Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

The Story:

What’s the “story” behind this cupcake?  You tell me, because I don’t know.  All I want to do right now is rant about life!  I want to tell all my frustrations to the wide open internet and see what I get back.  I want to say what I really feel and let it all go. I want to tell people to just stop and be honest.

But guess what…. I can’t.    Because I don’t want to get questions like:   “Hey Lizzy, were you talking about me on your blog?”[end-story]

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Cake:
1 box devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 C. oil or melted butter, cooled
1 C. milk or buttermilk
1/2 C. sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Buttercream:
1 C. butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs. milk
2-3 C. powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Sift cake mix to remove lumps and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
4. Add cake mix and stir until smooth.
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 17-22 minute or until an inserted knife will comes out clean.
6. Buttercream: Beat butter for two minutes. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder and milk and beat again. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
7. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

53 thoughts on “Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. 1
    Katie R says:

    Sounds like maybe you are having a rough day. Well, I think you are fabulous and I love your recipes and think you are just amazing! We all have rough days. The sun will come out tomorrow. : ) I know that it is hard when people let us down or don’t act the way we wish they would – but we have to remember that they are human and maybe we just don’t understand all that they are going through. Just tell them how you feel and give them a chance to make things right.

  2. 2
    Kim Hamilton says:

    That sounds to me like it needs to be called “Bad Day Cupcake” or “PMS Cupcake” LOL!!! Sorry you are struggling with people being…well…people. Hope you got to eat a few of these chocolate babies. They look delish! BTW, your cupcakes are still the best I’ve ever had!

  3. 3
    Amanda says:

    Awe are people stealing your post or recipes and using them as their own? If so that is SOOOO not cool! hope you feel better soon and eat some chocolate it makes everything better! LOL

  4. 4

    Lizzy, what would you say is your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe?

  5. 5
    Jill_R says:

    Yikes! I hope tomorrow is better, it has to be! Good luck!

  6. 6
    Michelle says:

    I am so sorry to see that you are having a bad day! I hope that it looks up! I have thoroughly enjoyed your cupcakes! And today, I watched a group of 12 students (mine) inhale them. . .I was so delighted to find something easy and simplistic to make for today’s dessert dish. . .and I was able to freeze them ahead of time! Even better, I might add!

  7. 7
    Helen says:

    Lizzy…..I’m sending a big internet hug. I know all about feeling rant-y and not being able to. BTW, I have made several of your recipes, and I always get raves on them. Hope tomorrow is better!

  8. 8
    Kathy says:

    You have figured out a big truism of life: Chocolate makes bad days bearable, even when people aren’t. I hope you can feel the love and support we all feel towards you. And I really hope tomorrow is a better day for you. Hang in there!!!

  9. 9
    Melissa says:

    Hi Lizzie
    I just want you to know how much your website has meant to me and my daughter. I have an eleven-year-old daughter who is the youngest child in our family, and who loves to make things in the kitchen with me–especially cupcakes. We came across your blog while looking for delicious recipes last year and have been hooked ever since. It’s funny to us how often we think of some flavor that would make a delicious cupcake and go searching either pinterest or the internet, and the recipe we end up on is one of yours. We always laugh and wonder why we didn’t just check here first. Your blog and your recipes have helped form a wonderful relationship in the kitchen for me and my daughter. Thank you so much for all you do to inspire us. We can’t wait for your book! And by the way, Go Cougars!

  10. 10
    ciel says:

    Lizzy…. I know you are not talking about me. But I tell everyone how wonderful you are and
    how they should check out your blog and how much i enjoyed meeting you and how much I love your blog.
    There…fell better?

  11. 11
    Angel says:

    Hi, I just made these cupcakes for my husbands 40th birthday party, the samples are awesome, I know they will be enjoyed by everyone. Thanks for posting I look forward to making more things on your blog:)

  12. 12
    Jeanette says:

    These look so delicious! I am wondering if these need to be kept in the refrigerator or if on the counter is fine (due to the icing)? Thanks!

  13. 13
    Kathryn says:

    Lizzy…I’m always curious about storing cupcakes. Do they need refrigeration or can they be left at room temperature? I’m always a little worried about taking cupcakes to a school event because of this…


    • 13.1

      You can leave them about for about 24 hours without refrigeration as long as you don’t live in a really hot place. If you refrigerate them, the icing will turn rock solid, so make sure you bring them out with an hour or so to soften up again.

  14. 14
    Naomi says:

    Everything on here looks great! Just wondering, are you Mormon? If you don’t want to answer that’s fine! Thanks for a great site!

  15. 15

    […] This is a very easy recipe for a dinner dessert…..find more here. […]

  16. 16
    Natalia says:

    I just made these for my daughters birthday and they were a huge hit. The icing is VERY rich! Im making the Red, White, and Blueberry muffins for breakfast tomorrow…the birthday is a sleepover so they will be a great treat.

  17. 17
    Angie Baker says:

    I made these chocolate cupcakes as part of my christmas treat basket. Everybody loved them!

  18. 18
    Monika says:

    I just found your blog. I wanted a chocolate cup cake recipe that me and my 3 year old daughter could do together. This looked perfect for us. Well we just ate them! Wow! Amazing! Best cupcake I have had in a long time! Thanks for this great recipe and now to one of my new favorite blogs! 2 in 1 deal, I love it! 🙂 thanks!

  19. 19
    Isabel says:

    How many cupcakes does this make?

  20. 20
    Julia says:

    These cupcakes are seriously so good. I have made them 3 times in the past week for different events. So easy and so good. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  21. 21

    […] The Story: Alright, anyone who is doing something really lovely and romantic tonight probably isn’t reading this. But I figure I should post SOMETHING cutesy today because this is a cupcake blog and it’s a day for love. So here is a photo for all you happy, ooey-gooey people and a photo for everyone else. Go out, live it up, and here’s to chocolate, especially easy chocolate cupcakes! […]

  22. 22
    Michelle says:

    Hi lizzy love the cake recipe but im not so much of a sweet tooth do you have a other recipe for the butter cream please help thanks michelle

    • 22.1

      Just ganache the cupcakes then. Add a little extra cream to get a glossy finish and just dip them in and let them set. Then you can drizzle with white chocolate for added decoration. You can also use dark chocolate chips to make the ganache so its even less sweet! 1 C. chocolate chips & 1/4 C. whipping cream…heat in microwave and stir until smooth. Dip the tops of your cupcakes in it and there you go!

  23. 23
    Sydnie says:

    I made these and they were so tasty! They were a big hit at work. The sour cream makes them so moist, and I love using cake mix to save time. Thanks for the great recipe! I will definitely be making these again.

  24. 24
    Sharon says:

    Salted or unsalted butter for both the cake and the icing? I am making these for my son’s birthday party on Friday. (:

  25. 25
    Tammie says:

    Hi Lizzy, I’m a new follower to your site….all of your recipes look fabulous! I’m curious though about how bad would it be to leave the sour cream out?

  26. 26
    Janis Munroe says:

    Just made these for a neighbors birthday. He’s gonna be so stoked!!!!!

  27. 27
    Melanie says:

    I have made these cupcakes twice and they are amazing! Very easy and very moist. I did have to tweak the frosting a little bit though. I used about 3 Tbs. of milk and about 3/4 Cup of powdered sugar. Thanks so much for posting such a great recipe (:

  28. 28
    Valerie says:

    Lizzy, I noticed in your recipes that you do the mixing of wet & dry ingredients by hand, if I use a electric hand mixer will it alter the texture of your cupcakes?

    • 28.1

      No, but I wouldn’t beat it at a high speed. It will add a lot of air into the batter which cake make it more dry. I just like to work for my calories, so I do it by hand 🙂

  29. 29
    Catherine says:

    This recipe rocks! I did a “test run” of the recipe this afternoon because I want to make them for my daughter’s birthday next weekend. It was so easy and turned out delicious!! Thank you! I don’t have a lot of experience with buttercream – if I were to add more milk than what is on the recipe, will it make it lighter, like not as heavy?

  30. 30
    Caroline says:

    Hi .
    I was wondering if you had a low fat recipe for a chocolate cupcake?

  31. 31
    caroline says:

    Great! Thanks! This should be perfect for someone on weight watchers, do you know how the taste is? would you have any suggestions in regards to a weight watcher friendly frosting or glaze topping?

  32. 32
    Lori says:

    Just found your website and I’m so excited – recipes like this one are just what I’ve been looking for. I knew there was a way to make a boxed cake mix taste better! Can’t wait to try this, thanks!

  33. 33
    Jackie Sauder says:

    I was wondering if this recipe can be made into a cake and how long would I need to bake it? It sounds absolutely delicious!!!

  34. 34
    Kathleen says:

    Dear Ms. Lizzy,
    I love all your recipes and I have both of your books. I can honestly say that I have tried every recipe in both books. Delicious.

    I was hoping, as do many of my friends, wonder if you could please publish or self publish a remake of these recipes with the new cake mix sizes. I’ve tried some from your first book and they aren’t working correctly. I called the 3 main cake manufacturers and explained the issues. They stated “that not only did we reduce the size of the mixes but we chemically altered the ingredients so it will still yield the same cupcakes as before. People are having difficulties with their old doctored recipes because we chemically changed how the ingredients work together. We had to do this to stay cost effective due to rising prices of ingredients” Duncan Hines is further reducing all of their mixes to 15.25. Pillsbury already has changed their mixes. Betty Crocker has changed all of theirs EXCEPT the white (vanilla) cake mix but not French. They stated that “their vanilla cake mix will stay at 16.25 and will never be reduced but all others will be 15.25. Anything marked ‘Super Moist or Moist’ will always have pudding in the mix even if it is not stated on the package that pudding is in the mix.”
    I’m sure you are aware of this but it would be great to have your books with the box size listed. I would buy this book or even just the recipes from you for your cupcakes. I respect your work and no one out there comes close to you in your mix recipes. Plus, no one is publishing or has published any recipes with the new cake mix sizes. I wouldn’t think twice about purchasing these again or even per copy from you. It is just frustrating that the companies changed everything so that the recipes aren’t working as well. I know people would have paid the increase for the mixes. I like the consistency of a mix because it’s uniformly dependable and not affected by the elements as many scratch cakes. It would also be nice to know what box size is needed to prevent waste. I’ve even tried adding extra mix from another box, that did work in the beginning of the downsizing but now since they chemically changed to yield more it no longer works like it did in the beginning of the downsizing.
    Thank you. I apologize for the length of this email but feel it is important to you and your business. I trust your recipes and honesty.
    Sincerely, K

  35. 35
    Lauren says:

    What can I use if I don’t have sour cream?

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