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a chocolate cupcake crowned with a giant dollop of buttercream

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

These perfectly moist, fudgey, fluffy chocolate cupcakes are bursting with chocolate flavor. When topped with silky chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream they're basically irresistible.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 378kcal


For the Cupcakes:

  • ¼  cup  sour cream room temperature 60g
  • ½  cup  buttermilk room temperature, 120mL
  • medium eggs
  • ⅓  cup  veggie oil 80mL
  • ¼  cup  hot coffee 60mL
  • tsp  vanilla extract 10mL
  • 1 ½  cups  all-purpose flour 180g
  • 1 ⅓  cup  granulated sugar 265g
  • ¼  cup  cocoa powder 20g
  • tsp  baking soda 6g
  • ½  tsp  kosher salt 2.5g

For the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 5   egg whites room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • lb  unsalted butter room temperature 450g
  • tsp  vanilla extract 5mL
  • 1/2  tsp  kosher salt 2g
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled


For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat to 350F. Add papers to a cupcake tin.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  • Add the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, and veggie oil into a large bowl and whisk together. Pour the hot coffee in while you whisk and set aside.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk until smooth and combined.
  • Distribute batter evenly into the cupcake papers and bake for about 15 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool.

For the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • Add egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl. Give the mixture a brief whisk. 
  • Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk the egg whites occasionally while it warms up. When the mixture has warmed, whisk it constantly. You will heat the mixture until it reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF or until it's not grainy between your fingers. 
  • Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer, mix with a whisk attachment until you get room temperature glossy peaks. 
  • Switch to a paddle attachment and while the mixture is running on low, add tablespoon sized dollops of room temperature butter making sure to let the butter incorporate before you add the next piece. Once all the butter is incorporated, go ahead and add the vanilla extract.
  • Drizzle in the melted and cooled chocolate while the mixer is running on low. Scrape the bowl down and mix again. You can now transfer it to a piping bag or to a ziplock bag to store in the freezer.

For the Assembly:

  • Use a large star tip to pipe a swirl of buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes. Start at the center, squeeze and lift the tip while rotating the cupcake back and forth. Stop squeezing the piping bag while you continue to lift for a nice tip to the dollop.



  • The batter is very liquidy so don't panic! The cupcakes will end up AMAZINGLY MOIST with a pretty flat top.
  • You can use room temperature or even cold coffee in the batter if you'd prefer.
  • Not a coffee fan? Sub in water or milk instead.
  • If the buttercream becomes soupy when you start adding butter don't panic!!! It will be soupy until ALL the butter has been added.
  • If your Swiss buttercream seems soupy after adding the butter then pop the bowl in  the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and beat again. It should set up just fine.
  • Always whip your buttercream JUST before piping so it has a nice silky consistency.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.8mg