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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Rich and moist chocolate cupcakes with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting.  These cupcakes are made from scratch and are perfect as birthday cupcakes!

Perfect Birthday Cupcakes

This classic chocolate cupcake has an intense and rich chocolate flavor thanks to the instant coffee granules added in the mix.  This batch of cupcakes also makes about 18 cupcakes which are perfect when you have a lot of kids to serve!  It's really easy to decorate these cupcakes according to the theme by using matching cupcake liners and edible confetti.  For my daughter's birthday, I chose blue cupcake liners and I picked the blue confetti pieces from a container I had on hand.

Making Chocolate Cupcakes

In order to make these cupcakes rich and moist, I added ¼ cup of buttermilk and ¼ cup of coffee by mixing the ¼ cup of hot water with 2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules.   Adding the coffee really makes the flavor intense but you can omit the ¼ cup of hot water and the 2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules by using ½ cup of buttermilk instead.

Chocolate cupcakes in a blue wrapper with white frosting garnished with blue confetti sprinkles.

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

The recipe for this buttercream frosting makes enough to pipe 18 cupcakes.  To achieve piped cupcakes, a piping bag and tip are needed.  I used a Wilton 1M piping tip for these cupcakes - it's my go-to piping tip when making cupcakes!  I prefer my frosting to be on the stiffer side for frosting, but adding extra milk 1 tablespoon at a time will make it more creamy and easier to pipe the cupcakes.

A chocolate cupcake on a white plate with buttercream frosting and blue confetti sprinkles.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Rich and moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoon instant coffee

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place 18 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together room temperature eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  6. Combine hot water and the 2 teaspoon of instant coffee until dissolved. Add to bowl.
  7. Add in the buttermilk and stir together the ingredients until just combined. Don't over mix.
  8. Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ of the way full and bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes. Check center with toothpick to see if they're done. (The center will come out clean)
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat together the softened butter and the shortening until creamy.
  2. Add in the vanilla.
  3. Beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. It will be crumbly.
  4. Add in the ¼ cup of milk a little at a time until desired creaminess is achieved. Add more if you want it more creamy.
  5. Pipe onto cool cupcakes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 8.9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 56.5gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 2.1g

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 2

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