The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning on Friday and there were, like, people outside. Doing things. Walking dogs and jogging and taking out the trash. And one weird guy roller-skating backwards in the middle of the street. I was completely dumbfounded. I wanted to ask them if they were aware that it wasn’t even 5 o’clock yet, that it was still dark outside, and that they would need their lights on if they were driving. Who are these freaks? I mean, I went outside looking like a hot mess because how was I supposed to know that the ungodly hour of 5:00 am is when all of the buff men are out exercising?

Chocolate Cupcakes

Which brings me to coffee. I told you before that no matter how tired I was, I could not gag down a cup of coffee if you paid me. I prefer my coffee, not in a cup, but rather in the form of a cupcake. A whole cup of freshly brewed coffee is what makes these chocolate cupcakes the best (YES, BEST) chocolate cupcakes in the whole entire world, universe, galaxy, etc. I have had my fair share of chocolate cupcakes. I have tried countless recipes and I have tasted the ones from bakeries that claim to have the best. But all of those cupcakes don’t hold a candle to these, the chocolatiest of chocolatey chocolate cupcakes. These cupcakes are a dense, rich, and sinful dessert for any chocolate lover.

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dense chocolate cupcakes with a swirl of sweet chocolate frosting.
Yield: Makes 20 cupcakes
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water, stirring until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and blend for a few seconds to combine. Whisk together the coffee, sour cream, and vegetable oil in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the coffee mixture and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  1. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water, stirring until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the evaporated milk and sugar in a blender and blend until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and blend for about 2 minutes, until thick and shiny. The blender’s sound will change when the frosting reaches the right consistency. Pour the frosting into a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for 1½ hours.
  3. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top of each cupcake.
Adapted from Rosie's Baking Book.

Side note: the reason that I was awake at 4:30 in the morning – my mom was having surgery. And as they wheeled her out of the room, she said “make those damn cupcakes. I deserve it.”


  1. says

    You got me at best!! Chocolate isn`t my personal favorite cake flavor, but I knew PLENTY of people who does. I`m definitely saving this!

    P.S. I am always surprised when I`m up at 5 and see people outside as well. I`m like, “when do you SLEEP?”

  2. Christy says

    What brand of chocolate did you use or is best to use? I never know what powder or solid is best. These look amazing and I’m making them today for my daughter’s birthday. Thanks!

    • Riley says

      Hi Christy! I use Baker’s brand chocolate, which you should definitely be able to find at the grocery store. I hope your daughter has a great birthday!

  3. vickie says

    Wow…..i love chocolate cupcakes, and the frosting recipe is the exact same one that Gail Gand used on her show sweet dreams. I have used it many times and have not found a better fudge frosting. if you dont have a blender, you cant make it….

  4. says

    I’d like to know if I can use cocoa powder instead of pieces of unsweetened chocolate ? My mother used to make the most delicious chocolate cupcakes and I lost the recipe and she used cocoa powder and I remember the sour cream She never put coffee in her batter though Can I change the recipe a little Not put the coffee in?

    • Riley says

      Sherrill, I’ve always used melted unsweetened chocolate in these cupcakes, but you could probably try to substitute cocoa powder. I’ve never tried it, so I make no promises :) As for the coffee, it doesn’t make the cupcakes taste like coffee, but it does make them taste more rich and chocolatey! I wouldn’t get rid of the coffee, as it might change the texture and flavor of the cupcakes. Let me know how they turn out!

  5. says

    Riley! I LOVE these cupcakes. I was searching for the “perfect” chocolate cupcake.. Your Best Choc cupcake recipe popped up!! I could not resist trying them, especially after reading about your early morning.. :) I will be posting pics on My blog of the finished product. BTW.. I ADORE you!! you make Me chuckle every time I visit your page!!

  6. Jen says

    I realize this is an older post, but how do you think this would work as a 9 x 13 cake? I’ve made this recipe in the form of cupcakes btw, and I love it!

    • Riley says

      Jen, thanks so much!! I’ve never made these as a 9 x 13 cake, but have made it in round cake pans, so I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time, though.

  7. Isabel Hallett says

    I tried these for the first time, yesterday, for my granddaughters birthday party. They were fantastic. I used a butter cream frosting, because I was doing a luau themed party I needed a white frosting base. They came out adorable. A big party hit.

  8. Chrissy says

    Just wondering if you can taste the coffee in these cupcakes? If so,is it just a mild hint of coffee? Thanks :)

    • Riley says

      No, you really can’t taste the coffee, believe it or not. It just works to enhance the flavor of the chocolate!


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