Rating: 5.00
(2)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

By Rachel
April 25, 2023

These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream are light, airy, and full of chocolate flavor. A quick one-bowl chocolate cake batter topped with a creamy homemade vanilla frosting. This cupcake recipe requires no mixer since it is oil based and mixes together easy with simple ingredients. Perfect for birthdays, gatherings, or a fun weekend bake! Use festive cupcake liners to make these perfect for any occasion!

a chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream and a chocolate square

Highlights of these classic chocolate cupcakes:

  • Moist cupcakes
  • Vanilla buttercream frosting is rich & creamy
  • a family-friendly recipe, perfect or beginners
  • Simple ingredients, no butter or mixer needed
  • Cupcake batter comes together quickly and easily
  • Buttercream is easy to make and keeps in the fridge so you can make in advance
  • Top with chocolate curls or sprinkles for a festive look

First Steps:

  • Combine oil, sugar, vanilla, and egg
  • Whisk well to combine
  • Mix in milk
  • In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients

Grocery Store List & Substitutions:

  • Vegetable oil, can substitute olive oil or canola oil
  • Large whole eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk, can substitute heavy cream, half and half or a non-dairy milk like oat milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Chocolate chunks for garnish
  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsalted butter, softened
cupcake laying on its side topped with vanilla frosting

If you like these delicious cupcakes, you’ll love…

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Second Steps:

  • Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients
  • Fold in gently to combine until a smooth batter forms
  • Scoop into prepared cupcake pan using a portion scoop
  • Bake and cool completely

Tools I used for this chocolate cupcake recipe:

The best chocolate cupcakes full of chocolate flavor with a light and airy consistency!

Can I make my chocolate cupcakes ahead of time?

Yes, these cupcakes can be made in advance. Simple allow them to cool completely and store in and airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days in advance if needed. It can help to brush the cupcakes with simple syrup to get them extra moist.

What makes these chocolate cupcakes moist?

These cupcakes turn out moist, light, and airy, due to no overmixing and the addition of milk. It can also help to start baking with less time and add more time as needed.

Do I have to use cupcake liners?

No, you do not have to. If you do not want to use liners, make sure you are using a non-stick pan and grease well with butter or cooking oil.

moist chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla frosting

Garnish these moist chocolate cupcakes with chocolate curls, chocolate chips or a chocolate square or use festive liners for different occasions!

Pro tips for the fail-proof cupcake recipe:

  • Fill each cupcake 2/3rds full, do not over fill or they will bake over
  • Start on the short end of baking and add time as needed so the cupcakes stay moist
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting
  • When making the buttercream make sure to cream butter for long enough, you want a light and fluffy consistency. Adjust cream as needed.
  • Store leftover in the fridge for best results!
creamy vanilla buttercream

Vanilla frosting is super easy to make and can be customized easily. Add in cocoa powder for chocolate frosting or substitute cream cheese frosting. If needed, you can use store-bought frosting. Use a knife to spread on frosting or piping bag.

Instructions for the best chocolate cupcake recipe:

For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a 12-cup cupcake pan. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy. Slowly mix in milk.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined. Use a portion scoop to fill each cupcake liner 2/3rd’s full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly each time. Mix in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate curls or a chocolate chunk.
frosted chocolate cupcake
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

5 from 2 votes
Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream frosting
Servings 12 cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Equipment

  • Cupcake tin and liners

Ingredients
 
 

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Whole egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup Milk or cream, can substitute a non-dairy alternative
  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4-5 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsps Heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a 12-cup cupcake pan. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine until light and creamy. Slowly mix in milk.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix well until completely combined. Use a portion scoop to fill each cupcake liner 2/3rd's full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. 

For the buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric hand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly each time. Mix in the vanilla extract and the heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate curls or a chocolate chunk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 4gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 303mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 565IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
Author: The Hearty Life
Calories: 349kcal
Cost: $$
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Chocoalte Cake, Cupcakes, Dessert Recipes, Vanilla buttercream

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @theheartylife on Instagram and hashtag it #theheartylife.

unwrapped chocolate cupcake on a plate
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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