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Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Buttercream

Indulge in the decadence of Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Frosting! This easy-to-follow recipe makes approximately 28-30 irresistibly fudgy devil’s food cupcakes from scratch, topped with homemade vanilla buttercream dotted with mini chocolate chips. 

chocolate cupcakes on a white platter topped with chocolate chip frosting sprinkled with mini chocolate chips on top

Indulge in the decadence of Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Frosting! This easy-to-follow recipe makes approximately 28-30 irresistibly fudgy devil’s food cupcakes from scratch, topped with homemade vanilla buttercream dotted with mini chocolate chips. 

My kids and I have an end-of-the-summer, back-to-school cupcake bake-off every year! We’ve done key lime, orange, and lavender-flavored cupcakes. However, these chocolate fudge cupcakes (adapted from Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate Cake”) with chocolate chip buttercream are undoubtedly our favorite flavor. 

This cupcake recipe delivers a double dose of chocolatey goodness, starting with the star of the show -the chocolate fudge cupcake itself! Like my fudgy brownies, these cupcakes are a labor of love that captures the satisfaction of sinking your teeth into a mouthwatering morsel of chocolate fudge!

Now, let’s talk about frosting. Vanilla buttercream is delightful, but adding chocolate chips takes it to the next level! Imagine velvety vanilla buttercream frosting studded with a sweet nibble of chocolate in every bite. Happy baking!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Beginner-friendly. This recipe is surprisingly simple whether you’re a professional cupcake baker or a novice. 
  • Homemade devils food cake. You can skip store-bought cake mix because this recipe results in a delicate, moist, and oh-so-fudgy crumb you just can’t get from a box. 
  • Homemade frosting. Upgrading perfectly whipped vanilla buttercream frosting with chocolate chips complements the ultra chocolatey cupcakes perfectly. 
  • Versatility. The base chocolate fudge cupcake pairs well with a variety of frostings. Read on for more delicious decorating ideas!

Ingredients you’ll need

For the chocolate fudge cupcakes: 

  • All-purpose flour Gives the batter structure and elasticity and helps produce a soft, crumbly texture. 
  • Cocoa powder Gives the cupcakes their rich, fudgy flavor. Opt for natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder for the most intense chocolate taste. 
  • Baking powder AND baking soda These leavening agents help the batter rise and maintain a light, fluffy texture. 
  • Salt Balances the overall sweetness. 
  • Sugar Adds sweetness and helps the cupcakes stay moist and tender. 
  • Eggs Contribute to the overall structure, texture, flavor, and appearance.
  • Milk Adds moisture for a soft, fluffy mouthfeel. 
  • Oil It helps create a cohesive, smooth batter. I use avocado oil, but light olive oil, grapeseed, and canola also work.
  • Vanilla extract Gives the fudgy flavor more depth and complexity. Be sure to use good quality pure vanilla extract. 
  • Boiling water It helps dissolve the cocoa and sugar within the batter to distribute and intensify the flavors evenly.  
ingredients for chocolate fudge cupcakes measured out on a counter

For the chocolate fudge cupcakes: 

  • All-purpose flour Gives the batter structure and elasticity and helps produce a soft, crumbly texture. 
  • Cocoa powder Gives the cupcakes their rich, fudgy flavor. Opt for natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder for the most intense chocolate taste. 
  • Baking powder AND baking soda These leavening agents help the batter rise and maintain a light, fluffy texture. 
  • Salt Balances the overall sweetness. 
  • Sugar Adds sweetness and helps the cupcakes stay moist and tender. 
  • Eggs Contribute to the overall structure, texture, flavor, and appearance.
  • Milk Adds moisture for a soft, fluffy mouthfeel. 
  • Oil It helps create a cohesive, smooth batter. I use avocado oil, but light olive oil, grapeseed, and canola also work.
  • Vanilla extract Gives the fudgy flavor more depth and complexity. Be sure to use good quality pure vanilla extract. 
  • Boiling water It helps dissolve the cocoa and sugar within the batter to distribute and intensify the flavors evenly.  

For the chocolate chip buttercream: 

  • Butter – Imparts an indulgent base of flavor and light and airy texture.
  • Powdered sugar – Adds sweetness and structure and helps create a fluffy, velvety consistency. 
  • Vanilla extract – Gives the frosting sweet, vanilla flavor. 
  • Heavy whipping cream AND whole milk – Incorporating these milk products helps produce a creamy, pipeable consistency. 
  • Mini chocolate chips – I used semi-sweet, but feel free to use milk or dark chocolate here. 
ingredients for chocolate chip buttercream frosting measured out on a counter

How To Make Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Step 1: Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. 

dry ingredients for chocolate cupcakes whisked in a bowl

Step 3: Add wet ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Then, stir in hot water.  

mixed chocolate fudge cupcake batter ready to pour into liners

Step 4: Pour batter and bake. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3rds full, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean (20-25 minutes). Let cool while you make the frosting. 

chocolate cupcake batter in liners in a muffin tin

Step 5. Make buttercream. Cream the butter with the whisk attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer, then blend in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, milk, and cream before slowly mixing in the remaining sugar. 

vanilla buttercream in a mixing bowl with whisk attachment

Step 6: Decorate cupcakes. Gently fold the chocolate chips into the buttercream, then frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

Chocolate chip frosting in a mixing bowl with a spatula
a platter of cupcakes with vanilla chocolate chip buttercream icing

Tips to make the best cupcakes

  • Room temperature ingredients. Don’t forget to bring the butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature before using them so they mix properly with the dry ingredients. 
  • Don’t be alarmed by the thin batter. The batter will be thin after the boiling water is added, and that’s okay! Trust the process, as it will rise beautifully when baked. 
  • Don’t overmix! Overworking the batter can lead to dense cupcakes, so be sure to mix the wet ingredients with the dry just until combined (some lumps are okay).  
  • Don’t overfill the liners. You want to leave enough room in the tins for the cupcakes to rise without overflowing, so fill the liners about two-thirds full with batter. 
  • Be careful not to overbake. Or the cupcakes will become dry and crumbly instead of soft and tender. When finished, a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Frosting tips

  • Gradually add sifted powdered sugar. This ensures an even consistency and prevents a cloud of powdered sugar from exploding in your kitchen as soon as you turn on the mixer. 
  • Frosting consistency. If the buttercream is too soft after beating for a few minutes, add more powdered sugar or place it in the fridge to firm it up. Or, if it’s too firm, stir in a splash of cream or milk. 
  • Cool before decorating. Be sure to let your chocolate fudge cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely before frosting. 

Variations

Instead of adding mini chocolate chips to the buttercream frosting, try folding in crushed chocolate chip cookies, Oreo crumbs, or chocolate shavings. Or, switch things up and decorate your fudgy-licious chocolate cupcakes with any of these fun frosting flavors:

  • Sifter or wire whisk. To aerate the dry ingredients. A wire whisk will do the trick if you don’t have a sifter. 
  • Mixing bowls. To combine the dry and wet ingredients. 
  • Handheld mixer. To beat the wet ingredients into the dry. 
  • Muffin tin and cupcake liners. To bake the batter into cupcakes and prevent sticking. 
  • Wire rack. To cool the cupcakes before decorating.
  • Standing mixer. To make the buttercream frosting. 
  • Piping bag/ tip. I used an Ateco 806 plain piping tip, but snipping the corner off a plastic baggie also works. 

Storing & freezing

Storing: Store your frosted devils food cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Refrigerate leftover frosting in an airtight container for up to 7 days, and bring it to room temperature/re-whip before using it.
Freezing: Wrap unfrosted cupcakes individually in a tight layer of plastic wrap and freeze them in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Let thaw in the fridge before frosting.

FAQ

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

This recipe makes approximately 28-30 chocolate fudge cupcakes and enough frosting to spread each one with an even layer. If you prefer cupcakes swirled with a generous mound of frosting, consider doubling the frosting recipe.

How do you make stuffed cupcakes?

Prepare the batter and bake the cupcakes according to the recipe. Then, use a small knife (or apple corer) to carve out a small hole. Fill the hole with frosting, ganache, pudding, etc., then seal the hole with the piece you removed, and proceed with frosting the cupcakes as desired. 

Can I add chocolate chips to store-bought frosting?

Yes! To save time, you can use store-bought buttercream frosting. Simply fold the mini chocolate chips into the frosting before using it.

More recipes for chocolate lovers

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close up a cupcakes on a platter with fresh mint sprigs
close up of a chocolate cupcake with piped on chocolate chip buttercream

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Buttercream

This easy-to-follow recipe makes approximately 28-30 irresistibly fudgy devil’s food cupcakes from scratch, topped with homemade vanilla buttercream dotted with mini chocolate chips. 
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 30 cupcakes
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Amee

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup oil I use avocado oil, but light olive oil, grapeseed, and canola work well here
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 3/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • For the cupcakes:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 28-30 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium size bowl.
  • Add sugar and stir to mix.
  • Pour flour mixture into a large mixing bowl and add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.
  • Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, then stir in boiling hot water (consistency will be thin).
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (oven temps can vary), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely while you make your frosting.
  • For the frosting:
  • Place butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with whisk attachment until creamy.
  • Add one cup of powdered sugar and blend until smooth.
  • Add vanilla, milk and cream, then continue slowly adding sugar until all is incorporated and frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and frost on cooled cupcakes.
  • *Store cupcake in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve

Notes

Don’t be alarmed when you make the cupcake batter for this recipe and it looks thin.  It’s supposed to be a thin consistency, but they rise beautifully when baked and you end up with the perfect cupcake texture.
*See the notes, tips, and variations sections for recipe success.

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @ameecooks or tag #ameecooks!
Amee Livingston
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10 Comments

  1. You’ve got me all weepy too, Amee! What a wonderful walk down memory lane and great advice. You’ve created memories for your children with your back to school traditions and I’m sure they’ll carry them on someday with their children. And that’s what family is all about!

    1. Thinking about our kids growing up so fast always tugs at the heartstrings! Thank you Stacy! I try to create fun memories for them, just like my mom did for me. Thank you for taking time to comment. 🙂

  2. Absolutely love your story and all the photos you included! Your sweet (no pun intended) tradition touched my heart — your kids will remember it always . . . and the cupcakes — well, I could easily polish off a couple of them right now!!

  3. What a wonderful post! I got tears in my eyes just reading it. I have that saying that you mentioned, by Robert Brault, in a frame sitting on a table in our living room. It is one of my favorites, and it is so very true! Thanks for a great post!

  4. 5 stars
    I am so thankful I found this recipe. I initially made a different recipe, and they did not come out at all, so I had to start all over and I came across your recipe for chocolate cupcakes and decided to try and this is a keeper. They came out so moist and flavorful. I filled with hand crafted salted caramel, then made salted caramel buttercream. I had so many compliments and no leftovers.

    1. Hi Toni!! This review makes my day! Thank you for taking the time to comment and review. I’m so glad that they were a big hit! Your salted caramel filling and buttercream sounds amazing!!

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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