Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Deep, dark, intense chocolate flavor in each bite of theses moist, fudgy cupcakes. All topped off with a swirl of dark chocolate buttercream frosting.

These cupcakes are so easy to whip together in one bowl and you get the most rich and fudgy cupcakes ever. The dark cocoa mixed with the little addition of coffee in the batter lends a depth of complex chocolatey flavor that makes thees taste like they're from a fancy bakery.

I top these with a simple dark cocoa buttercream frosting for the ultimate chocolate lover's dream!

Even add some dark chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles for an extra special chocolatey touch. These stay nice and moist for days, from the oil and sour cream in the batter. The frosting is light and airy, with that bittersweet chocolate flavor, that is smooth, creamy and not overly sweet.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes 

  • 1/2 cup boiling coffee OR 1/2 cup boiling water + 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee 
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, dutch processed or "Special Dark"
  • 1 cup (192g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups. 

Dissolve the cocoa in the boiling coffee and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and oil on medium speed, about 1 minute. Add the egg, mixing well until smooth and pale in color. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, until incorporated. In a steady stream, beat in the cocoa mixture until fully combine. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Beat about 20 seconds until smooth and thin.

Distribute all of the batter between 14 baking cups, about 3 tablespoons batter per cupcake (one pan plus 2 extra). Bake for 16-18 minutes (About 10 minutes for mini cupcakes), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.


With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until smooth, creamy and pale in color, about 2-4 minutes, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl half way through. Beat in vanilla and salt.

Add the powdered sugar in batches, starting on on low and increasing the speed until fully incorporated, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sift in cocoa powder and an additional tablespoon of cream if necessary. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.