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The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever!

The BEST chocolate cupcakes that are super soft, rich and topped with a lush buttercream frosting! You won’t believe how easy these are to make!

piping buttercream frosting on top of chocolate cupcake
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Easy Chocolate Cupcakes with Cake Mix

Although I love a classic vanilla cupcake, nothing beats chocolate in my opinion. Between the super soft texture, bold rich flavor and bites of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout, these mouth-watering cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream!

My husband has claimed (on more than one occasion) that these are the BEST chocolate cupcakes he’s ever had. My friend brought them over a couple months ago and we literally both gasped! They were so soft, moist and full of chocolate goodness, we couldn’t just stop at one! Since that day, we’ve made this recipe about 3 times and plan to make it many more!

And to tell you the truth, I’m usually not a chocolate cake fan. I mean, I LOVE chocolate, but for some reason I’m just not a huge cake lover. These cupcakes definitely changed my mind though! I’m telling you… they are that good. The secret ingredients are the pudding mix and sour cream! The flavor is fantastic.

mixing chocolate cupcake batter


These cupcakes are so easy and flavorful…you would never know that they are made with a cake mix base! No fancy ingredients like buttermilk or cocoa powder needed. And the secret ingredients that makes them SO delicious are the dry pudding mix and sour cream…they both help to make them so moist and soft!

  • Cake mix: Grab a box of your favorite Devil’s food cake mix. A classic chocolate cake mix would also work, although Devil’s food has a bolder, more rich chocolate flavor.
  • Chocolate pudding: You’ll need a box of instant chocolate pudding. No need to make the actual pudding…you’ll use the dry mix. The pudding mix helps to make the texture irresistibly soft.
  • Chocolate chips: Semi sweet are my favorite, but milk or dark chocolate chips also taste great.
  • Eggs: You’ll need 4 large eggs.
  • Oil: I use canola oil, but vegetable oil will also work if you only have that on hand. I like to use oil instead of butter, because it has a higher fat content which makes for a moister texture.
  • Sour cream: This is one of the secret ingredients in this recipe. The acidity in the sour cream adds more moisture and makes them super delicious.
chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Scroll down for the printable recipe.

  1. MIX. Combine cake mix and pudding mix in large bowl. Then add in the chocolate chips (this prevents them from sinking) and stir until combined. Next mix in the eggs, canola oil and water. Then stir in sour cream.
  2. FILL. Pour the batter into a muffin pan with cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full.
  3. BAKE. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack. Wait to frost until cooled completely.

Baking Tips

  • Avoid sinking. The culprit behind sinking cupcakes is overmixing the batter (which let’s in too much air). Make sure to stir the mixture just until combined. You can also try mixing the chocolate chips in with a little bit of flour so they don’t sink to the bottom.
  • Don’t overfill. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full. If you fill any higher, the cupcakes will overflow and have muffin tops.
  • Let cool before frosting. Make sure to cool your cupcakes completely before frosting. Sometimes even though the tops have cooled, the insides are still a bit warm. It usually takes about an hour for them to cool completely. If you frost them while they are still warm, the frosting can melt and won’t hold it’s shape.
  • Mini cupcakes. You can use a mini muffin pan if you prefer. I would check them after 10 minutes and do the toothpick test until they seem done.
  • Make ahead. If making this recipe in advance, hold off on adding the frosting. Make according to directions, let cool then store overnight at room temperature in an airtight container. You can also make your frosting ahead of time and store in a zip top bag in the fridge. Then frost the next day when ready to enjoy.
piping chocolate buttercream on chocolate cupcake

Frosting for Chocolate Cupcakes

My favorite frosting to use is my classic buttercream. The creamy and sweet flavors pair wonderfully with the rich chocolate cupcake flavor. There are plenty of other frostings that taste delicious too. Below are a few ideas:

  • Classic buttercream: This buttercream frosting is my absolute favorite! It tastes amazing and holds up so well.
  • Chocolate buttercream: If you’re a chocolate lover, use this chocolate buttercream for double the flavor.
  • Cream cheese frosting: The tang in the cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment to the rich chocolate flavor.
  • Sour cream frosting: Smooth and luscious with a sweet, tangy flavor.
  • Strawberry buttercream: Add a fruity component by using strawberry buttercream. It’s bursting with fresh strawberry flavor.
  • Marshmallow frosting: For a super fluffy and delicious top, try this easy marshmallow frosting.
  • Peanut butter frosting: Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Try this peanut butter frosting that I used when making buckeye cupcakes.

TIP: I typically use a 1m tip to frost my cupcakes. It’s so quick and easy! Want a step by step tutorial? Click to learn how to frost the perfect cupcakes.

Storing + Freezing

If you’ve frosted your cupcakes, you’ll need to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If unfrosted, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Both ways should keep for about 1 to 2 days. If freezing, I like to freeze the cupcakes separately from the frosting. You can place the frosting in a ziptop bag and freeze it too.

close up of a chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting

5 star review

These ARE the best chocolate cupcakes ever, and the frosting is fantastic. I’ve served these three times now, and EVERYONE raves and wants the recipe. I’ll always use this recipe whenever I need a chocolate fix for myself of anyone I love!

– Francie

More Easy Chocolate Desserts:

chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

4.98 from 48 votes
The BEST chocolate cupcakes that are super soft, rich and topped with a lush buttercream frosting! You won't believe how easy these are to make!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 24


  • 15 ounce box devil’s food cake mix
  • 3.9 ounce box instant chocolate pudding , dry
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 8 ounces sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake liners in 2 muffin pans. 
    muffin tin pan
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and chocolate pudding. Add the chocolate chips in now (this will prevent them from sinking) and stir until combined. Next mix in the eggs, canola oil and water. Then stir in the sour cream.
    brownie batter in bowl
  • Pour cupcake mixture into the liners (about 3/4 the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Do not overcook. 
    chocolate cupcake batter in pan
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Wait to frost until cooled completely. Then frost as desired.



Favorite frosting recipes here: 
Recipe adapted from The Food Nanny Cookbook

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!


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