Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

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The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe -make chocolate cupcakes with silky chocolate ganache and the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting. Chocolate lovers, these chocolate cupcakes are for you!

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream Frosting

If you like chocolate, you are in for a real treat today! I created the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. I’ve sampled a lot of chocolate cupcakes from bakeries around the country and I have to say that these are the very best. I don’t mean to brag, but it’s true. I am so in love with these cupcakes.

Bring on the Chocolate!

There are a few steps involved, but each step is SO worth it!

  • Start with chocolate cupcakes
  • Add a layer of silky chocolate ganache
  • Top with the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • Add mini chocolate chips because they are cute and the more chocolate the better, right?
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Ganache, Frosting, and Mini Chips

The basic chocolate cupcake recipe is simple. Super moist and super chocolaty! After the cupcakes have cooled completely, I spoon the chocolate ganache on top. It is silky, smooth, and SO divine! I also top the cupcakes off with chocolate buttercream frosting. YUM!

Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe makes the best Chocolate Cupcakes

I am normally not a big frosting fan. I like a little, but usually scrape most of it off. Not with this chocolate buttercream though. It is hands down the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever tasted. I could eat it by the spoonful! It is the perfect finish to my chocolate cupcakes! I like to pipe a big swirl on top!

Half dozen of the best chocolate cupcakes on cooling rack

The mini chocolate chips just add a nice little decoration. Chocolate sprinkles would also be fun! Look at that puddle of chocolate ganache! Mmmmm!

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe for the Best chocolate cupcakes

Rich and Delicious

Make sure you grab a glass of milk to go with these cupcakes. They are RICH! I didn’t think I would be able to eat an entire cupcake by myself. I told Caleb I would share with him, but I ended up eating every last crumb. He had to get his own:) They are rich, but not too rich. I could devour one any day!

This Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe is perfect for any celebration. I will be requesting them for my birthday! And if you don’t have anything to celebrate, think again. Every day is a celebration, especially when you have Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes. They are the BEST. Enjoy!

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Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate ganache, buttercream frosting, and chocolate chips
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Chocolate Cupcake Recipe that Makes the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes!

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

The BEST chocolate cupcakes you will ever eat.
4.42 from 34 votes


For the cupcakes:

For the chocolate ganache:

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute or until batter is smooth. Slowly pour in boiling water and mix until batter is smooth. Don’t over mix.
  • Fill liners about ½ full with batter. Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Drizzle in the cooled melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles around the edges or you can heat it in the microwave. Pour cream over the chocolate chips. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache comes together, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Place the frosting in a pastry bag. Spoon the ganache onto the center of the cupcake. Spread to the edge of the cupcake. Let the cupcakes sit until the ganache firms up, about 5 minutes. Pipe chocolate buttercream frosting over the ganache. Decorate with mini chocolate chips, if desired.
  • Note-if you want to pipe a high frosting swirl on the cupcakes, you might need to double the frosting recipe. It just depends on how high you go with the frosting.


Calories: 363kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 161mg, Potassium: 159mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 324IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2mg

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. My cousin’s baby’s 1st first birthday is right around the corner and she asked me to bake some cupcakes for the celebration. These look like the perfect addition to the party. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  2. SOOO this is EXACTLY what my face needs on Monday morning. Chocolate is the ONLY way to get through the first day of the week…and this has LOADS of it! DELISH. Pinned!

  3. Maria, these cupcakes are seriously the ultimate chocolate cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes with ganache AND chocolate buttercream; yeah, amazing!

  4. If you need me, I’ll be diving head first into these amazing cupcakes!!

  5. Bring on the chocolate is right! I’d like to cuddle up with a good book and one of these babies right now!

  6. My inner chocoholic is totally wanting to stop everything (including cooking dinner) and make these. The ganache plus the frosting makes it amazing, I’m sure!

  7. Oh me me! I love chocolate! These looks incredible, over-the-top and magical all at once!

  8. What can i use to substitute the Dutch processed cocoa with i have unsweetened hershys cocoa and sweetened cocoa which one would be better?

  9. This is definitely a chocolate lover’s cupcake! Although I don’t like to eat a lot of frosting at once, I do love the look of the mountain of frosting on top.

  10. Oh my word, these are stunning! I just want to read right into my screen and grab one!

  11. I don’t get this idea of cupcakes not covered to the edge. Every one I have had has been dry where there is cake left uncovered. I agree it presents a pleasing aesthetic , but is there a way to prevent exposed cake from drying?

  12. WOW. There would be no scraping off that delicious frosting off those cupcakes! Give me a spoon!

  13. So I’m completely inexperienced in piping, but I’d love to make cupcakes that look just like this. They’re beautiful! What kind of tip did you use? And how big was it? Thanks so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to make these.

  14. Love these cupcakes. My kids think it’s like Kara’s cupcake except homemade. I did not do the ganache but still taste good. Just enough sweetness. My frosting did not look picture perfect as I just used a ziplock bag with tip cut out. Looks better after I added the mini chocolate chip.

  15. I would love to try these but I don’t want to make so many, would it be possible to half this recipe ?

  16. My son and I made these for his soccer team. We were doubtful when we saw how thin the batter was. But these came out perfectly. They were most and light with a nice crumb–delicious! Definitely our new go-to cupcake recipe.

  17. We made a very similar cupcake at our shop years ago. A few additions, please add unsalted butter and vanilla to your ganache recipe, it’s much better and more a true ganache. Do sub that boiling water for coffee, because coffee brings out all the best in chocolates flavor. And I agree that melted chocolate to make buttercream is the only way anyone should make chocolate frosting ever. Just seeing these took me back down memory lane. 🙂

  18. Hi,

    Just checking what sort of semi sweet choc chips to buy? Also with heavy cream do you mean double cream?

    Hoping to make these tomorrow night for my students 🙂

  19. Just made these cupcakes and seriously..these are the best I have ever made or tasted..the cupcake is super moist and full of flavour and the ganache and frosting combo is amazing. That frosting is without doubt the best chocolate frosting ever!! So good 🙂

  20. I just made these, but I used cake flour and a cup of boiling fresh coffee in place of the cup of water. These cupcakes turned out to be light and fluffy with a nice chocolate flavor (I used Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa). I would totally make these again they were delicious!

  21. Yeah!! This is exactly what I needed to find today! My husband loves chocolate cupcakes and his birthday is in 2 weeks!! I’ll definitely be making these! *Pinning for the future*

    Have a great week!

  22. I’ve read up on Dutch Process Cocoa and the information I get is that it doesn’t work well if you have baking soda in the recipe.  “When a chocolate recipe calls for baking soda, using Dutch process cocoa doesn’t fare well. The cake made with Dutch process cocoa, right, doesn’t rise and has a soapy aftertaste.” Perhaps the fact that this recipe calls for both baking soda and baking powder makes this case different? Appreciate your thoughts.

    1. I make the recipe with soda and powder and they turn out great with the Dutch Process Cocoa. Interesting though!

  23. This is a wonderful cupcake recipe.  They bake up beautifully and once cool, the paper liner comes off really well.  I lessened the sugar by 1/2 cup and they are great.  

  24. Super delicious and yummy… I baked the cupcakes with your recipe with my 4 year old daughter and they turned out to be amazing and very easy to bake!!

  25. The worst chocolate cups I have ever made….a waste of my products… The batter was very running. To much raising products. No balance whatsoever… I wanted something special… This wasn’t it…

  26. The worst cupcakes I have ever made. Far too much  baking powder and soda…. Where’s the chocolates? Such a waste of my product s….

  27. I wish these few pointers were mentioned in the recipe:
    1) Tell people that the batter will be VERY runny so that we don’t think something is terribly wrong
    2) The cupcakes should ONLY be filled 1/2 full (or less) because these don’t rise like cupcakes normally would and any excess just runs out onto the pan.  
    3)Because of problem 2 above, I suggest letting the cupcakes cool in the cupcake pan a little before trying to take them out.

    I think these will be good, but because of the run over, most are unattractive.  This would be fine for just my family but I made them intending them for a party.  

  28. Hi Maria and Josh,

    I had to write to you guys and tell you how AMAZING these cupcakes turned out. I wish I could post the pictures I took of them, they looked so delicious in your pictures but when I tasted them after I tried your recipe, I literally melted to the floor. I’m a home baker and have tried so many variations to perfect a good chocolate cake recipe and I have to tell you, yours knocked every one of them out the water. I’m a newbie to your blog but you have gained a loyal follower out of me. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  29. Just made these for my daughter’s second birthday. They are perfect! Rich yet light. The icing is incredible. Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe!

  30. I am going to make these for my math class. We are having a Christmas party tomorrow, so would it be okay to make them the night before? Also these look AMAZING!!!!!!!!! If I had one right now I would devour it on about 3 minutes.

  31. This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE chocolate cupcake recipe! It is so simple and only requires the most basic ingredients! I made this for my family and got so many compliments. The frosting was very good. Usually I would use cocoa powder the melted chocolate just gave it that very rich chocolate flavor! I would totally recommend this!

  32. 5 stars
    I am making these for the second time next week. They are as named “Ultimate” This recipe is perfection! This is my go to site first when looking for a new recipe, I would love to see a mocha version.

  33. 5 stars
    All I changed was  substituting freshly brewed coffee for the water as other comments suggested….oh and I need to double the frosting next time (maybe my favorite part!)….but I couldn’t agree more — these are the BEST chocolate cupcakes EVER!! I will never use another recipe again!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Forget starts, this one gets 5 hearts!!

  34. 5 stars
    These are really the BEST chocolate cupcakes ever. So Glad I found your recipe.
    This ones goes in the family recipe book!

  35. What piping tip did you use to achieve the tall peak? I’ve tried so many chocolate cupcake recipes, and I will try yours next. I’m pretty sure it will taste as good as it looks. I’ll come back and rate them after I bake them.

  36. 4 stars
    Made these last weekend. I cut the recipe in half as I only wanted a small batch. Followed the recipe exactly as written but added some chocolate chips to the batter. They were AMAZING!! Very moist and flavorful.  Thanks so much for the recipe. This is a keeper

  37. 4 stars
    I tried cutting the recipe in half cuz I didn’t have enough sugar to make the whole batch and it didn’t come out the same. It’s worth making the whole batch for sure, these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made.

  38. Delicious!!! I made them for my hubby and he devoured them. …ok, I helped, lol. Great, easy to follow recipe and they are beyond delicious!!! They are now my go to!!

  39. 4 stars
    Just made the moistest and softest cucpacakrs so far. The recipe is super easy and definitely one for keeps! Thanks for sharing. 

  40. Triple chocolate threat! My mom would LOVE these…can’t wait to make them for her sometime!

  41. My frosting wonderful but my cupcakes came out with a very strange pudding type consistency, I don’t know why??

  42. This cupcake recipe is the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe from the Hershey’s Classic Recipes cookbook. The batter is always runny, but you can pour it into a pitcher to make filling your cupcake pans easier.

  43. When I made these cupcakes they turned out amazing and they were nothing but delicious    I’ll be sure to reside this website when I need a great cupcake to bring me up!!!

  44. 5 stars
    Thanks so much! I love this recipe and will definitely  be making it again. I’m not a fan of the mini chocolate chip thing but that’s just me. Thanks again!

  45. These cupcakes look wonderful. I’d like to make them in mini size for an upcoming English tea party.  Can you advise as to time and temperature for baking mini sized cupcakes?

    Many thanks

  46. 4 stars
    Definitely a great chocolate cupcake recipe and probably one I will use again with a few minor adjustments. The batter is incredibly runny and I wish I had known that before I started. Should be in the recipe notes so folks don’t try and put more flour in like I almost did. I also regretfully added chocolate chips to the batter. They sank to the bottom of each cup and baked a little oddly. I just love having a crunchy chip in any chocolate cake or brownie but that can’t be achieved with this recipe (unless you decorate with them on top as is optionally included in this recipe which in my opinion isn’t quite the same texture)…overall, the appearance is remarkable. Shiny, dark, and well-domed. I plan to frost these tomorrow so hopefully they’ll hold up overnight. Was hoping for recommended storage options but I just layered them with parchment paper in a large Tupperware. They are quite sticky and will stick to each other or plastic bags so be careful storing them unfrosted!

  47. 5 stars
    These cupcakes turned out to be delicious! I was put off at first by some of the comments that were saying that they turned out horrible but I decided to give them a try anyway. I did add and substitute some of the ingredients. I love using Ghirardelli cocoa! I used coconut oil instead of canola or vegetable, I used a cup of super strong Yuban coffee instead of water, I added 1/4 cup more sugar and 1 extra tsp of vanilla to make it a little sweeter. I am really happy that some of the ladies posted that the batter is really runny and to fill your cups only 1/2 way full because all of my cupcakes were nice and even and moist let me tell you. I did you a bigger measuring cup to pour my batter which really helped with no mess. I also tweaked the buttercream recipe since we like our desserts just a little sweeter. I will definitely be baking these again!

  48. 5 stars
    I’ve been using this recipe for years now. every time I want to make a chocolate cake or cupcake, I immediately jump to this exquisite recipe. i like to use a little less sugar as I always have sweet frosting, but that is just my preference. highly recommend !

  49. 5 stars
    Made theae yesterday. So amazing. Cake, frosting, Ganache, everything. Put the mini chocolate chips on and added sprinkles for the kids. I did add some espresso powder to the batter for even richer taste. Just fabulous and easy as well.

  50. 5 stars
    THESE WERE AWESOME! I am 13 and wanted to bake chocolate cupcakes so I made these. So easy to bake and pipe. They were also very delicious. Saving this recipe forever.