you add your cupcakes too early, it will throw off your bake time.
PREP THE PAN FOR EASY REMOVAL
The next prep item is to prepare your pan. It is always best to use muffin/cupcake liners rather than adding your cupcake batter directly to the baking pan. Don't risk struggling to get your cupcakes out! This simple prep step 100% ensures easy removal!
SET OUT YOUR INGREDIENTS
This is a big one when it comes to making some seriously perfect chocolate cupcakes from scratch.
Setting out your ingredients before cooking or baking is called "mise en place," and if you practice this often, you will begin to see what a major difference it makes.
I don't necessarily think you have to measure out the ingredients, but I do find just setting them out in the order in which you will use them is very beneficial. This extra little step both streamlines the baking process and keeps you from making mistakes like forgetting ingredients!
MAKE SURE YOUR INGREDIENTS ARE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
When it comes to baking in general, but especially when making these Easy Chocolate Cupcakes from scratch, it's best if all of your ingredients are as close to room temperature as possible. Meaning they are not warm nor do they have any form of a chill left to them from the refrigerator.
Room temperature ingredients can cream and blend properly. If your ingredients are too cold when mixed, your cupcakes will likely bake up more dense than intended and will not properly rise. The same goes for ingredients that are too hot.
The culprit ingredients when it comes to temperature are typically butter, eggs, and milk.
For this Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, we will be using canola oil in the cake batter, so you won't have to worry about the butter, but do make sure your eggs and milk are at room temperature before adding them to the batter!
TIPS FOR BRINGING INGREDIENTS TO ROOM TEMPERATURE FAST
If you are anything like me, it's very likely you will forget to set your ingredients out hours before it is time to bake your chocolate cupcakes from scratch.
Luckily, there is a quick fix cure for this type of forgetfulness! If you'd like to bring butter or milk to room temperature in a jiff, the microwave is your best friend.
Butter & Milk | Sticks of butter can be placed on a microwave-safe plate and microwaved at 5 to 10-second intervals until they are softened to room temperature. The same goes for your milk!
Add the milk to a microwave-safe pitcher and again, microwave at 5 to 10-second intervals until the milk is no longer chilled.
Eggs | If you need to bring eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl in the sink and allow hot water to run over them for about one minute. Then, turn off the faucet, and allow the eggs to sit in the warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes. After the time is up, the chill will have been removed from your eggs and they will be just right for baking!
We highly recommend our Chocolate Whipped Cream as a topping!
HOW TO MAKE EASY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH
Whisk Dry Ingredients | The first thing you will do when it comes to making these Easy Chocolate Cupcakes is to whisk up your dry ingredients!
To do this add the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk these ingredients together until they are well combined. Then, set the bowl aside and move on to the wet ingredients!
Mix Wet Ingredients | The first two wet ingredients you are going to work when it comes to whipping up these chocolate cupcakes from scratch are sugar and eggs. Remember, it is important that your eggs are at room temperature before you start mixing!
Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large bowl and your hand mixer. Mix the eggs and the sugar together on medium-high speed for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture appears pale yellow, and is notably thicker.
Then, add in the oil and the vanilla extract and mix until these ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Alternate Dry Ingredients and Milk | Once those wet ingredients are well combined, you'll add in your dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk. Again, remember that the milk needs to be at room temperature for your Easy Chocolate Cupcake batter before it goes into the batter. Once all of the milk and dry ingredients are mixed in, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix once more.
Fill the Pan and Bake | Fill the baking cups halfway full and transfer the pan to the oven to bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes.
Under no circumstances should you fill your cupcake liners more than halfway full. Overfilling will lead to mushroom-like cupcake tops with crispy edges. Halfway full --can't stress that enough.
Once the cupcakes have finished baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
This Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Your standard cupcake pan has 12 cupcake wells. This means you will likely have two pans' worth of cupcakes. If you are baking two pans of cupcakes in the same oven at the same time, it is especially important that you rotate the pans halfway through the bake time.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR CUPCAKES ARE DONE
The easiest way to tell when your cupcakes have finished baking is to gently poke it in the center of the cupcake with your finger. If the cupcake bounces back, they are finished baking! If an indention remains in the cupcake, they need to bake for just a little while longer.
However, you want to be careful once you are close to the "done stage" because these tiny little cakes can go from almost cooked to completely over-baked in a matter of minutes. Watch them closely at this point, setting the timer for no more than an additional 2 to 3 minutes more.
HOW TO MAKE EASY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Homemade buttercream frosting is much easier to make than you'd think! All you need to make the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting for your Easy Chocolate Cupcakes is butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract, and salt!
Note, room temperature butter is so extremely important! Your frosting cannot blend smoothly unless your butter is at room temperature. You'll know your butter is at room temperature if you can easily poke an indention into the butter stick. It should feel soft, but should not appear melty.
Once your butter is at room temperature, all that's left is to throw all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together until they are smooth and fluffy!
Then, spoon the frosting into a piping bag (if desired), fit it with a large pastry tip, and pipe great big swirls across the tops of the cupcakes. Then, serve and enjoy!
HOW TO STORE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH
Your chocolate cupcakes will stay good in an airtight container or covered cake stand for up to 2-3 days, but if you'd like to preserve them for longer than this, freeze them!
Cupcakes without frosting will be easier to store (as uniced cupcakes will fit better in most containers), but regardless, these Easy Chocolate Cupcakes will keep in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to two months in the freezer!
6 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
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- Butterfinger Cake
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Just because it’s from scratch, doesn’t mean it has to be hard! These Easy Chocolate Cupcakes always yield delicious, chocolatey results!
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and have ready two 12-cup muffin tins lined with baking cups.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the sugar and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until visibly lightened in color and thickened. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until evenly incorporated.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on low until evenly incorporated. Then, add half of the milk and mix again. Add the remaining dry ingredients, mix on low, and add the remaining milk. Mix until evenly incorporated. Using a spoon, scrape down the side of the bowl and mix once more.
Fill the baking cups halfway full, and transfer to the oven. Do NOT overfill the baking cups. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting, you will need a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter to the bowl, along with the powdered sugar, cocoa, milk, vanilla, and salt, and begin mixing on low.
Once the sugar is mostly incorporated, you can begin mixing on medium-high. Mix for 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy.
Add big scoops of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip. Twist the bag shut and pipe swirls across the surface of the cupcake. Serve and enjoy!