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Classic Chocolate Cupcakes

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes! These are your ultimate chocolate cupcakes paired with a velvety smooth chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake is an easy one bowl method that requires zero electric beaters. Just your spatula! The frosting is created in one bowl with your beater, making it so luscious and smooth. 

Have you ever been searching for that perfect chocolate cupcake recipe that is simple and a never fails? That doesn’t require any out of the norm ingredients such as sour cream? A recipe that actually makes 12 regular sized cupcakes? Well I know how you feel! I’ve searched time and time again in the past and had chosen one and sometimes they work and many times they basically fail. How hard is it to find or make just your basic chocolate cupcakes? Apparently more difficult than anyone would imagine, lol! 
So I’m here today to share with you my basic/classic chocolate cupcake recipe that is paired with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting. You can either use this frosting recipe or a different flavour altogether. The cake itself is amazing, soft, moist and rich, just how a chocolate cupcake should be. It’s created in one bowl making this recipe easy to accomplish. It uses dutch process cocoa powder which I love to use for baking as it’s richer compared to regular natural cocoa powder. Using this variety will result in that rich dark chocolate flavour and look. 

You’ll also be adding a teaspoon of instant coffee powder, which enhances and deepens the cocoa flavour even further. The boiling water also contributes the rich chocolate flavour, the cocoa blooms in the hot water. Can you tell we are really trying to achieve the best chocolate flavour for these classic chocolate cupcakes? It may sound like a lengthy process but it’s really not, they’re just regular ingredients which work so well together. 
Now, the consistency of the cake batter is thin, so it’s best to use either an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon to spoon your batter into the patty pans. It did take me a little longer than usual to get my batter into the pan as I was trying my best to avoid any spillage of the thin batter but as time goes on, the batter does actually thicken up slightly, making it easier to work with. So you may prefer to sit your batter aside for 5 minutes for it to thicken slightly but then get your batter into your pan so they can bake, we don’t want them left on the bench for too long as the baking soda will begin deteriorate. 
Let’s talk about that beautiful chocolate buttercream frosting. What I love about this frosting recipe is it has all the characteristics of your classic buttercream, is rich in chocolate but doesn’t have multiple cups of icing sugar. I have buttercream recipes on my blog which I have used 3+ cups of icing sugar in, years ago, now I look back and think, omg why?! I understand many buttercream recipes use quite a few cups of icing sugar to achieve that perfect texture however I have discovered another way. 

I used to add under 100g of butter and lots of icing sugar. Now I add above 100g of butter and less icing sugar. I haven’t tried this method making plain buttercream (without the chocolate) as this version I also added cocoa powder, which is another dry ingredient. This recipe I have used 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Melted dark chocolate also adds more moisture and chocolate. Basically, the quantities of each of these ingredients work so well together that it creates luscious buttercream without the overload of many cups of sugar. 
Yes there’s quite a bit of butter and chocolate in this but can we just let chocolate cake and frosting be chocolate cake and frosting? It’s called balance 🙂 
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Classic Chocolate Cupcakes


These are your ultimate chocolate cupcakes paired with a velvety smooth chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake is an easy one bowl method that requires zero electric beaters. Just your spatula! The frosting is created in one bowl with your beater, making it so luscious and smooth. 


  • Cake
  • 1 cup (150g) plain all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup (50g) dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder  
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar, raw or white 
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (approx. 60g in shell)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk of choice, I use almond milk
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water  
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 140g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature 
  • 100g dark chocolate block, I use Cadbury baking dark chocolate block 
  • 1/2 cup (50g) Dutch process cocoa powder 
  • 3 Tbsp milk of choice, I use almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) icing/powdered sugar


  1. Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a regular size muffin baking pan with cupcake patty liners. This recipe makes 12 regular size cupcakes. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk through coffee and both sugars until well combined. 
  4. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. 
  5. Pour in boiling water and gently fold until well combined. Take your time with this step as it takes a few moments for the water to blend well with the batter. It will eventually turn into a thin smooth batter. 
  6. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling each 3/4 way full. The batter is thin so using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon is helpful, being careful not to drip it. It will thicken up slightly if left for 5 minutes. 
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean and some have slightly cracked on top. 
  8. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  10. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, or a large mixing bowl using an electric hand beater, add softened butter. Beat for a few seconds until it breaks down and becomes creamy. 
  12. Prepare a double boiler with a heat proof mixing bowl over simmering water. Break chocolate into squares and place in the bowl.  Gently melt over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once completely melted and smooth, remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool slightly. You don’t want it scolding hot to the touch, needs to be warm to the touch or close to room temp.
  13. Pour in cooled chocolate and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  14. Add cocoa powder and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. 
  15. Add milk and icing sugar, beat until well combined and smooth, leaving no pockets of sugar of cocoa. Scraping down the sides as needed.  
  16. Prepare a piping bag fitted with a medium sized closed star nozzle. Fill bag with the buttercream and pipe onto cupcakes. 
  17. Serve and enjoy!
  18. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated or in a dark pantry, for 3-4 days.
  • Prep Time: 30min
  • Cook Time: 25min


    1. Hi Carina! Yes I think using coconut sugar in place of the caster sugar will be absolutely fine. I have used coconut sugar in chocolate cakes before and it’s wonderful. Hope that helps!

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