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Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles, are a chocolate triple threat. They're rich, decadent, sweet, and easy. |

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles, are a chocolate triple threat. They're rich, decadent, sweet, and easy.


Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted buttersoftened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggsat room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurtat room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water, at room temperature

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 + 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • chocolate sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-tin muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. 
  4. In a small bowl, stir together vanilla, yogurt, and water. Set aside.
  5. Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mixture and beat until just combined. Then, add half of the yogurt mixture, and beat until just combined. Repeat, until you end with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat until just combined and smooth. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop up the batter and into the cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer into a wire cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Make the Chocolate Buttercream:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add in confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder and continue to beat until incorporated.
  3. Add milk and beat until light and fluffy. Add more milk if the buttercream is too thick, add more confectioners' sugar if the buttercream is too thin. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until you are ready to use the icing to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Use a couplers to secure a no. 2D decorating tip onto a piping bag. Fill the bag with icing and pipe the icing onto each cupcake starting at the edges and move in an overlapping circular motion until you reach the center and gently lift up. Add chocolate sprinkles on top, if desired.


Follow the recipe. Whenever you bake, it's important to follow the recipe to a tee. Baking is part art and part science, so mixing things up can have consequences for your final product.

Use room temperature dairy products. Leave your dairy products out for an 30 minutes to allow them to warm up to room temperature (except butter should be left out for an hour). Using room temperature butter, yogurt, milk, and eggs will ensure your cupcakes have the best results. Softened room temperature butter should still be cool to the touch and should hold its shape well. But if you poke it, your finger should leave an indent—not slide into it.

How to store: Allow the chocolate cupcakes to cool completely, then store them at room temperature inside an airtight container unfrosted. This will give the best results with the best texture because because cooler temperatures will dry out your cupcakes. If you've already frosted them, they'll need to go in the fridge. Eat them up within four days.

How to freeze. You can freeze these cupcakes either before or after icing.

  • Before frosting: You can freeze unfrosted chocolate cupcakes by wrapping them tightly with plastic cling wrap, and then placing them in an airtight container and freezing for up to 3 months.
  • After frosting: Place frosted cupcakes on a baking tray and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Then wrap them tightly in plastic cling wrap, and then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To serve: Allow them to completely thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for a few hours at room temperature, before icing or serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American