Here it is, the ultimate easy chocolate cupcake. Packed with chocolate flavour but super simple and quick to whip up. These chocolate cupcakes are also made with pantry staples that you likely have on hand.
Chocolate cupcakes are probably my favourite base flavour of cupcake and I love how versatile they are. You can pair these cupcakes with almost any frosting and also add fillings if you like. There’s not many flavours that don’t pair well with chocolate, so have some fun with these!
These cupcakes are also an easy kid pleaser for any kid who likes chocolate. I know they have espresso in them but I promise you won’t taste it once the cupcakes are baked. Instead, it just helps to really enhance the chocolate flavour. If you’re worried about giving this to kids however, you can leave it out.
How Many Cupcakes Does This Make?
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes but you can easily double the recipe if you want 24 cupcakes.
What Type of Frosting Should I Use?
So you can use any kind of frosting. My favourites’ to pair with chocolate are a simple stabilized whipped cream, the frosting pictured here which is a chocolate cinnamon cream cheese frosting or any kind of tart frosting like a raspberry frosting. Ermine frosting is also really nice or obviously a rich chocolate frosting but you can use whatever floats your boat.
If you wanted to fill these cupcakes, you the large end of a piping tip to scoop out the centre once they’ve cooled. Then put in your filling of choice and frost over top of the hole you now have.
Fillings that would pair well are any kind of jam or preserves like my spiced cranberry jam if you wanted a more seasonal cupcake or even just a cream like my stabilized whipped cream for a hostess style cupcake. For the ultimate chocolate cupcake you could also fill these with chocolate ganache.
Can I Make These Dairy Free?
Absolutely! These cupcakes can easily be made dairy free by using a non-dairy milk like oat or almond milk. My preference is oat milk when baking as I find it as a lovely creamy consistency but you can use whatever you have on hand.
Ground Coffee vs Ground Espresso
So whenever I’m making anything chocolatey, I absolutely love to add ground espresso. I honestly hate both coffee and espresso but adding them to a chocolate dessert really helps to make the chocolate flavour pop in your mouth. Instant ground coffee used to be my preference for bringing out chocolate flavour in my baked goods, but once I tried adding ground espresso a few months back, and now can never go back. I find it enhances the chocolate even more but it’s also just brings out a nicer chocolate flavour. So, while these additions are typically optional, like in these chocolate cupcakes, I highly recommend adding it for the best flavour profile.
How to Properly Measure Flour
When it comes to measuring flour, the most accurate and easiest way is to use a kitchen scale. I always use a scale and could never go back to measuring in cups. It’s such a hassle and way more dishes!
If you don’t own a scale, there are a couple steps to properly measure flour as it becomes compacted just sitting in the bag or container. I highly recommend you follow these as just scooping flour out of the bag can potentially lead to at least an additional 1/4 cup of flour. This equals dry and dense baked goods which is not what anybody is going for.
1. Fluff the flour by giving it a mix with a whisk or fork.
2. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup.
3. Level the excess flour off using a butter knife. (With the back of the knife level to the top of the measuring cup, run it over top, pushing the excess flour back into it’s container.)
4. Repeat until you’ve measured the amount the recipe calls for.
- Don’t overmix your batter! Overmixing leads to a denser cupcake as you’ll start developing the gluten.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
Today’s song is by a band from Newfoundland. This song was always played at get togethers with friends and a lot of the time, someone was playing it on their guitar. Supr nostalgic and just an amazing song by such a great band! Here’s Red Heart by Hey Rosetta!. Happy baking!! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup (120g) AP flour
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup milk (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup (60g) canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground espresso (optional)
- 1/4 cup boiling water
Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz/225g cream cheese , room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter , room temperature
- 3 1/4 cups (455g) icing sugar
- 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp milk (as needed for consistency)
For the Cupcakes
- Line or spray 12 muffin tins. Preheat oven to 350℉.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until combined and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, milk and canola oil. Whisk for about 30 seconds until well combined. Add in the vanilla and vinegar and whisk an additional 20 seconds.
- Add the cocoa powder and espresso to the wet mixture. Slowly and carefully pour in the boiling water while whisking to combine.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk together until just combined. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full, adding about 1/4 cup to each tin.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days and frost with icing of choice.
How to Make the Frosting
- If making my chocolate cinnamon cream cheese frosting, to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in half the amount of icing sugar and mix at low speed until starting to incorporate. Then beat at high speed for additional minute. Add in the rest of the sugar and the cocoa powder. Again mix at low speed until incorporated and mix additional 30 seconds.
- Add in the ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt and lemon juice. Beat on high speed for additional 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. If your frosting is a bit too thick to pipe, add in milk, 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- To get the air bubbles out, mix the frosting by hand with a spatula for 1-2 minutes. This helps give you a smooth frosting when piping. Then pipe however you desire. I used a Wilton 1M tip for the pictures. As this is a cream cheese frosting, I would eat the cupcakes right away once you frost them or store in the fridge. Take them out about 30 minutes before serving and enjoy!