My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

The Story:

Every wedding that has cupcakes, needs a chocolate-chocolate cupcake.  And this is always my go-to recipe.  The chocolate buttermilk cake has a little kick from the cinnamon, the rich chocolate ganache adds a special touch, and the chocolate buttercream is smooth as silk.[end-story]

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Sift cake mix into a bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon together.
4. Add cake mix and stir until smooth.
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 17-22 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
6. Ganache: Once your cupcakes are cooled, place your chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl with whipping cream. Microwave for 20 seconds, remove and stir. Continue to microwave in small increments until smooth.
7. Dip the tops of your cooled cupcakes into the ganache and let set.
8. Buttercream: Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and let beat again. Add vanilla extract and cocoa, beat well. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of milk if it becomes too thick.
9. Pipe buttercream over ganache once it has set and top with chocolate shavings.

80 thoughts on “My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

  1. 1

    I love that you use a box mix here! It makes it a wee bit easier :)

  2. 2
    Michelle R says:

    I made these cupcakes today and they were so amazing that there are no words to describe their taste. Excellent job with the recipe. my new #1 favorite.

  3. 3
    JulieD says:

    These cupcakes are so gorgeous!!

  4. 4
    Carrissa says:

    I know this recipe is for cupcakes, but if i were to make it into a round cake do you know what the baking times would be?

    • 4.1

      Closer to 25 minutes. Just set your timer for 20 and then give it a little shake. The center should not jiggle like jello. To check the final done-ness poke a knife into the center and make sure it comes out clean.

  5. 5
    Trudy Spears says:

    I baked these cupcakes tonight they are amazing! The flavors are wonderful I like the tsp of cinnamon that is included! I will bake these again! Thank you for sharing!

  6. 6
    Carissa says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blog Award! Congrats! http://at350degrees.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/inspiring-blog-award/

  7. 7
    Vera Zecevic says:

    Yummy! Another recipe for my collection! I will bake them !

  8. 8
    Brenda says:

    Hi,
    These look great!
    I’ve never made cupcakes before (yep..sounds crazy but I usually just do the eating of cupcakes not baking) and I need to make 50 mini cupcakes. I was wondering how many mini’s do you think this recipe makes? I didn’t see the amount for regular size ones. ( If it’s there sorry sometimes I’m completely oblivious)
    Thanks

  9. 9
    Bailey says:

    This look delicious!! I’m not really a cream cheese frosting person though, so if I wanted the frosting to be all butter instead of cream cheese/butter, would i use the same amount the cream cheese was plus the other butter amount? :)

  10. 10
    Janice says:

    These cupcakes are delicious! I am wanting to know if you refrigerate your cupcakes with cream cheese icing?

    Thank you!

  11. 11
    Alison says:

    Hi Lizzy, your cupcakes are amazing!! Just wondering what piping equipment you use. I am not sure where to find the right nozzles. I am in Australia so any online suppliers you might know of would be great! I would love to get mine to look half as good as yours!!! Thanks :)

  12. 12
    Faigy says:

    I was wondering if what I can use as a substitute for buttermilk? Thanks!

  13. 13
    Laura D says:

    I am making these for my twins’ first birthday party. I did a trial run (because I am OCD like that) and they are AMAZING!!! I love the flavor that the cinnamon imparts. Thanks so much for sharing. I will definitely try some of your other recipes having had such success with these!

  14. 14
    Evangeline Marie says:

    Hi Lizzy!
    This recipe looks amazing, I’m so excited to make it!! The only thing is, I have no buttermilk. Is there a substitute you suggest?? Thank you so much, this is my favorite baking blog!!

    • 14.1

      You can use any liquid to substitute! Milk, whole milk, really anything. You can even use water if you’re desperate, but the buttermilk is thick and full of a lot of great taste, which is why I use it so much.

  15. 15
    heather bell says:

    trying this out tomorrow for our birthday cake for Jesus.=) Santa gets a piece too! yum

  16. 16
    House of Twirls says:

    My grandma used to make these from scratch… Sadly she has passed and we don’t have her recipe. Do you have the scratch recipe for the cake? We try to not eat the boxed stuff do to the additives.
    Thanks so much and we can’t wait to make these!
    Lacie
    P.s I live at over 8,000 feet above see level so any pointers for that would be great if you have any!

  17. 17
    Bri says:

    Um, I’m pretty certain we should be friends. You had me at “chocolate.” You’ve just made me a sinfully happy person with this recipe! I tried it tonight for my best friend’s birthday tomorrow, and my boyfriend was my taste tester (with no arm-twisting, I assure you) and he has already ordered these for his birthday in May :) They are so rich and delicious. I would never have thought to add the cinnamon but it’s perfect. Thanks for such a fantastic recipe!
    Now all I need to do is work on my decorating skills. Unlike the cupcakes, my piping skills are sub-par at best. :)

    • 17.1

      Practice makes perfect. Just make a batch of buttercream and practice piping onto a bottom of a cup. Pipe, scrape it off into the bowl, and just keep going to get a lot of practice in :) Hopefully that made sense…

  18. 18
    andrea says:

    I literally JUST made this… but as a birthday cake for my mister! He’s not a big cake eater but last time i made one of your recipes (pineapple cupcakes. YUM!) he loved them!

    I’ve already picked at it and it’s AMAZINNNNGGGG!! Thanks so much for sharing your talents with the world!

    xo

  19. 19
    mariam says:

    Looks delicious..! can’t wait to try these cupakes, ….just one question though? can i substitute the buttermilk with something else?

  20. 20
    mariam says:

    Oh sorry! just read your reply to another reader about the buttermilk

  21. 21
    Alyssa says:

    Have you tried subbing the 1/2 cup oil with applesauce? Obviously cupcakes are not known for their health benefits, but if I can cut out a little fat, I’m a happy girl :) Thanks!

    • 21.1
      Alyssa says:

      I made these today (with oil – want to make sure they turned out for our 1st birthday party tomorrow). Still wondering about using applesauce, but I have a general cupcake question, too. Some of my cupcakes are a little sunken in the center – does that mean I should have baked longer? I baked for 20 min. They sure smell wonderful, and once they are frosted they’ll look fine. I’m just not much of a baker and wanted to know for future baking attempts (and I don’t want to overcook them, either)!

      • Depending on the altitude that you live at they may fall, but don’t bake them longer. Because if you bake them longer they wont fall, but they will lose moisture. SO just decorate them pretty and they will taste amazing!

  22. 22
    Janice Harrison says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have made these twice for different gatherings and they are a big hit. Also I made red velvet with your frosting (without the cocoa) and the frosting gets raves. Mine are not nearly so pretty. I had lots of frosting mishaps with a disposable icing bag and a plastic star tip. I ended up just spreading the frosting with a knife.

  23. 23
    Ian says:

    Made this today for my theater cast–super awesome! I didn’t do the ganache, but it tasted great with just the cake and frosting.

  24. 24
    Silvi says:

    Hello, im from Dominican Republic.
    If i dont have Devil’s food cake mix, what can i use?

  25. 25
    Becca says:

    Can you cut out the middles and put the chocolate ganache inside the cupcakes or is it best dipped on the tops? Mine just never turn out as pretty as yours. The ganache runs down the liners a bit. How long do you hold the cupcakes upside down for?

  26. 26
    Kerry says:

    BEST CUPCAKES EVER!!!! Seriously, the chocolate ganache was over the top and I loved the icing. Love your tip about practicing piping skills the icing on the bottom of a cup. Thanks again for sharing.

  27. 27
    Angel says:

    Would this recipe work with other cake boxes? I have a german chocolate cake, would that work?

  28. 28

    Made these tonight for a friend’s baby shower and they are awesome! I love the hint of spice from the cinnamon! I piped vanilla buttercream on top but next time I will try your chocolate. I was disappointed that mine weren’t as pretty as yours–they sunk in the middle. Maybe it was the altitude. Are you a BYU student? My husband and I graduated a couple of years ago and are living in Virginia now. Anyways, your cupcakes are fabulous. Keep up the great work! :)

    • 28.1

      I JUST graduated from BYU last week! Yes, altitude can be a beast for making cupcakes fall. But that’s alright, just pipe over the fallen part and they will still be beautiful!

  29. 29
    Amanda Brown says:

    Hey Lizzy,
    I am in love with making cakes and cupcakes and just discovered your website! Love your recipes! I was wondering how you make sure you get the same amount of batter in each cup? This seems to be a struggle of mine!
    Thanks

  30. 30
    Samantha says:

    I love these cupcakes. Can you tell me what temperature and how long I would back them, if I made mini ones? I am making a few batches of your cupcakes to have out at my school’s open house. Thanks!!

  31. 31
    Samantha says:

    Me again! Would is work to poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes to let the dipped ganache fill those in slightly and still get the dipped effect? These are awesome. Everyone always loves them. :)

  32. 32
    Nana Phyllis says:

    I plan on making these for a Labor Day BBQ. Can’t wait to taste them. I’ll pipe them Mon. Morn, but bake and dip them Sunday eve.

  33. 33
    Jennifer Pantoja says:

    Hi Lizzy! I’m new to baking from scratch and absolutely love your website. I’ve tried this recipe several times and the cupcake itself is done without fail. It’s the icing recipe I’m struggling with. I live in Texas (not sure if that makes a difference) but I must use a minimum of 4 cu. of powdered sugar to get remote stiffness… I’ve been practicing my piping but the frosting always comes out too soft and doesn’t pretty like yours… Any suggestions? I’m nervous to add too much powdered sugar.

    • 33.1

      Add more powdered sugar! Make sure you are using real butter as well, not margarine! And make sure the butter has never been melted. Texas gets hot and you’ll just need to add more. If it gets too sweet, you can add a pinch of salt.

      • Jennifer Pantoja says:

        Thanks so much I will give it a shot.. I think I may have let the butter get too soft. Thanks so much! and keep up all this awesomeness. :)

  34. 34
    Jamie says:

    My cupcakes sunk in the middle. Is that normal?

  35. 35
    kyahana says:

    How many does this make for cupcakes?

  36. 36
    Julianne says:

    Lizzy,

    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. I’ve been experimenting with different cupcake recipes and I this one excels!!! MMM…If you love chocolate you are in for a serious treat! Chocolate overload!! My first time making ganache (That was fun) First time making chocolate shavings too :) Happy Baking all :)

  37. 37
    jaime says:

    Would this make 2 8×8 square cakes?

  38. 38
    Sarah says:

    Do you have suggestions to stop fresh fruit from bleeding on frosting? I’ve found that if I top cupcakes or cake with fresh fruit, the juices come flowing out after a while. Will just drying them well do the trick? I’m going to sugar blueberries for atop a cake this weekend to hopefully lock in the juice even more.

    • 38.1

      I don’t have much trouble at all with blueberries bleeding into my cupcakes, but yes always make sure they are totally dry and not wet OR don’t have any sort of cuts in them!

  39. 39

    Have you made this recipe since the cake manufacturers downsized the volume in their cake mixes? I am leery to try it without knowing.

  40. 40
    Betty says:

    For the Chocolate Ganache….what can I use if I don’t have whipping cream? I have 2% milk & evaporated milk will that work & should I use less? Thanks!

  41. 41
    Natalie Fisher says:

    Can I use melted butter instead of oil for this recipe and will it make a difference?

    I also have to decorate them with little green X’s (because my company logo is a green X) What medium would you recommend to do that? I was going to use some green smarties or m&m’s and shape them like x’s. What would you do?

    Thanks!

    • 41.1

      Yes you can use melted butter instead of the oil! As for the decorating, either of those will do. Or you can use those green melts and pipe out X’s on parchment paper and let them cool and then stick them on the cupcakes!

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