Easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes

These easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes are rich, moist and delicious topped with swirls of rich, fudgy dark chocolate buttercream frosting.

Easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients needed

  • Sugar. I use caster sugar but granulated can also be used. Caster sugar dissolves into the batter easier and is more delicate.
  • Flour. I use cake flour but all purpose can also be used.
  • Baking powder. 
  • Cocoa powder. Unsweetened.
  • Salt. 
  • Egg.
  • Milk.
  • Oil. You can use melted butter too. Oil is just less faff and results in super moist cupcakes.
  • Vanilla.
  • Boiling water. I use hot coffee but boiling water can also be used. Coffee really allows the flavor of chocolate to shine.
  • Butter. Room temperature, for buttercream.
  • Icing sugar / Powdered sugar. Sifted.
  • Dark chocolate. 
Easy chocolate cupcakes with fudgy frosting

How to make chocolate cupcakes

  1. Make the batter: These easy chocolate cupcakes can be made in one bowl. Whisk together all the dry ingredients then pour in the wet. Whisk until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Bake: Line a 12-hole muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners. Divide the batter between the cups then place in a preheated oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. Make the dark chocolate buttercream frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder and continue beating. Add the melted chocolate, hot coffee and milk. Beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  4. Top tip: When I have the time, I transfer the buttercream to a food processor and allow to blend until ultra smooth. 

How to decorate cupcakes

Decorating cupcakes by piping swirls of buttercream on top is simple and beautiful. Fit a piping bag with a nozzle then fill with the buttercream. If you’re new to piping, practicing on a piece of parchment paper is a good idea to get the swirls right. Apply even pressure to the piping bag and swirl the frosting onto the cupcake. Add shaved chocolate, a cherry or sprinkles to further decorate the piped cupcakes.

How long do cupcakes last

Frosted cupcakes will last for up to 3 days if kept covered at room temperature. Unfrosted cupcakes can be kept for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before frosting. Cupcakes only need to be refrigerated if it’s very hot outside to prevent he buttercream from melting.

Easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes

Can you freeze cupcakes?

Yes, absolutely! Allow baked cupcakes to cool completely then transfer to a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bags. If you need to stack the cupcakes, separate them with a layer of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw completely before frosting.

Super moist chocolate cupcakes.

Chocolate cake recipes

Easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes

Easy one-bowl chocolate cupcakes

These easy one bowl chocolate cupcakes are rich, moist and delicious topped with swirls of rich, fudgy dark chocolate buttercream frosting. 
4.77 from 67 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best chocolate cupcake recipe, Chocolate cupcake recipe, Chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 12 cupcakes


  • 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 175 g (1½ cups) flour
  • 50 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk
  • 75 ml (¼ cup) canola oil / melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (½ cup) boiling water (you can also use coffee)

For the chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 125 g (1 stick) Butter, softened
  • 400 g (5-6 cups) icing/powdered sugar sifted
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 100 g (3.05oz) dark chocolate melted
  • 1 tbsp cold, strong coffee
  • 2-3 tbsp milk


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350°F. Grease and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake liners. 
  • Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Add the egg, milk, oil/melted butter and vanilla extract and combine with the dry ingredients. Beat until the mixture is smooth. 
  • Slowly add the boiling water and mix until combined. 
  • Distribute the batter between the cupcake liners and place in the oven. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating. 
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until well incorporated. Add the coffee, melted chocolate and 1 tbsp of milk and beat until light and fluffy. You might need more milk to reach the desired consistency. 
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. 
  • Decorate and serve. 



Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. Great one bowl recipe! I need a cupcake recipe for my daughter who’s dairy intolerant so I substituted milk for oatmilk & they came out great. I had to make them last minute the morning of a 10am party & they took 20mins to bake in my oven so a win. Also no wasted batter perfect amount for my 12 muffin tray.

  2. These are soft, fluffy, and rich. I was a bit surprised by how thin the batter was when it came together, but once they were baked the cupcakes were perfect. Also not dry and dense.

  3. Hi im looking for vinalla cupcakes which is jus as moist and light as this 1 so wil i b able to use this recipe jus leaving out cocoa?

  4. Can’t get unsweetened chocolate any where, what can I do, also can I use oil instead of butter

        1. You could try using sweetened cocoa powder but I would adjust the amount of sugar then. Unfortunately cocoa powder is an important part of this recipe so I wouldn’t leave it out.

  5. Lovely recipe, definitely a keeper… but please tell people they need to use MUFFIN cases not cupcake cases as otherwise you make 17 cupcakes which have to go on different shelves which is annoying as they bake at different times! And the time to make them is a bit ambitiously quick… I know most recipes do this but still while we are here. I will deffo make them again though these were my practice ones I guess.

    1. Thanks for your comment Lauren. I think the sizes might differ from country to country. I usually add a few minutes to how long it takes me to cook something because I know I’m quite a fast cook. The times are always just a suggestion, not definitive.

  6. Alida,

    Just looking at these babies makes my mouth water… Yum! I plan on making them for the 4th. Love the red paper cup. What did you use to top off the cupcakes, toffee pieces perhaps?

  7. I made these cupcakes over the weekend and they were so tasty. The cupcakes themselves are really moist and so chocolaty and I don’t usually like frosting but this recipe is game-changing. Fantastic.