Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

These Easy Chocolate Cupcakes are moist, fluffy and the perfect simple dessert for celebrations or just for fun!

I love this bare bones cupcake recipe because it requires things most people already have on hands, and it’s so straightforward that anyone can make them!

woman holding chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting with wrapper pulled off

An Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Don’t chocolate cupcakes just SCREAM celebration? They bring me back to birthdays growing up because they’re just such a classic kid treat. We love to make these for birthdays, end-of-school-year parties, summer barbecues, and pretty much any other excuse we can think of to bake cupcakes. They’re no more difficult than cupcakes from a box, and the uncomplicated ingredients are things you likely have on hand already (or can easily find at the store!). There’s nothing crazy about them, but they’re basic and delicious with a rich chocolatey flavor and soft, cushiony texture.

A surprising staple ingredient that I use in these chocolate cupcakes is vinegar. Yes, vinegar! You might not expect vinegar in baked goods, but the acid actually activates baking soda to help it lift the baked goods as they bake. It makes for extra soft and puffy cupcakes, and it’s my secret to success with baking the best cupcakes ever. I promise you won’t be able to taste it, and you’ll never go back to another chocolate cupcake recipe again.

spooning chocolate cake mix into cupcake wrappers in muffin tin

Why I Love Making Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch

Baking cupcakes from scratch is SO easy — just as easy as making them from a box, but you get to source the ingredients, meaning you have way more power over what’s going into your baked goodies. Simply mix the dry ingredients, add in the wet ingredients, pour into lined cupcake pans, and voila! You’re done and it’s just as quick and simple as the box kind — but tastes way better if you ask me.

Cupcake Ingredients

Flour: Flour is the base for cupcakes and keeps everything together while helping them to rise.

Sugar: Sugar brings the sweetness to chocolate cupcakes!

Baking soda: Baking soda lets the cupcakes rise and get nice and puffy.

Salt: Salt balances all the other sweet ingredients.

Cocoa: Cocoa powder is what makes these guys into chocolate cupcakes. Use your favorite kind!

Light oil: You can use vegetable, canola, or avocado oil to get a really moist, tender cupcake texture.

Water: Use water to thin the batter and make it the right consistency before baking.

White vinegar: That’s right, vinegar in cupcakes! It reacts with the baking soda to allow the cupcakes to lift and get nice and inflated.

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Add the oil, and stir until the oil is combined.
  4. Add the water and vinegar and beat well.
  5. Line 30 muffins cups with paper liners.
  6. Fill the liner half full with cupcake batter.
  7. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven; allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.
  9. We love this recipe with our favorite Extra Fluffy White Cloud Frosting.

how to make easy chocolate cupcake batter with mixer collage image

Tips for the Best Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Fill liners halfway: Don’t overfill the cupcake liners, or else they might overflow as they bake and turn into one jumbo topped cupcake!
  2. Vinegar creates the best texture: I know vinegar seems strange but don’t skip it! It helps the cupcakes to rise to perfection and you won’t be able to taste it.
  3. Cool before frosting: Be sure the cupcakes are totally cool before adding frosting. It will melt off if the cupcakes are still warm.

My Favorite Frostings for Chocolate Cupcakes

My favorite frosting is this Extra Fluffy White Cloud Frosting for chocolate cupcakes. It’s easy to make, or you can use your favorite store-bought frosting!

How to Store Cupcakes

Store cupcakes in an airtight container in one layer — do not place them on top of one another or else they’ll squish the ones beneath. You can keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for much longer, up to 4 months.

Cupcake FAQs

How Do I Make My Cupcakes Light & Fluffy?

I swear by using vinegar in the batter to get the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes! Also don’t over-mix the batter, which can over-activate the gluten in the flour, causing tougher cupcakes.

How to I Make Sure My Cupcakes Stay Moist?

Be sure to store your cupcakes in an airtight container that is closed tightly to keep their moisture in.

How Much Batter Do I Put in the Cupcake Liner?

Fill cupcake liners halfway (about 1/4 cup).

Should I Spray Cupcake Liners?

No! The cupcake liners act as nonstick little holders of cupcakes, so spraying them is not necessary.

chocolate cupcakes with fluffy vanilla frosting and sprinkles on cooling rack boy in red and white striped shirt eating chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting

Print

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24-30 cupcakes 1x

Description

These Easy Chocolate Cupcakes are moist, fluffy and the perfect simple dessert for celebrations or just for fun!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup light oil (like vegetable, canola, or avocado)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mix, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine well.
  3. Add the oil, and stir until the oil is combined and the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Add the water and vinegar and beat well until a smooth batter forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
  5. Line 30 muffins cups with paper liners.
  6. Fill the liner half full with cupcake batter.
  7. If you don’t have 30 muffin cups, you can do 24 muffin cups and about 18 mini muffin-sized cupcakes.
  8. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.
  10. We love this recipe with our favorite Extra Fluffy White Cloud Frosting.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 30
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233.2 Fat: 15.4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 162.7mg Carbohydrates: 23.5g Sugars: 13.4g Protein: 1.5g Vitamin A: 0µg Vitamin C: 0mg

Keywords: easy chocolate cupcakes recipe, moist chocolate cupcakes, best chocolate cupcakes, fluffy chocolate cupcakes

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.