easiest chocolate cupcakes

I won’t pretend there’s anything revolutionary about the chocolate cupcake; a quick Google search pulls up more than 12 million results. And yet, sometimes a chocolate cupcake is just what you need, be it an odd Wednesday or for your coworker’s birthday or as a thank you to the house sitter… you get the idea. When you absolutely need a dozen (plus) chocolate cupcakes, it doesn’t get any easier than these.

Easiest Chocolate Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

The best chocolate cupcakes

Here’s why: both the batter and the chocolate frosting are one-bowl recipes, no mixer required. The richest and easiest chocolate cupcakes with fudge frosting are within your reach in just about an hour, from start to finish. Sprinkles are optional but highly encouraged, because what’s a cupcake without a little happy?

Easiest Chocolate Cupcakes | Tutti Dolci

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Easiest Chocolate Cupcakes

Easiest Chocolate Cupcakes



  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add sugars, egg, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla to flour mixture; whisk in just until incorporated. Dissolve instant espresso in boiling water; add to batter and whisk in until smooth. Fill each baking cup just over half full of batter.
  2. Bake cupcakes for 13 to 14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks for two minutes, then remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks. For the frosting, combine melted butter, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Whisk frosting one more minute, until smooth and glossy. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting over cupcakes. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.


The frosting yields enough for 16 cupcakes; if you prefer a more generous amount of frosting, double the recipe.


  • Calories: 200
  • Carbohydrates: 35

Keywords: Chocolate, Fudge Frosting, Cupcake

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  1. Love that these are easy, but even if they weren’t, I’d make them, if only for that decadently dark frosting!

  2. Yes, sometimes the simplest recipes get the most praise. My family is always thrilled to find cupcakes in the kitchen—especially when they’re chocolate!

  3. I’m all for easy! My resident chocolate lover would be very happy if I made a batch for him. (I think he’s ready to move past desserts stuffed with summer fruit!)

  4. These look like a chocolate dream and they look so pretty. I can already imagine myself licking the bowl of that frosting.

  5. I was just thinking the other day that it had been ages since I enjoyed a simple and delicious chocolate cupcake (really!). Thank you 🙂

  6. These look bakery perfect and I’m astonished the cakes and frosting are each only one bowl recipes- gotta try 🙂 Pinning!

  7. Ah, perfect! Who can resist a chocolate cupcake, or two! Brownie points for not having to haul out the mixer. 😀

  8. These are so quintessentially cupcake! These bring back memories of middle school birthday parties. Every other week someone would be celebrating a birthday and inevitably there would be a tupperware full of cupcakes to be found in the lunchroom. These look just perfect. I want to bring them into class and show them off. 🙂

  9. Oh my goodness that frosting looks insanely decadent, just so silky and dark chocolately and gorgeous! Chocolate cupcakes are definitely something that everyone needs a good recipe for up their sleeve, so perfect for any event or treat 🙂

  10. These make me happy just looking at them and what a bonus that they’re easy and one-bowl. Love it!

  11. I am looking for a great chocolate cake recipe for my daughter’s birthday. Would this make enough batter for 2 9 inch layers. The recipe looks wonderful.

    1. Hi MMM! For two 9-inch layers, I would double the recipe. You may have more batter than you need to fill the pans, so you could bake that into cupcakes. Hope that helps! 🙂 Oh and for a layer cake, I would probably triple the frosting recipe.

  12. These cupcakes look so good!!! One question – Would these cupcakes hold up for a bake sale? I noticed you mentioned storing them in the refrigerator. Does that mean they shouldn’t be left out for too long?

    Thank you,


    1. Thanks Sue! I like to refrigerate the cupcakes overnight because of the milk and butter in the frosting. For a bake sale, you could bake the cupcakes ahead and then frost them the day of. Hope that helps! 🙂

  13. Made these over the weekend and I was stunned at how perfect they came out. These were delicious and my kids thoroughly enjoyed them. Thank you!!!

  14. Delicious and easy! Great chocolate flavor. Made these for some friends and they all wanted the recipe.