How to Make the Best Chocolate Cupcakes of 2023

best chocolate cupcake recipe
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There’s something undeniably delightful about sinking your teeth into a perfectly moist chocolate cupcake. Every year, on October 18th, dessert enthusiasts celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day, an occasion that pays tribute to this delicious treat. If you’re on the hunt for the best chocolate cupcakes, look no further. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of chocolate cupcakes and how this scrumptious day came to be. We’ll also share the two of the best chocolate cupcake recipes and answer all your questions about these tasty treats. So, let’s get baking!

The Origin of Chocolate Cupcakes

Before we dive into the recipe, we first want to share with you the history behind this decadent dessert. Cupcakes, in their various forms, have been enjoyed for centuries. The concept of individually-sized cakes dates back to the 18th century, when bakers began using small cups or molds to portion out batter. Early cupcakes were simple, often made with basic ingredients such as butter, sugar, and flour.

The introduction of cocoa to cake recipes revolutionized the world of baking. Chocolate cupcakes emerged, offering a rich, indulgent flavor that quickly gained popularity. As chocolate became more accessible, these mini cakes soon became a staple in bakeries and households across the world.

National Chocolate Cupcake Day: A Sweet Tradition

National Chocolate Cupcake Day didn’t appear overnight. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, with no definitive source or organization claiming responsibility for its creation. However, one thing is certain: the day has garnered a strong following, thanks to the unwavering love for chocolate cupcakes.

Today, National Chocolate Cupcake Day serves as an annual reminder to treat yourself. It’s a time when bakers, both amateur and professional, showcase their creativity by experimenting with various toppings, fillings, and frosting techniques. From classic ganache to whimsical sprinkles, the possibilities are endless.

Chocolate Cupcakes Around the World

While National Chocolate Cupcake Day is primarily celebrated in the United States, the love for this delectable treat has transcended borders. Across the globe, variations of chocolate cupcakes have become popular. In Britain, they’re called “fairy cakes“, as the English use a lighter icing than what Americans tend to use.* While in France, cupcakes are known as “petits gâteaux au chocolat,” often served with a dollop of crème fraîche.

The Versatility of Chocolate Cupcakes

One of the reasons chocolate cupcakes have endured through the ages is their incredible versatility. They can be dressed up or down, customized to suit any occasion. From elegant wedding receptions to lively children’s parties, chocolate cupcakes never fail to please a crowd.

Now that you’re up to speed on the rich history of chocolate cupcakes, let’s dive into our favorite chocolate cupcake recipe that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

By: Tatiana Lewis

These chocolate cupcakes are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday celebration, a special gathering, or just a sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Cupcake Ingredients  

  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (for a gluten-free version, replace the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose baking flour). 
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or unsweetened dark cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 2 eggs 
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup milk – we recommend nothing lower than 2% milk

Cupcake Directions  

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. 
  1. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper, foil, or silicon nonstick liners. 
  1. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl. You can also sift your dry ingredients together, but that’s the baker’s choice.
  1. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (use a paddle attachment), mix the cream, sugar, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Next, add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined and scraping down the bowl each time. 
  1.  Mix in the vanilla. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk; mix well. Then, spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. 
  1. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting. 

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or unsweetened dark cocoa powder 
  • ½ cup softened butter 
  • ¼ cup of milk – we recommend nothing lower than 2%  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Chocolate Frosting Directions 

  1. Mix sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) until blended and creamy. 
  1. If the frosting is too dry and not coming together, try adding more milk. Start with one tablespoon at a time, until you’ve reached the desired thickness of your frosting. 
  1. Frost your cooled cupcakes and decorate them with your favorite sprinkles. Then, enjoy!

Best Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe 

By: Tatiana Lewis 

best chocolate pumpkin cupcake recipe
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This recipe is something fun and different for the fall season. Who knew chocolate and pumpkin would work so well together?!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, salted or unsalted softened
  • 1 egg 
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • ¼ cup milk – we recommend nothing lower than 2% 
  • ¼ cup sour cream 
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree  
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder is recommended, but you can use sweetened cocoa powder if you prefer
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 
  1. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper, foil, or silicon nonstick liners. 
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) for 1-2 minutes. 
  1. Then, add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix till smooth. 
  1. Mix in the milk, sour cream, and pumpkin puree. 
  1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. We recommend sifting the dry ingredients.
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. 
  1. Fill each of the cupcake liners about ¾ full so that the batter is divided evenly.
  1. Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. 
  1. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients  

  • 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar, divided 
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream 
  • 6 oz. cream cheese softened 
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Orange food coloring 

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions 

  1. Beat the whipping cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (using the whisk attachment) until soft peaks form.  
  1. Add the orange food coloring to your desired level or orange (pale or vibrant) and mix until stiff peaks form. Once stiff peaks form, stop mixing as you don’t want to overwhip the cream. 
  1. Transfer the whipped cream mixture to a large bowl. 
  1. In another bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. 
  1.  Then, mix in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until combined.  
  1. Fold in the whipped cream until combined. 
  1.  Lastly, frost your cooled cupcakes and enjoy! 

Now that we’ve got the recipe down pat, let’s answer some of the most common questions that often come up when it comes to baking cupcakes.

How to Decorate Cupcakes

Decorating cupcakes can be a fun and creative process. Try out some popular decoration techniques such as using buttercream frosting to pipe swirls, adding sprinkles, edible glitter, chocolate shavings, or placing edible flowers or fondant decorations. You can also use tools like piping tips, fondant cutters, and stencils for intricate designs.

how to frost cupcakes

How to Frost Cupcakes

To frost cupcakes, you can use a piping bag (like the picture above) with a decorative tip or simply use a spatula. Start from the outer edge and work your way in, swirling the frosting in a circular motion. You can also create different effects by changing the angle and pressure of your piping. Lastly, smooth the frosting with a spatula for a clean finish.

How Many Calories Are in a Cupcake?

The calorie count in a cupcake can vary widely depending on the ingredients and portion size. On average, a standard-sized cupcake without frosting can range from about 150 to 300 calories. However, richer ingredients and larger cupcakes can have more calories.

How to Store Cupcakes

To keep cupcakes fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you need to store them longer, you can freeze them in an airtight container or individually wrap them in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months. You’ll just need to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

What Are Some Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipes?

There are various gluten-free flour alternatives such as almond flour, coconut flour, or a gluten-free flour blend that can be used in place of regular flour. You can also find recipes for gluten-free cupcakes that cater to different dietary needs and preferences.

What Are Some Vegan Cupcake Recipes?

Vegan cupcakes can be made without dairy or eggs. Substitutes such as almond milk or soy milk, applesauce, or mashed bananas can replace dairy and eggs in traditional recipes. Vegan butter or coconut oil can also be used for added moisture and richness.

What Are Some Popular Cupcake Flavors?

Some popular cupcake flavors include:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Red Velvet
  • Lemon
  • Carrot
  • Strawberry
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coffee
  • Matcha
  • Salted Caramel
best chocolate cupcakes

What Are the Most Common Cupcake Decorations?

Common cupcake decorations include:

  • Buttercream or cream cheese frosting
  • Sprinkles (various shapes and colors)
  • Edible glitter or shimmer dust
  • Chocolate chips or shavings
  • Fondant decorations (flowers, shapes)
  • Edible flowers or herbs
  • Fresh fruit slices
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Candy (e.g., M&Ms, gummy bears)

National Chocolate Cupcake Day is a celebration of more than just a sweet treat. It’s a nod to the creativity and passion of bakers and dessert enthusiasts worldwide. So, this October 18th, whether you’re a seasoned baker or simply a lover of all things chocolate, take a moment to savor the magic of a perfectly baked chocolate cupcake. Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

High-interest loans can be expensive and should be used only for short-term financial needs, not long-term solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. The opinions expressed above are solely the author’s views and may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website or its affiliates. Cash Factory USA  does not provide financial advice. 

Image(s) or Footage (as applicable), used under license from 

* This blog contains links to other third-party websites that are not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, or sponsored by Cash Factory USA. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user, or browser. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.