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Chocolate cupcakes
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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes are ultra moist and sooo chocolatey! They're also super easy to make and topped with a velvety chocolate buttercream.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Alison Hope


For the Frosting


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
  • Sift the all purpose flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and instant espresso powder and mix together.
  • Prepare the homemade buttermilk by adding ½ tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring jug and then adding milk (room temperature) up to the ½ cup (120ml) line. Let it sit for a minute to curdle.
  • Add the homemade buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix in to a thick batter.
  • Add the hot water and use a hand whisk to whisk it in until well mixed. Your batter will now be thin and this is perfect.
  • Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.
  • Place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean (no wet batter).
  • Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.



  1. The instant espresso powder is optional. It doesn't lead to any coffee flavor in the final result though and is there to enhance the chocolate flavor. You can also use any instant coffee and it doesn't specifically need to be espresso powder, though I like the flavor this gives. 
  2. If you happen to have real buttermilk on hand, you can use that in this recipe instead of the homemade buttermilk. But since most people don't have buttermilk on hand any day of the week, the homemade version (lemon juice + milk) is perfect in this recipe. 
  3. We used canola oil in this recipe but you can switch this for vegetable oil if you prefer. 
  4. Nutritional information is for the cupcakes only and does not include the chocolate buttercream frosting. Nutritional info for the chocolate buttercream can be found on that separate recipe.  


Serving: 1Cupcake | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg