Oh Sweet Day!

My Best Chocolate Cupcake



First, who doesn’t like chocolate? Second, who can resist chocolate buttercream? Third, who can say no to a one-bowl cupcake recipe.


I’ve tried another quick chocolate cupcake before, which is already superb. But then I found this recipe. And it takes these cupcakes to another level of superb. The major different between these two recipes is the use of vinegar versus sour cream. And I think this one has won my heart.


And the simplicity of this buttercream. I wouldn’t mind to skip the process of melting chocolate for once. It won’t compromise the sinfully deliciousness. No. It won’t.

Ingredients (12 regular sized cupcakes):

Chocolate Cupcake
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
Chocolate Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkle


To prepare cupcake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin liners.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix until smooth and liquidy.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, about halfway full. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely.

To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn the mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla, heavy cream and cocoa powder, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and garnish with chocolate sprinkles.


  1. I was really worried because the batter was really liquidy, but this came out amazing!!!!

  2. Around 2.5 cups of frosting and 3 cups of cake batter.

  3. How many cups of frosting and how many cups of batter does this recipe make?

  4. Yes, Stephanie, you can totally replace it with whipping cream! :)

  5. Hi, can I replace the heavy cream with whipping cream?

  6. Thanks, Amelia!
    For this massively huge cake, I would suggest to go for layers, so you will know how many batches it take for each layer. I would try at least 3 batches for each 1-inch layer. The golden rule is if the cake batter reaches 3/4 inch height from the bottom of the pan, then you will probably get at least an inch tall cake layer. For baking time, I would check after first 20 mins with a toothpick, then go every 5 minutes. Hope it helps. :)

  7. This is my favorite chocolate cupcake and frosting recipe! I’ve got unusual questions though, I’m going to be baking a massive chocolate cake, 3 inches deep and 22 inches diameter. I’m replicating the cake from the movie Mathilda for my friend’s birthday. Any suggestions on how many batches it will take to fill the pan? Also, any idea how long to bake it and how to get it to bake evenly?

  8. The cupcakes taste great, but are too moist. They have more of a brownie texture. This makes them super heavy for eating. I’ll probably add more flour next time.

  9. Hi Al, I guess you could use self raising flour. Just make sure you don’t overmix the batter. :)

  10. hi! just came across this recipe on Pinterest…looks divine! just a quick question…is it ok to use self raising flour and omit baking pwd and baking soda? cheers

  11. Hi Cassandra, YES! You have to use sour cream. Or you could use plain yogurt. :)

  12. Do I HAVE to use sour cream? Please answer I really want to make these :)

  13. I just made these and they were magnificent! The only issue I had was that the cupcakes in my second batch collapsed in the center. Don’t leave the batter out too long before baking!

  14. Hi Humaira, you could skip the baking soda and add another 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. So no baking soda at all, but one full teaspoon of baking powder in total. Hope it helps. :)

  15. Heyyy the cupcakes look yummmm! But when I taste them I find them a bit salty and they taste like I’ve added more baking soda. Could you please please tell me if I can skip the soda. I don’t think we get good quality soda in my place. I have a party tomorrow I’m gonna make these beauties but can you please help me with the baking soda!? Pleaseeeeee!

  16. Thanks, Edith. I use plain sour cream (14% M.F.). But I guess it’s fine to use light one too. :)

  17. the cupcakes look wonderful and tasty just had one question what kind of sour cream do u use. Can it be any sour cream

  18. These are the best cupcakes ever!

  19. You are welcome, Amanda. I am so happy that you family enjoyed them!

  20. I tested this recipe today. It was an absolute success! Wonderful moist chocolate cupcakes, my whole family enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be keeping an eye on your blog for more tasty treats. :)

  21. Hi Khassa, Happy Belated Birthday! I am so happy that you enjoyed the recipe and liked the cupcakes. :)

  22. Wow. These were absolutely amazing and perfect for my birthday celebration! Thank you! The best cupcakes I’ve ever made :)

  23. Thanks, Sandra. I am so happy that you liked the recipe. :)

  24. These are the best cupcakes I have ever made. Trick is not to over fill the tins and not to overbake. Delicious and moist!

  25. Wow! Wow! Wow! Forgive my being crazy here. But your chocolate cupcake recipe is really amazing! I’ve never come across an simple recipe with such a great success. Love the simple steps and the addictively delicious flavor of it. All my friends and family are big fans of it! Thank you very much for sharing!

  26. Mixed cupcakes, placed in oven to bake. Opened door to check doneness with toothpick towards the end of bake time and found they had ran over a little bit which I thought I will just clean bottom of oven and move on. I shut door back and they instantly started to fall in the middle and became a mess!!! I cook frequently and normally do rather well but this recipe was a disappointment! Sorry to say…

  27. Thanks, Maureen. I am so happy to know that you enjoyed making and eating them. :)

  28. I made these last night on a whim when I was craving chocolate— only took about half an hour from prep to finish! SOOO easy, and they were a total hit. Delicious, moist, and the buttercream was to die for. I used greek yogurt because I didn’t have sour cream and almond milk instead of heavy cream and everything turned out wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!

  29. I am so happy to hear that, Laida. YAY! :)

  30. Thanks, Anna. :)

  31. AMAZING CUPCAKES! I made these for a treat for my family, and they loved them!


  33. Hi Fanny, this is the best chocolcate cupcake recipe I’ve ever tried. Unbelivably easy and OMG very tasty! I made these cupcakes for my coworkers. They all loved them. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Oy. This is a nightmare recipe, sorry. Baked for 23 minutes- brand new leavenings, NOT overmixed, cups filled just under half full. I’m a former professional baker and have made a number of cakes that use the cocoa/boiling water structure. I was curious about the one-bowl concept, so I tried these.

    Only non-standard item was self-supporting paper cups rather than a cupcake tin, one dozen cups set on my insulated baking sheet.

    Cupcakes were raw inside although set to the touch/shake test on top. There simply isn’t enough flour in the recipe to create a stable matrix for the leavening to act on, so the cupcakes don’t rise enough to cook all the way through or develop a stable lofting.

  35. Hi Ros, 2 sticks of butter equals to 1 cup / 8 tablespoons / 113 grams. :)

  36. Hi
    Can I know 2 stick of butter is around how many gramms

  37. You are very welcome, Eileen. I am happy to know that it turned out great. Yay!

  38. The cake turned out great! Wish I’d taken a picture. :). Thanks for your help.

  39. Thanks, Eew. I would say at least 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to test the doneness. And add another 3 minutes gradually.

  40. These look fabulous. If you were to make this as a two 6 inch cakes, what baking time would you suggest?

  41. YAY, Rose. I am so happy to hear that. Great job. :)

  42. I absolutely LOVED these! I tried one without frosting and they were still so amazing without it! I added vanilla buttercream and they were absolutely delish. Everyone who tries them says they’re the best. Definitely the best chocolate cupcake I have ever had.

  43. YAY! Yanisa! I am soooooo happy to hear that! I am glad that you like them! :)

  44. Hi Fanny,
    I tried this recipe once again and filled the cups a little less than halfway –they turned out perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing. So so delicious and professional looking :)

  45. Thanks, Lynda. I am glad that your family, especially your father loves them! :)

  46. Hi Tab, I am very sorry about your experience. I’ve already shared my failure experience here before, and I wish I come come up with a solution for you. :(

  47. Just made 2 dozens of these cupcake for father’s day, and they were all gone within a split second. LOL! Not only my father, but all my family loved them!!!!!! The best chocolat cupcake I’ve ever made. Thank you for sharing!

  48. Hi, Teo, thank you very much.
    Yes, you can definitely use this chocolate cupcake recipe to make cake pops. I do the same thing too to make triple chocolate cake pops. You can check out my post here.

  49. I’m really disappointed in the outcome of the results of this chocolate cupcake!! They turned out horrible… First they rise lopsided and the cupcakes don’t hold their shape and the bottom is crumbly when the cupcake liner is removed. I made them exactly following the recipe precisely!!
    I read Niki’s comment and your response to it before making the cupcakes: so I’m sure I didn’t overfill (I actually experimented and did 3 levels 1/4, 1/2, 3/4). The toothpick came out clean and I was cautious to not over mix. So I’m not sure what the problem is…. Just baffled by the weird outcome. Maybe there is something wrong with the recipe. Just wanna share with everyone and see if anybody has a solution. Thanks and best of luck to anybody making these. :)

  50. Hello

    I like very much your blog. I would like to do some receipt of cupcake and cake pops.

    I would like to put ask you if is it possible to use this receipt of cake to do cake pops?

    thanks in advance

    (you have a great family, congrats).



  51. Hi Yanisa. Sorry to hear that. Now if your baking powder and baking soda were all fresh. Then maybe:
    – The tin was too filled up.
    – Overmixed. I normally tend to undermix a little in case I am not sure. Being lumpy doesn’t hurt.
    – Underbaked. This batter is very liquidy. If your tester doesn’t come out clean after baked, add another 2 to 3 minutes for baking.
    These are my failure experience. I hope it helps. :)

  52. Hi, I just made these cupcakes; however, when they finished baking they ended up lopsided and relatively bad looking. What did I do wrong?

  53. You are very welcome, Amina. I am so happy to hear that! :)

  54. Yummy!!!!! I just made these cupcakes and supersoft and yummy! Best chocolate cupcake recipe ever!!! Thank you for sharing.

  55. Seriously, Lorna, you’ve made my day by telling me this. I am sooooo happy that u liked the recipe and it turned out to be a great success for u. Cheers. :D

  56. Sorry forgot to mention it was so amazing I made 6 batches in the space of 2 days :)

  57. I have nothing but amazing things to say bout this recipe it’s so easy, simple and best of all the result is fabulous … (I added a tbsp of coffee to the hot water) and the chocolatey flavour was just WOW … Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  58. Soooooo happy to hear that, Franny! :)

  59. First batch out of oven :) SOOOOO Delicious ~ Very moist, taste very yummy and that’s without icing!!! The only thing is I filled my cupcakes a little too much and they overflowed a bit. I am going to go easy on filling cupcakes next batch. I doubled recipe and it made about 32 cupcakes ;)
    Thank you for this delish recipe!!!! :) Can’t wait to try one with icing!!! LOL

  60. thank you!!!! will be baking tomorrow :)

  61. Hi, Franny. This recipe makes 12 standard-sized cupcakes. Hope your son will like them. :)

  62. Hello ~ these look delish!! I’m going to make these for my son’s graduation. Can you tell me how many cupcakes this recipe makes (normal size cupcakes) ~ Thanks :)

  63. Hi, Niki, no worries. Hope plain yogurt works fine! :)

  64. Thanks for the tip, Fanny! Plain yogurt is much easier to source here.

    P.S. I just realised my mix-up (of your name) in my earlier post. I’m beyond mortified! LOL! (I promise you I’m not looney…)

  65. Hi Niki, I would suggest you to use plain yogurt, because the batter itself is already liquidy, I wouldn’t put more liquid. Yogurt has the similar texture as sour cream, I think it will be the perfect substitution. Hope it helps. :)

  66. Hi Renee, your pictures are amazing and those cupcakes look yummy! I have a quick question on substitution: sour cream is hard to come by where I live and when available a 200ml pack costs abt $6! cab I sub the sour cream in this recipe with ‘homemade’ buttermilk (1 tbsp vinegar and whole milk)?

  67. Hi Renee. If your baking powder and baking soda were all good. Then maybe:
    – The tin was too filled up.
    – Overmixed. I normally tend to undermix a little in case I am not sure. Being lumpy doesn’t hurt.
    – Underbaked. This batter is very liquidy. If your tester doesn’t come out clean after baked, add another 2 to 3 minutes for baking.
    These are my failure experience. I hope it helps. :)

  68. I have made these cupcakes four times. The first time they turned out perfect. The best chocolate cupcakes I have ever eaten. The last three times the cake fell in the middle, any idea what would cause that? I checked to make sure that my baking soda and baking powder where in date. Thanks!

  69. Thanks, Renee! Cream cheese frosting sounds divine! I think the chocolate cake is too simple to make that you can focus all your energy on creating your best frosting to go with it! :)

  70. This is by far THE BEST chocolate cupcake I have ever had. Love Love Love it! I used a cream cheese frosting instead of the chocolate buttercream. The cream cheese frosting complemented it deliciously, and I can’t wait to try the chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. My taste buds thank you! =)

  71. Great to hear that, Ivana. :D

  72. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made these for family and then for a work function and was repeatedly told these were the BEST chocolate cupcakes ever! This one’s a keeper!

  73. Thanks, YitLing. Hope you weren’t disappointed. :)

  74. Saw your picture over at Pinterest and had to come check out. oh I wish I had one of these in my hands right now!

  75. Thanks, Anazar!

  76. These are oh-so-yummy looking Chocolate Cupcakes!!

  77. These look so good. I want one right now.

  78. Absolutely amazing looking cupcakes! I bet they taste so good too!

  79. Yum. I could go for one of these right now, or two!

  80. Absolutely gorgeous! These look like heavenly treats for any time of year. YUM!

  81. I can’t control myself around chocolate cupcakes!

  82. 嘩,又有新野睇見都想食

  83. Wow, looks so beautiful and good!

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