perfect chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting
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Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

A perfectly moist easy chocolate cupcake with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting on top!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cupcakes
Servings: 30 cupcakes
Calories: 222kcal
Author: Heather Perine


For the cupcakes

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. In a measuring cup microwave 1 cup of water (or heat on stovetop). Stir in instant espresso. Add boiling water to batter. Stir to combine. (batter will be thin) to the cake batter. Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 cup full of batter.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove cupcakes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely. Repeat with the additional cupcake batter (about 6 additional cupcakes)
  • For the frosting (note this is for a single batch, I always make 2 batches to frost all these cupcakes. If you like high swirls like I do then you will want to make a double batch as well) combine the butter and powdered sugar and mix on low, then increase the speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in your vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Beat on medium-high for 8 minutes.
  • With a pastry bag and tip attached, pipe the frosting on each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.Refrigate for up to 3 days, just bring back to room temperature before serving.


  • Be sure to measure your flour accurately. For a full tutorial on how and why, read this post
  • Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder not dutch process. They are not the same. You can read about the differences here
  • When baking these, it's best to rotate the pans halfway through their baking time. Every oven can have hot spots so they may not bake evenly. Give them a turn in the oven, so they all bake up pretty.
  • Once they are baked, be sure to take them out of the pans and cool on a cooling rack. Leaving them in your pans means they will continue to bake and could end up dry.
For the mile high piping of frosting that I prefer I always make a double batch of frosting but thats up to you!


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.3g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 12.4g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 182mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 23.5g