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Delicious Moist Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Updated: Apr 19

Here is the best chocolate cupcake recipe you'll ever make! These chocolate cupcakes give a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, fudge taste with my secret addition of hot coffee. I promise you, you won‘t have to deal with dry chocolate cupcakes with this recipe.

If you need a chocolate cupcake that stays moist even after freezing or chilling, this is the one for you! Besides my vanilla cupcakes, this is my 2nd most popular option.

I not only use Dutch processed cocoa but also hot coffee - and here’s why!

Using the Dutch process gives a richer cocoa flavor, however, you may use regular cocoa powder if that is all you have, I just like to enjoy the deep chocolate flavor. Here is the kicker, hot coffee. You may be asking why, but I promise you it is a game changer in the chocolate-baking world. Adding hot water with instant coffee or espresso enhances the chocolate flavor even more and in my opinion gives it an additional boost of moisture.

Why You'll Love These Cupcakes

  • Turn out super moist and full of flavor

  • Able to freeze or chill without losing the texture and flavor

  • This recipe can allow so much creativity to change the flavor profile - such as chocolate fudge, chocolate peppermint, chocolate orange and so much more

  • This recipe includes instructions on how to help the cupcakes or cake keep their moisture for best results.

Tools You'll Need

Here are some kitchen tools I like to suggest for making my cupcakes. These are the exact products I use every time:

  • Electric Mixer or a Bowl and Silicone Spatula

  • Cupcake or Cake Tins

  • Cupcake Liners (if making cupcakes

  • Parchment paper cut to cake tin (if making cakes)

Recipe Questions

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

Yes, you may! Once they are cooled, add them to a sealed ziplock bag or container and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Can I use regular cocoa powder instead?

Absolutely! The chocolate flavor just won't be as intense or rich, but these are still delicious with average cocoa powder.

What can I use to substitute sour cream?

You may use equal amounts of plain greek yogurt or mayonnaise with a squeeze of some lemon juice in replacement of the sour cream.

Can I use regular milk?

Absolutely! You may use regular milk or a milk substitute if you do not have buttermilk nor want to make a buttermilk substitute at home.

Delicious Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings:12-15 cupcakes


  • 1 cup (212g) granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg (room temperature)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 1/3 cup sour cream (room temperature)

  • 1/2 tsp instant expresso


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake tin with your preferred liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk your flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. In a small bowl, whisk your buttermilk and sour cream until it is fully combined and should resemble a custard-like consistency. Then add your egg, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Set aside.

4. In another small bowl, mix your hot water and expresso powder, stir. Measure out your cocoa powder in a separate bowl and slowly mix the hot coffee into the cocoa and then set aside.

5. Turn your mixer on low (setting 2 on a KitchenAid) and slowly add your buttermilk mixture. Once just barely combined, scrape the sides and add in your hot coffee.

6. Mix on low or fold with a spatula and fill your liners 3/4 way full and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some crumbs and there is no jiggle.

7. Remove the cupcakes onto a cooling rack as soon as possible and let cool completely before icing.

Recipe Notes

Freezing Your Cupcakes

Once your cupcakes are out of the oven, try to remove them as soon as possible from the tin onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, secure them in a sealed container or ziplock bags and freeze.

Once you are ready to use your cupcakes, take them out and leave them in their containers or bags until the reach room temperature.

Buttermilk vs. Milk

Buttermilk is not needed, but it adds just that right amount of extra moisture and flavor that my customers enjoy! Buttermilk has a bit of a higher fat content than regular milk. You may use regular milk any % will work or try making your own buttermilk substitute from the options in my Buttermilk Substitutes blog!

Have you tried this recipe? Tag me on Social Media!

Use #sweeteatsbyrachel and mention @sweeteatsbyrachel on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

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