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4.41 from 5 votes

Simple Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes. This recipe doubles easily.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-5 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or paper-line a muffin pan with 12 cups.
  • Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Whisk until well mixed.
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in two or three additions, mixing with a wooden spoon or a spatula between additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Fill the prepared muffin cups about halfway and bake until they spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, combine butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle of an electric mixer, beat ingredients together until light and fluffy, adding more powdered sugar or milk as needed to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency that will hold up on your cupcakes. Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes or spread it on generously with a thin, flexible spatula.