Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe From Scratch

This is the Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe you will ever make!  A from scratch cupcake is always fun to bake, and this recipe makes that easy for any home cook to accomplish! 

Using basic pantry supplies, this cupcake recipe is one you will be able to whip up from start to finish in just 30-minutes.  Allow it to cool and top with our Buttercream Frosting Recipe to create the best chocolate cupcakes you’ve ever tasted.Closeup of 3 chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles on a plate covered with rainbow sprinkles

Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

A moist chocolate cupcakes recipe is one thing everyone needs to know how to bake.  Using good quality baking chocolate and a bit of the secret ingredient, sour cream, makes this recipe one that can be handed down to future generations with pride.

We love how the ingredients list is simple and doesn’t require a ton of extra unusual items or supplies.  That means it fits easily into your party planning and won’t take over a whole afternoon.3 chocolate cupcakes made with the best chocolate cupcake recipe with vanilla frosting and sprinkles on a plate covered with sprinkles

Why Do I Sift Dry Ingredients When Making Cupcakes?

A common question when making cupcakes or a cake from scratch is why it is important to sift dry ingredients.  This is a pretty easy question to answer.  When blending wet and dry ingredients, it can be very tough to get a smooth batter if there are lumps.  A lumpy batter ends up with uneven cooking, and sometimes biting into a hard piece of baking soda or flour that is flavorless.  Nobody wants a bad cupcake, so sifting your dry ingredients is a must.Ingredients to make a chocolate cupcake recipe

How Can I Melt Baking Chocolate Without a Double Boiler?

A double boiler is something that used to be very commonly used in the kitchen.  As we work toward more convenience and fitting things like homemade baked goods into our busy schedules, it may not make sense to have on hand.

That means melting things like baking chocolate might seem daunting.  It really isn’t!  You can use one of two simple methods. 

steps for moist chocolate cupcakes recipe

  1. Place a glass or stainless steel bowl over the top of a boiling pan of water, and gently stir the chocolate until just melted.  Remove from heat and stir until all pieces are smooth and use as directed.
  2. Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium setting in 30 second increments stirring between each until just melted. 

Chocolate cupcake batter added to cupcake liners in a baking panStorage Tips for Homemade Cupcakes

You’ve taken the time to mix up this batch of our chocolate cupcakes recipe and don’t want them to get stale.  There are a number of items out there to store cupcakes until ready to eat.

A cupcake container is perfect if you plan to eat them within 24-hours or are taking directly to a party or event.  Depending on the number of cupcakes and type of frosting, these even work for leaving out on the counter overnight safely.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and rainbow jimmies sprinklesIf you want to prepare the chocolate cupcakes in advance to frost and decorate the day of your event, you can easily bake, cool, then bag and freeze for up to 3 months.  Just make sure to label the bags well, and make sure they are completely cool before bagging and placing into the freezer.  Warm cupcakes in a bag will create moisture which will cause ice crystals to form that changes the flavor and texture of your cupcake.

Overhead view of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinklesGreat Uses for this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Of course, we know that these are going to be a hit at any party or event, but I wanted to share some favorite design ideas that work great with a chocolate cupcake base! The Chocolate Swirl Galaxy Cupcakes are perfect for this recipe!  For Mardi Gras, you can easily switch out the vanilla cupcake shown in our King Cake Mardi Gras Cupcake recipe for chocolate. They even fit perfectly into a special valentine or love themed party alongside these Valentine Party Ideas

Whatever you do, pair with our buttercrem recipe and dress up with our BakeBright greaseproof liners and any of our sprinkles like these Sugar Cone jimmies sprinkles!

If you love these, you’ll love our Vanilla Recipe and Funfetti Recipe too! Not sure how many bags of sprinkles you need? Check out our conversion How Many Sprinkles Do I Need charts!

Yield: Roughly 24 Cupcakes

Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

This is the Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe you will ever make! A from scratch cupcake is always fun to bake, and this recipe makes that easy for any home cook to accomplish! You will make these chocolate cupcakes your go to recipe for any upcoming events!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar, white granulated
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Add cupcake pan with greaseproof cupcake liners
  3. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder
  4. In large mixing bowl beat butter, sugar and melted chocolate until fluffy and well combined
  5. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  6. Gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream
  7. Add water and slowly beat until well combined
  8. Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners to ⅔ full
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  10. Cool completely
  11. Frost and decorate as desired
  12. Store leftovers in the refrigerator


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