Chocolate cupcakes and white and milk chocolate icing on cake platter with sprinkles

Amazing chocolate cupcakes

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(57 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins - 25 mins plus cooling


Makes 12

Whip up a batch of simple chocolate cupcakes for a party, coffee morning or afternoon tea. Top with buttercream, or perhaps a cream cheese frosting

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (without buttercream)

  • kcal122
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 40g unsalted butter (essential that it is at room temperature)
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

To decorate

  • buttercream, see our recipes for chocolate or plain
  • chocolate vermicelli (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, a pinch of salt and the butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk). Beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

  2. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture. Beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed, scraping any mixture from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour in the remaining liquid and continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until approximately two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  4. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make chocolate buttercream or plain buttercream and spread it over the cakes with a palette knife, or use a piping bag. Scatter over chocolate vermicelli, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Nov, 2018
Mixture is very wet. Using a standard ice cream scoop the mixture only yielded enough for 9 cupcakes. I felt that 1&1/2 tsp of baking powder was too much and I was right, they dipped in the middle. Also felt they didn’t taste very chocolatey. Disappointed.
16th Jun, 2018
I've made these several times now and they never disappoint. Delicious, and squidgy every time. My only criticism would be they are a tad on the small side and i like to make giant cupcakes so I double the mix and just wing how many it makes :-)
Moroccanchick's picture
8th Dec, 2017
Absolutely amazing, moist and light. I reduced the sugar to100g as i find recipes too sweet and it came up perfect just enough room to add a nice topping and sugar still be balanced
25th Nov, 2017
Really yummy cupcakes, added to my collection of recipes, definitely should be tried by everyone! =)
29th Oct, 2017
Best Cupcakes! Works every time.
11th Apr, 2017
when I made these cupcakes I used bornville as well but they came out very bitter so I would recommend using a different chocolate or different recipe, if you ever think about posting another recipe please make Shute it isn't a biohazard
2nd Mar, 2017
I was looking for a quick and easy recipe to bake with my daughter and they turned out beautifully moist and really quite tasty. This is now in the folder to be used again. Yummers.
22nd Dec, 2016
I almost didn't make these based on some comments but am happy to report that mine turned out very nicely and were wolfed down by my kids. I followed the recipe almost exactly except for the fact I don't have a mixer so followed the tip to rub ingredients together. Worked a treat. The mixture is very wet but cakes rose nicely and didn't sink as others have said. I baked for a little more than 25 mins.
Colvin0154's picture
27th Nov, 2016
Simple and quick to make. They taste like school dinner chocolate sponge. I made them two days ago now and they are still good to eat. Slightly lacking in flavour - not sure if this is because I never added the salt but I won't be making them again to test that theory out, sorry!
Cinnamonhamster's picture
30th Oct, 2016
I was really hopeful about this recipe, and put a lot of faith in them. I needed a quick, tasty cupcake/fairy cake recipe for a school cake rota next day, not much time, and I chose these, because my usual cake recipe is quite risky in cupcakes. I made one batch, baked it for the right amount of time, followed the recipe to the letter. They came out bready, bland and quite disgusting. Fortunately my brother eats pretty much anything, since we had a lot of spares. It didn't really help my baking reputation at school. I wouldn't recommend these at all.


Chloe Verrall's picture
Chloe Verrall
25th Jun, 2018
I don’t know where I went wrong. These cupcakes didn’t rise in the slightest. I also had my oven on about 10 degrees hotter, but I still needed to cook them for almost double the amount of time suggested (about 45 minutes), yet they still weren’t even cook all the way through. The flavour is okay, but I will definitely not be making these again.
goodfoodteam's picture
25th Jun, 2018
We're sorry to hear your cupcakes didn't work out. The two most likely reasons are that your oven is not hot enough - it might be worth testing it with an oven thermometer - or that the ingredients weren't weighed correctly.
13th Dec, 2015
Don't make these cupcakes if you are fragile, it will rip your heart right now. We thought making these cupcakes would be a nice treat for the church's Christmas carol service. We were wrong. We were certain nothing could taint the birth of Christ however, this recipe proved us wrong. The cupcakes rose and deflated in the oven, just like our reputation in the wider community. Thanks again BBC good food and Happy Christmas everyone.
14th May, 2014
I tried this recipe for my first attempt at cupcakes and they turned out just lovely. The only thing I would say needs improving or updating is in the method, it doesn't clearly tell you to put in the remaining half of the milk, egg and vanilla mixture, (I am used to River Cottage cook books where the thinking is done for you). Also, where is the recipe and method for the frosting? At one point I thought that half the milk mixture might be for this! I found a separate icing recipe on here. The upshot is that the cupcakes were very easy to make, they were well risen and delicious. Thank you for sharing.
My password
28th Jun, 2014
How did I get 16 out of them?
29th Oct, 2017
Melt the butter before putting in the mixture
charly_m's picture
13th Jul, 2014
This recipe didn't work that well, i am assuming this is because there is to much sugar in it if you are going to make it i would use less sugar. Mine rose and then flopped down, sorry but this wasn't very good!
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