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The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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.

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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.

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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.

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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 Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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!

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 334 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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Fudgy Buttercream


  • 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.

Fudgy Buttercream

  • 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.
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The Best Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes...with Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest


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  1. 5 stars
    Love. I have made the cupcake and cake version of this recipe, and it is to die for. Question: While I am a chocolate buttercream frosting person myself, I’d like to make these for a friend who may prefer regular/vanilla buttercream frosting. Can I simply follow the frosting recipe and omit the cocoa, or do I need to find a different frosting recipe?

  2. Hi!! I know you live at a high altitude, I do as well, is this recipe intended for use at a high altitude as is or do I need to make modifications?

    1. Hey Caroline,
      No adjustments are needed, you can follow the recipe as is:) Please let me know if you give it a try, I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you! xTieghan

  3. Excited to make these! Do they have to be refrigerated right away? I need to make them on a Thursday night and serve them on a Sat afternoon… won’t be able to refrigerate them. Thanks!

    1. Hi Julia,
      Just keep them in an airtight container:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I made these last year for my husband’s birthday and now they are the family favorite!! I love the butter cream frosting!!

  5. Could I sub something else for buttermilk? Like whole milk? Hard to get to store in quarantine but would love to make these. Thanks!

    1. Hi Karen,
      Sure, whole milk or cream will work for you. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Bianca,
      Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  6. I absolutely hate coffee. Is it possible to replace the coffee by something else? Or if I just don’t use coffee, does the muffin will taste and Have the same texture?

    1. Hey Marie,
      You can’t taste the coffee here, it just enhances the chocolate flavor. If you want to omit it, you will want to use hot water in its place. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Great cake recipe! I misread the recipe going a bit too fast, and added 3/4 c coffee instead of 1/3-oops! They needed a bit longer bake, but still very delicious!

    I made these for Friendsgiving and decorated with candy corn and candy googly eyes to look like turkeys. They were a big hit with adults and kids alike!

  8. My daughter and I just made these for my coworkers birthday. My coworker is a HUGE chocolate lover, us, not so much… UNTIL THESE! Wow!! 10/10 will make again and might eat all of them!

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!! Love to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend. xTieghan

  9. Wow I can’t wait to make these, they look so yummy! However, I don’t have a coffee maker at home. Is there anyway to omit the coffee or replace it with something else? Thanks!

    1. These cupcakes turned out incredible! This is my first time using a recipe from you (after following you on Instagram for awhile!) and I’m so impressed! The flavor of both the cake and frosting was so good, they taste professional! I can’t wait to make more of your recipes—thank you!

  10. Hi, if I omit the heavy whipping cream from the frosting would it still come out okay? Or can it be replaced with anything else? Thanks!

    1. Hey Mariah,
      Sorry, you need the heavy whipping cream to make the frosting. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  11. Hi! I want to make these for my sons birthday, for the sake of time, if I make them Thursday night and frost Friday, will they be fine for Saturday? Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Megan,
      Sure, that will be just fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Going to make these this week! Wondering though, I can’t really eat yogurt – is it possible to replace that with something else like coconut milk maybe? Thanks!

    1. Hey Marissa,
      You can use sour cream in place of the yogurt. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  13. Hi! SO excited to make these for my son’s birthday! Something to look forward to for a pandemic birthday 🙂 How would you translate this into mini cupcakes? Thank you!

    1. Hey Caity,
      How fun!! I would follow the recipe as is but obviously reduce your bake time. Depending on the size of the mini cupcakes you may want to starting checking for doneness at 15 minutes. I hope you love the recipe, happy birthday to your son! xTieghan