The BEST chocolate birthday cupcakes…with fudgy chocolate buttercream!
This is the perfect Friday recipe, right?! Even if it’s not your birthday, we can certainly pretend, because trust me everyone needs a cupcake today. Yep, I’m just feeling like the world could use one or two. Now, I know cupcakes can’t really solve all the problems of the world. But you gotta admit, there’s something pretty wonderful about sitting down with a delicious chocolate buttercream cupcake that seems to melt away the problems of the world…if only temporarily.
As a lot of you already know, my adored little sister, Asher, celebrated a birthday this week. And as is tradition, every year I make a recipe for the blog that is birthday inspired. After all, she is my favorite (and only) little sister.
First Year: Ultimate Triple Layer Chocolate Bourbon Peanut Butter Buckeye Cake
Second Year: Magic Gooey Chocolate Meringue Texas Sheet Cake
Third Year: Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Macaron Cake (this was also my cookbook announcement post)
Fourth Year: Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
Are you seeing a pattern? Lots and lots of chocolate, Asher’s favorite. Last year’s vanilla birthday cake was a pretty big stretch for me, but I was able to convince her with the whipped chocolate buttercream. She actually ended up loving that cake…and realizing that maybe, just maybe, there might be a few great non-chocolate desserts out there too.
Anyway, in previous years I’ve surprised Asher with a new cake recipe. But I’m going to be honest, most of the time she just ends up asking me to make her a regular chocolate cake. So this year I decided, instead of surprising her with one of my over-the-top cake creations, I would just ask the girl what she wanted.
To be expected she said chocolate cake, but this year she wanted the cake in the form of cupcakes! For some reason, Asher is really having a moment with cupcakes. Can you blame her though? Cupcakes are cute, hand-held, and an all around fun and delicious dessert.
Plus, I personally think cupcakes are small enough that it’s totally acceptable to go back for a second. Obviously.
It’s not very often that I do a super classic recipe like these cupcakes. But every once in a while I like to throw a classic into the mix, because sometimes, you really just cannot beat the classics.
And let’s be real, everyone needs a good chocolate cupcake recipe in their back pocket. It’s kind of a must.
The best part? These Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes are SO easy.
I’m talking ONE bowl for the cupcake batter, and ONE bowl for the buttercream. Honestly, these are so simple that the thought of running to the store for a box mix will not even cross your mind. And trust me, these cupcakes are million and one times better than anything out of a box.
The cake itself is incredibly soft, moist, and extra fudgy, with just the right amount of chocolate flavor, and the perfect amount of crumb. As the title states, these cupcakes are the BEST! I know, kind of bold, but these cupcakes have been made one hundred times over now, and they really just cannot be beat.
My little secret to making these cupcakes extra delicious? A couple of handfuls of mini chocolate chips stirred right into the batter.
And the frosting? Oh, the frosting, it’s basically chocolate buttercream heaven, and the only real way to truly complete these cupcakes.
Also, I feel as though I should mention that everyone I make these cupcakes for likes the ratio of cake to buttercream to be close to one to one. This means my buttercream recipe makes a lot of frosting. I’d say you could downsize the recipe a bit, but then really, would you really want to do that?
I’m thinking not.
While we might not all be celebrating a birthday this week, we are heading into a long holiday weekend. Therefore, I could not think of a better recipe to send you guys off with than these chocolate cupcakes.
Perfect for any and all Labor Day activities!
Lastly, if you make The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Buttercream
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 242 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup hot black coffee
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups salted butter) at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, greek yogurt, canola oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the hot coffee and mix until combined. The batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.3. Pour the batter among the muffin tins and bake 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely before frosting.
- 1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat, scraping down the sides as needed another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks of white. Add 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream and whip the frosting for 2-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. If desired add the remaining tablespoon of the heavy cream. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter or thicker frosting.2. Frost each cupcake as desired. The cupcakes will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, bring to room temp before eating.
Can you use butter vanilla for the frosting?
So sorry, I’m not exactly sure I understand what you are asking. Please let me know how I can help! xx
I cook so many recipes and never think to write a review but these cupcakes are the best. It’s my go to cupcake recipe for chocolate cupcakes. They’re easy, moist, delicious and always a hit. Way better than boxed and nit to much work.
Happy Monday!!🌞 Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx
Wow! Best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made ! So moist. Better than any I could ever buy even from a high end bakery (which I think are not always very fresh) Frosting is superb and so fun. Going to be a go to cupcake recipe, and I never had a go to cupcake recipe before. Thank you Tieghan!
Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT
I am not much of a buttermilk fan. Could I substitute with whole milk or full cream? Also can I sub extra virgin olive oil instead of canola?
Sure, cream should work well for you and same with the oil! Let me know how this recipe turns out, I hope you love it! xx
We love this batter! Could it be used for cake? If so, what pan size, temp and time?
Yes, I would do this in a 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. You might also like this recipe:
Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT
These were the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made! The cupcakes were the perfect texture, flavor, and consistency and the buttercream was super delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and they’re pretty simple. They are much, much better than any box mix.
Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Have a great Thursday:)
These are definitely not your classic chocolate cupcakes, but more like a brownie. Somewhat bitter batter and not sweet enough for me. I did use water vs coffee and maybe this altered the taste. I also couldn’t get 24 cupcakes out of this recipe. Crossing my fingers my son’s toddler class enjoys them tomorrow for his birthday!
Thanks for trying this recipe, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. The coffee definitely enhances the chocolate flavor here:) xx
I made these today. Hands down the best chocolate cupcake batter I have ever tried. Perfect combo with the frosting. I followed the recipe instructions but halved the recipe (thank you for making that super easy to do). I ended up with 11 vs 12 cupcakes fyi. Highly recommend – super easy to bake these.
Happy Friday! ☃️ So glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, I appreciate you making it! xT
The cupcake was decent but it came off very tangy and not sweet enough. Flavor was off. Someone asked me if they were salted caramel cupcakes.
The texture was good though.
Do you think the recipe has too much yogurt and Buttermilk portions?
All of the measurements are correct, maybe you just don’t enjoy this flavor profile. So sorry!! xx
Could I replace the canola oil with coconut oil?
Sure, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx
Can you make the frosting in advance?
Sure, that would be okay for you to do! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
I didn’t have access to buttermilk and just substituted with whole milk. I also added a dash of brown sugar. These were a complete hit!! So moist and delicious, the coffee really compliments the recipe and keeps the rich chocolate flavor.
Perfect! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was a hit! xxT
Don’t want to use coffee (for kids birthday) would you recommend a substitute?
You can use hot water in place of the coffee. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xT
We don’t have buttermilk! We have whole chocolate milk, could I substitute the chocolate milk for buttermilk?
So sorry, I probably wouldn’t recommend that, it would definitely throw the flavors off. Stick with the buttermilk:) Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx