The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

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If you’re looking for a moist and rich chocolate cupcake that melts in your mouth with every bite then you’re in the right place! Easy to make, completely from scratch and topped off with the most decadent chocolate buttercream frosting, you won’t stop at one. These are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes!

Chocolate cupcakes decorated with chocolate buttercream and M&Ms

I’m going to let you into a secret.

It’s not one of those ‘don’t tell anyone’ secrets. It’s the sort of secret that you won’t be able to keep to yourself.

It’s one I’ve kept all to myself for many years, but I’ve decided that it’s time for you to know… To know the secret recipe of my chocolate cupcakes!


Yes, it’s true, I’m really going to let you in on my ultimate chocolate cupcake, a perfectly moist and  an intensely chocolately cake, accompanied by the most delicious chocolate frosting.

In the shop, chocolate was one of the most requested flavours; they were always the first to disappear at the weekend and always the one that I’d swipe aside for myself.

Cupcake cut through the middle on a white plate

They’re a huge favourite with family and friends, and there’s usually a batch whipped up for birthday or afternoon tea treats!

I’ve tried so many different recipes…

I’ve played around with the chocolate content, the consistency of the batter mix and the baking times.

I’ve had moist but not enough chocolate, chocolate overload but dry and crumbly, and just plain ‘meh’.

But these… these are the winners – rich, chocolately goodness. Pair them up with the most ‘oh my’ chocolate frosting and you’ll have the most amazing cupcakes!

Crumbs and Corkscrews - Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake and Frosting

If you want to skip the details for these ultimate chocolate cupcakes then you can head on down to the printable recipe card. Just keep scrolling!

What makes these the ultimate chocolate cupcake

So in my search for the ultimate chocolate cupcake, this recipe ticks all the boxes:

  • Sturdy and not crumbling on the first bite
  • Moist, but not soggy
  • Deep, deep chocolate

To get that critical chocolate element, I use pure cocoa powder and melted 70% cocoa dark chocolate.

The combination of the two means you get a real hit of the chocolate from the powder, but the melted chocolate keeps it nice and smooth and helps prevent the cocoa from being too drying.

You might think that this recipe is a little of a faff, melting this, combining that.

But believe me, you’ll spend about 10 minutes prepping, and once you smell them baking and then when you taste them, you’ll know they’re worth it!

Crumbs and Corkscrews - Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake and Frosting

Looking for more inspiration?

Then why not check out these other awesome cupcake recipes…

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

Serves : 16 cupcakes
These moist and rich chocolate cupcakes melt in your mouth with every bite. Easy to make, completely from scratch and topped off with the most decadent chocolate buttercream frosting.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


For the Cupcake

For the Buttercream


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a deep muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
  • In a small bowl, add the milk and lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle.
  • Add 120g of unsalted butter and 60g chocolate to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until all the butter and chocolate has melted. Alternatively melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarb of soda and baking powder and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the caster sugar, soft brown sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  • Add cooled melted butter and chocolate, and whisk until well combined.
  • Add half of the flour mixture, and half of the curdled milk. Mix until just combined.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and curdled milk. Mix well until smooth and thick.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cupcake cases, approximately 1 scoop per case.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the Buttercream

  • Add 30g of chocolate to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until all the chocolate has melted. Alternatively melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add half of the icing sugar, cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of double cream. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar and cocoa powder and cooled chocolate. Beat until smooth.
  • If the buttercream is too stiff, add a tbsp of whole milk and beat until smooth.

To Decorate

  • Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle with the chocolate buttercream.
  • Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes in a swirl shape and drizzle with any remaining melted chocolate.
  • Decorate with with more chocolate Mini Oreos, Chunks, Rolos, M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses etc!


Substitute the whole milk and lemon (curdled milk) for 120ml buttermilk if available.
Use an apple corer to make a hollow in the cupcake and fill with the chocolate ganache, from the The Dark Tart recipe.
Any leftover frosting, can be kept in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 1 week.


Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 407kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 109mgFiber: 2gSugar: 40g


The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

Tried this recipe?Mention @crumbscorkscrews or tag #crumbscorkscrews!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a ☆☆☆☆☆ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section.

Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

19 thoughts on “The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake”

  1. Just made these and they are the best chocolate cupcakes ever. Do you think the recipe could be scaled up to make a layer cake?

  2. This is real chocolate goodness.

    • Thank you Vera, and thank you for sharing 🙂 x

  3. These look adorable and the buttercream looks just perfect!

    Pinned and Stumbled. Thanks so much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. There’s a new linky live now for this week. Please do pop over and join in 😀

    • Thank you 🙂 I’m just finishing off a couple of posts so will pop over and join this week x

  4. Wow these look and sound gorgeous! thank you for sharing your secret 🙂 i’ll add them to my ‘must bake’ list xx

    • Thank you 🙂 When you bake them, you can substitute the curdled milk for 120ml of buttermilk. Let me know how you get on when you bake them x

    • Hehe! I love creating them, although I admit that I don’t eat them all 🙂 x

  5. I’m starving now!! I really want those cupcakes!

    • Hehe! I’d quite happy sit down and eat the lot in one sitting 😉

  6. Those look amazing

    • Thank you 🙂

  7. Oh wow these are utterly darling! Thanks so much for linking up to #tastytuesdays!

  8. Oh my…. these cupcakes look amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I will definitely be attempting to make some myself this week. (I popped over after seeing your lovely cupcakes on A mummy Too #recipeoftheweek) 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 Hope that you like them. You can switch the curdled milk (milk and lemon juice) for 120ml buttermilk. I just didn’t have any available and you can curdle the milk as a substitute x

    • Can I just use sour cream too?

  9. Wow! Very jealous of your perfect icing.

    • Thanks! I’ve years and 1000s of cupcakes worth of icing practice under my belt, which helps 😉

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