Easy Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

5 from 9 reviews

My go-to recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes which are easy, economical and absolutely delicious! They are perfect for birthdays and bake sales, and they are great with this quick and easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


To make the Chocolate Cupcakes

Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature before starting.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (without fan).
  2. Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with paper cases (this recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes, depending on the size of your pans).
  3. Place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the mixture is well-combined. The batter should be thick and smooth.
  4. Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor:
    • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the flat paddle attachment.
    • Slowly beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    • Beat on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
    • In a small bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla.
    • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the mixer, and beat until the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Divid the batter evenly between the paper cases. I like to use an ice-cream scoop for this task.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Place the butter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Using the flat paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is pale yellow and lightly whipped.
  3. Beat in the icing sugar (powdered sugar) one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Beat in the cocoa powder.
  5. Keep beating until you have a smooth mixture.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and hot water.
  7. Beat until the frosting is smooth.

To assemble the Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Fit a large star nozzle into a large piping bag. You can also omit the nozzle for a smooth, piped frosting.
  2. Fill the piping bag with the frosting.
  3. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
  4. Decorate the cupcakes as you wish. If you are using sprinkles, add them while the frosting is still moist, otherwise the sprinkles will not adhere to the frosting.
  5. Alternatively, skip the piping bag and instead spread some frosting onto each cupcake with a small spatula.

Kitchen Notes

The cupcakes can be 1-2 days before serving. Simply keep them covered and at room temperature. The frosted cupcakes also keep well for several days, covered and at room temperature.

This recipe makes enough frosting to pipe 15 cupcakes as shown in the photos. I used a 9 mm star nozzle in these photos. If you plan to use a larger nozzle or to use even more frosting on the cupcakes, I recommend making extra frosting (maybe 1.5 times the recipe).

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.