{Recipe} Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes

I love chocolate…

So naturally, when I started experimenting with baking cupcakes from scratch (several years ago) I began a quest for the perfect chocolate cupcakes.  I worked through several dozen recipes and of course, didn’t have too much trouble finding people willing to eat my “experiments.”

I finally found a recipe titled Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake, hmm, “…Perfectly Chocolate”, sounds about right to me!  The first time I made it, I used Hershey’s unsweeted cocoa (as the recipe calls for).  They turned out pretty good.  The next time I made them, I used Ghirardelli brand unsweetened cocoa, and… perfect!  The Ghirardelli brand gave a much deeper chocolate flavor.  So I’d highly recomend using either Ghirardelli brand unsweetened cocoa, or the best quality brand you can find.  You can really taste the difference.  Since discovering this recipe, I’ve made it dozens and dozens of times.  And every time, it’s delicious!  The cake has a nice light and fluffy texture and a rich chocolate flavor.

Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes

(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)

1 cup boiling water

Directions-

Line muffin tin with paper liners.  Heat oven to 350*F.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for one minute.

Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).

Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)

Bake cupcakes for aproximately 18-22 minutes.

Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Recipe source- Hershey’s

Try the recipe HERE for either vanilla or chocolate (my favorite!) cream cheese frosting.

382 comments

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  2. for the chocolate cupcake, could you use coffee in place of the water?

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  5. Can i know boiling water here means hot water?

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  7. Definitely so goods! Thanks for sharing and I wonder about how long to keep cupcake in freezer for? or how long to keep cupcake until it’s expired, somehow? I’m going to use this my wedding come up.

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  9. I baked these yesterday and they turned out amazing. Anytime I try to bake cupcakes they come out dry. These were so moist. My fiance ate 7 yesterday! And he’s a small guy. But they were just so good. Then he ate 3 so far today. I on the other hand and trying to contain myself lol. As much as I want to eat 7. I know it’ll back fire. Thanks for the recipe. I was a bit nervous with adding the water. But turned out great!!

  10. Has anyone tried these with butter instead of vegetable oil? I hate using oil in my baking!!

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  12. Wow. Just WOW. These came out fantastic! Not perfect, but that’s not the recipe, my baking soda and powder were not as fresh as they should be, didn’t rise too well. But taste-wise, fantastic! Plus I used the chocolate cream cheese icing (which I’ve been making forever, but never chocolate version) Double Bomb Good! Only thing I was worried about was the consistency of the cupcake batter… You say thun, but mine was so thin it looked like hot chocolate… I thought for sure they wouldn’t bake right. I was pleasant surprised! I’ll probably not use a box mix again. Well, maybe. But this was really just as easy, so silly to buy boxed… Now I need to try the other batter recipes as my hubby doesn’t like chocolate… these were made special for a friend’s birthday. And we really love chocolate, so… Thank you so very much!

  13. Oh, and I used natural applesauce instead of oil… I haven’t baked a cake with oil in years, sooo… just my thing, really.. 😉

  14. These really are the PERFECT chocolate cupcake! I’ll never use another recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. I made these a while ago with gluten-free flour for my mom and also experimented by decorating with your buttercream frosting recipe. They were SO delicious!!! Thank you for sharing! :-)

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  17. This cake was lovely .It was soft , moist and delicious just like a boxed mix .I recommend to increase the cocoa powder to 1 cup and sift the dry ingredients together into the bowl.after using this recipe I will never use a boxed mix again!!!!

  18. Hello. I am trying your recipe. I know you said it is normal for it to be thin but exactly how thin? because mine is very runny.

    • Yes, the batter will be very thin. I generally pour the batter into a large (2 or 4 cup) measuring cup with a pour spout, and pour it into the cupcake papers from the measuring cup.

  19. Hi Glory,

    I made these cupcakes for my friend’s baby shower and they turned out really perfect as the name suggests. These were an instant hit with the party. Thank u for this wonderful recipe. My husband loved them and he is not a chocolate lover.

    Thank u,

    Rathna

  20. Can I substitute the boiling hot water for one cup coffee?

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  22. The only reason I made these cupcakes was because my 6-yr old son wanted to make Chocolate cupcakes. After searching a few options, I figured I’d look for a recipe on Pinterest since I’ve previously had success in doing so. Can I say oh what a winner! I have always been a chocoholic since I was a little girl and I’m happy that my son inherited my love-chocolate gene! I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa and the richness with the chocolate cream cheese icing is absolutely amazing. My husband, who is a food snob :-) had 2 immediately and is begging me to take them out of the house before he eats them all! Thanks so much for sharing this! It will surely make the Thanksgiving menu this year!

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  24. cupcakes One of my favourite cakes in my sister’s recipe . I always make an sort of extra fruity version of it as a Xmas cake.

  25. i just made these for a baby shower. I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. YUM!! The frosting is awesome too! Thanks for sharing.

  26. Hi….My family and I totally love this recipe. Thanks so much! !!!

    I’m having a small problem though. I have used this recipe to make an whole cake, however the cake gets stuck to the oven pan.

    Please tell me what to do to stop this from happening????

    Because just the top layer peels of and the rest be stuck to the pan and the cake ain’t burnt or uncooked. Honestly don’t know what is wrong!!

  27. Hi Great blog !!!
    My family and I totally love this chocolate cupcake recipe.
    I only have a small problem!!
    Instead of making cupcakes I have made a chocolate whole cake.
    My problem is that the cake gets stuck to the pan even though the cake is not burnt or uncooked.

    Really makes me dissappointed and I don’t know why this is happening.

    Please assist ?????

  28. My daughter made this, they are super moist and very yummy. Just wanted to know if the cupcakes can be frozen?

  29. Hi this looks amazing
    can i substitute whole milk with buttermilk

  30. best cupcakes ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. I made these and substituted the whole milk for buttermilk and added a tablespoon of instant coffee to the boiling water for that mud-cake type feel! Delish!

  32. so amazing! was nervous about the water but turned out beautiful and chocolatey! defienetly making these thousands of times! 

  33. I just made this for Mother’s Day tomorrow and had a little batter left so I put it in a small, heart pan and had it with some butter on it while it was warm….YUM!!!!!  I used 1% milk since that was what I had.  I will make these again!

  34. HI!!! I tried to make the recipe today but it turned out badly.. the cupcake just didn’t grow and all collapsed in the middle…. Can you help me?? I follow all the instructions just like you said. Also? Can I subsitute the milk with a dairy free ingredient?? Thanks

    • Hi Lule,  
      Sorry to hear you didn’t have success with this recipe.  It’s very difficult for me to know what went wrong without being with you in the kitchen.  The cupcakes should rise nicely.  I would suggest making sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.  I’ve never made the recipe with a dairy free milk substitute, but I think it could work.  
      Generally if a cake or cupcakes collapse after you’ve removed them from the oven it’s because they were not fully baked.  Be sure to test one cupcake (with a toothpick inserted in the center) to make sure there is no wet batter before allowing the cupcakes to cool.  
      Best of luck!   

  35. Glory,
    I want to make this as a cake recipe.  A double layer 9 inch…any ingredient changes..how about Cooking Time? I plan on baking Friday,freezing and frosting Sunday for party.

    • Hi Shannon, 
      Yes, you can make this recipe into a double layer 9 inch cake with no ingredient changes.  Cooking time will depend on if you bake the cake in two pans or one and the quality (thickness) of your pans.  The cakes are done when they appear cooked on top (no visible wet batter) and the tops have a slight dome.  Test with a toothpick inserted in the center, which should come out clean (or with a few crumbs, but no wet batter).  

  36. Would you change this recipe for high altitude? 6,000 ft

  37. Thank you for sharing this recipe it’s my go to for chocolate cupcakes, moist and delicious. I prefer to use Dutch process cocoa, but am finding the cupcakes sink in the middle. Do you have a conversion on the baking soda and baking powder if using Dutch cocoa?  Or would it help to use buttermilk instead of whole milk when using Dutch cocoa? Thank you. 

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