I’ve been playing cupcake fairy all year long and I always love seeing what flavors my coworkers request.  I try not to influence their decisions too much since after all, it is their birthday, not mine.  I was positively thrilled when a recent birthday girl chose straight up chocolate cupcakes as her treat.  I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to ask me to go all chocolate crazy!  (You didn’t know I liked chocolate, right? ;))  I opted for a devil’s food chocolate cupcake, filled it with dark chocolate ganache, and frosted them with a chocolate sour cream frosting.  Ooohhhh my, they were amazing.  A chocolate lover’s dream for sure.  I brought them in to work at 7:30 am and was able to resist mine until about 9:15 am.  So much for will power where these are concerned!  This frosting is most definitely the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever tried.  Smooth, fudgy and über chocolatey.  I’m already looking for any excuse to make it again.  Maybe breakfast tomorrow?

Note: This recipe makes a huge amount of cupcakes and frosting.  Certainly not a bad thing, but if you don’t need 30+ cupcakes, you should probably cut the recipe in half.


For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. coarse salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature

For the frosting:
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sour cream

For the chocolate curls:
Large block of high-quality semi- or bittersweet chocolate


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  • 02

    In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.  Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

  • 03

    Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 04

    To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.  Let stand about 1 minute.  With a whisk, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles.  When the ganache has become smooth, whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time until incorporated.  Transfer the bowl to the freezer or refrigerator to chill and thicken the ganache a bit.  Whisk every 5-10 minutes to help it cool evenly.  Once the mixture is slightly thickened and no longer runny, you are ready to fill the cupcakes.

  • 05

    To assemble the cupcakes, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake with a small paring knife.  Cut off the pointed end of the cone and discard (or eat) so you are left with a cap of cake to cover the filling.  Drop a spoonful of ganache into the center of each cupcake and recover the hole with the cap.

  • 06

    To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Set aside to cool until just barely warm.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream.  Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended.  Frost cupcakes immediately.

  • 07

    To make the chocolate curls, warm the block of chocolate just slightly (heat in 5-second intervals in the microwave – be careful not to melt).  Use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls.  Top cupcakes with curls immediately.  Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it workable.


  • this frosting looks so yummy!

  • Siunna

    OMG! These look and and sound like a true chocoholic’s dream come true!!

  • Those curls are no joke girl – beautiful job! The frosting sounds divine, can’t wait to find an excuse to make it myself.

  • Wow! This recipe is getting saved for my birthday this summer! They look absolutely divine!!!

  • Jackie

    Hi Annie

    Could I use this recipe as a layer cake, if so, do I have to cut down on the ingredients. What size cake pans and how long to bake it.

  • Nikki

    Gorgeous! This may seem like a silly question but what sort of pan/container/carrier do you use to transport your cupcakes to work to insure they remain intact?

  • Annie

    Hi Jackie,
    You can make any cupcake into a cake and vice versa. However, since I haven’t tried it with this recipe I can’t tell you what the best pan is or how long to bake it. You can use any size or shape pan you like, and that will determine the baking time.

  • Annie

    A lot of the time I have been using the cardboard cake boxes. I use a drop of melted chocolate to hold each cupcake in place in the box. Lately though, I’ve just been putting them all on a rimmed cookie sheet and covering them with plastic wrap. It seems less wasteful than a disposable box every time.

  • Oh my these look rich! They have to be good with all of that butter and chocolate:) Very pretty too!

  • These cupcakes are beautiful and are totally appealing to my not-so-secret inner chocoholic!

    I don’t know if I’ve commented before, but I’ve been loving your blog with your well-thought out recipes and beautiful photos. :)

  • Holy Moly! These look incredible!

  • Holy smokes. These should be called Quadruple Chocolate Cupcakes for those beautiful chocolate curls on top!

  • Annie what beautiful cupcakes! I love the chocolate swirls on top of the frosting. You have very lucky coworkers :) I bring in my baked goods to work also (there’s no way my husband and I can finish it on our own) but mine don’t look nearly as yummy as yours!

  • Annie, this could not have come at a better time. My friend’s birthday is tomorrow, so I’m going to make these cupcakes this weekend (and bring them in to work next week). Woo hoo! Two questions though: 1) Is there a difference between regular Hershey’s cocoa and the special dark/dutch processed kind (in the results)? I assume you use it because of the taste, but I figured I’d ask! 2) Would salt out of a grinder count the same as coarse salt? Thanks! Happy Friday!

  • Chocolate!! Hooray for chocolate! And 3 kinds of chocolate? Please excuse me while I spend some quality time with these photos :) They look amazing!

  • Oh wow, these look so rich and decadent and amazing! I love the chocolate curls on top too and just saved the recipe :)

  • Wow, umlauts and everything!

    I was sort of hoping this was going to be the recipe that Cooks Illustrated had in their recent issue. I guess someone else will have to review that one…hm, I totally need to come up with an excuse to make chocolate cupcakes apparently!

  • Annie

    I think in this case if you use the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder or some other version that is a blend of natural and Dutch-process, you would be fine. David Lebovitz has a great post about the differences, when and how to substitute, etc. And yes, I think salt from the grinder would be fine for coarse salt. (I’m sure table salt would work fine too.)

  • Annie

    Yeah, I saw that recipe in CI but it just didn’t really tempt me as much as this. I’ve had these in my mind for a while, just waiting for someone to ask for them!

  • I tweeted THIS to my tweeples. Just sickola.

  • I’ve been searching for something extra chocolately to make for my mom for Mother’s Day. I think this recipe fits the bill! Thanks!

  • michelle

    drooool! do you deliver to DC?? ;)

  • WOW! These are seriously the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever seen!!


  • Ellen

    Mmmm, these look divine! You have some very lucky coworkers ;)

  • Gwyn

    Wow… Wow! These look awesome! Quick question… where does one find a “large block” of good quality chocolate? Would a flat chocolate bar work?

  • Annie

    A lot of stores carry them. My regular grocery store does. Trader Joes does as well. A thin bar wouldn’t really work logistically, that’s why I indicated a large bar.

  • christine weeks

    what do you use to make the icing all swirly on the cupcakes?

  • Annie

    A pastry bag with a decorative tip.

  • Nikki

    Can you post a picture of the tips you use to pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes. I always think i have the right tip, but they never look like yours!

  • Annie

    It’s just a large star tip. I think they all look pretty similar.

  • Now, this is just food porn, Annie! Not fair. Must….stop…..licking…..screen

  • I agree with Maggie, pure food porn! These look incredible!

  • I can’t resist ONE chocolate, much less 3! Yum!

  • This looks so good it should be against the law! Seriously mouth watering delicious! I loved your tips on the pizza crust too. I will definitely be trying those and putting them to use. You always have the best tips! I just love your blog and get so much inspiration from you…plus your pictures are so gorgeous!

  • Oh my goodness…those look amazing! This is the first time I’ve visited your site, love it. Off to add you to my reader and then explore some more!

  • Simone

    hi Annie! it looks so yummy. may i know what number is the star tip you used? can’t wait to make this yummy looking cupcake.

  • These look incredible! Now all I want for lunch are chocolate cupcakes! :lol:

  • you have a wonderful site here with a ton of awesome recipes… bookmarking your site…

  • These look absolutely up my alley.
    I will think of not only making these…I may just have to replace the caffeine I get in my coffee with a great big kick from your cupcake!!!
    Would not want to be accused of being overly hyper so early in the morning;0)
    In the last few months…I’ve had a chance to also have a quick look at what you do…conclusion…you seem to be terribly talented…congrats on all your great work.

  • WOW, those look perfect!

  • I just discovered your blog today after seeing the post Bobbi+Mike posted of you on their blog. My name is Annie too and I love cooking as well and I can’t WAIT to try some of your recipes. Your blog is just beautiful!

  • Annie

    The tip I used doesn’t have a number. It’s just a large star tip.

  • Hey Bridget, I actually blogged the CI ones last week if you’re interested!

  • That chocolate frosting is calling my name! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  • Kelly

    If I pre-make these cupcakes and ice them…should I put them in the fridge or are they okay sitting out at room temp for a day?

  • Annie

    I think they are fine at room temp for a day. I did that and had no problems.

  • what is not to love about cupcakes….yours look amazing, I bet they taste even better!!

  • Annie, I’m pretty sure you’re using a 1M tip. It’s the classic pretty cupcake star tip. :)

    So, I think I thought of a reason to make the CI chocolate cupcake recipe. And, if I have time, I’m thinking…a comparison? We’ll see. I’m not really bringing them to an event with people who I feel comfortable asking for comparing opinions. (Um…both of my bosses? Hmm.)

  • Simone

    thanks Annie. by the way i love you site , am an avid follower. will be making this cupcake for my brother’s wedding this coming may 6 . . . wish me luck. am from the Philippines. have a nice day ; )

  • These are truly tripple. I love the way you decorated them. Beautiful!

  • Annie

    It’s hard to say since the tip I use doesn’t have a label on it. But, that certainly is my most FAQ (and I think the most annoying one).

  • Wow, those are gorgeous! :) They look absolutely delicious, too! YUM


  • These look so good!! I am a huge chocolate fan! I can’t wait to try these out!

  • Amanda Poninski

    Hi Annie – I can’t wait to make these for my husbands B-day :) I have a question…I am not really experience with homemade frosting…Is it easier to work with the frosting if you refridgerate it for a while (or a few hours) first?

  • Annie

    Hi Amanda,
    No, it’s easier to work with it immediately, especially in this case because it contains melted chocolate. If you refrigerate it, the chocolate will solidify a bit and it would not be good for piping.

  • jenica

    LOVE the cupcakes! Can you tell what size tip you use to pipe the frosting? Thanks!

  • Annie, I made these and they are SO good. However, I let my coworkers ice the cupcakes themselves. They hardly used any icing, so now I’m going to make cake balls and use the extra icing. If anyone else has a lot of leftover icing (and the guts of the cupcakes), these are awesome: http://www.bakerella.com/category/pops-bites/cake-balls/. Enjoy!

  • Colette

    I am thinking these divine cupcakes would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift for my mother-in-law. Thanks for the inspiration!!! :]

  • Amanda Poninski

    OMG!! We should read all the questions before we ask one…she has answered the “what size tip” question about 6 times so far!! LOL Poor girl!

  • Trisha

    They look amazing. How many cupcakes does the recipe make? Thank you (-:

  • Annie

    The yield is listed in the recipe.

  • Anshu

    Annie, I made these today and they are BRILLIANT! The frosting especially is to die for and a dream to pipe into swirls. I came across your site yesterday and these are the first thing I made. Your recipe worked!!

  • Anne

    Hi Annie! I made these cupcakes yesterday and by far were the BEST cupcakes i made (the frosting was YUMMY!). however, my frosting initially was way too runny to be piped. Do you have any tips to make my frosting more solid so that it can be piped without having to refrigerate? :)


  • Annie

    You just needed to let the chocolate cool longer before mixing it into the frosting. It was too warm, so the whole mixture was melty. I didn’t have to refrigerate mine at all before use.

  • Mary

    Maybe by now you have figured out that I am a “stalker” of your blog! Your recipes have inspired me. I bought a new stand mixer for myself for Mother’s Day. I made these cupcakes to share with all the Mothers and children in our family and everyone is over the moon that I now follow your blog! We had the fajita chicken for dinner yesterday-I left the chicken breasts whole and made extra marinade for after they were cooked-along with the grilled veggies and garlic smashed potatoes. It was a perfect Mother’s Day dinner. I am so glad I follow Bobbi and Mike and connected with you. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Next is the homemade pitas!!

  • I love your cupcake decorating skills! All of the recipes I’ve browsed through have fantastic pictures. Piping is much harder than it looks. Great recipes!!

  • I made these cupcakes (kinda) for a birthday party this weekend and they were a hit! That frosting is to die for! My husband was in heaven with chocolate and cream cheese. Yum.

    I did skip the ganache filling so my cupcakes were only Double Chocolate Cupcakes. I was making 8 dozen total cupcakes (3 different kinds) so I opted for simple, the ganache was purposely left out to save some time. I bet they would have been over the top if I had made it! Thanks for a great recipe.


  • Hey Annie! I made your recipe and it was unbelievable!!!!!! The cake was so soft, the ganache rich and delicious and the frosting was absolutely out of this world. My husband is not a chocolate lover but he ate one of the cupcakes last night and he said… this is incredible… is this Annie’s recipe? I so proudly said, sure it is! I’ll post it in my blog and come back with the link so you can see the final result and your well deserved credit for it! The only thing I wasn’t able to conquer were the chocolate curls. They ended up most likely chocolate shavings… oh well! Do you use the vegetables peeler that is shaped like a Y or the one that looks more like a pen? also, do you use the regular bittersweet bars (the 4 oz thin ones) or do you use the real deal bittersweet chocolate? I thought that probably any if these options would have affected the result. Thanks for sharing your gifts!!!!!

  • Annie

    I use the straight (non-Y) vegetable peeler, though either should work. I think the key is having a large chocolate block to start with. I use a big block of Callebaut.

  • Hi Annie,

    I follow your blog for a very long time and some of your recipes are my family’s favorite!

    I would like to ask you about the texture of the cupcake batter – are they moist, or they are dry and the frosting and filling makes them so tempting?
    I have already tried your recipe about the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and they turned really moist and fluffy – just amazing!

    And since I plan on making cupcakes (but without frosting and filling, they would be decorated with chocolate clay flowers) I want them to be moist, not dry :)

    I would be happy if you could give me an advice – whether to make these cupcakes, the chocolate peanut butter or something else?

    Best wishes,

  • Annie

    These are moist. I would never willingly post a dry cupcake – ick. Only you can decide which flavor you want to try. Enjoy whatever you choose!

  • Thanks Annie,

    I would then try these ones!

    I was wondering, would it be okey if I replace the dark chocolate with white chocolate, to omit the cocoa powder and add some food coloring?
    Have you tried something like this?

  • Annie

    No, I would not recommend that. If you want white chocolate cupcakes you should look for a white chocolate cupcake recipe. White chocolate is not actually chocolate at all, and has very different properties than real chocolate.

  • Abigail

    I made these for my sister’s birthday and they were awesome. Easy to make, even with the extra cooking steps, and everyone loved them. My Mom froze some extras and said the defrosted just fine.

  • Dilyana

    Hi Annie,

    I want to use the frosting of this amazing cupcakes, to make a three-layer cake and I was wondering whether the quality would be enough or I should double it?

    Thanks! :-)

  • Annie

    Honestly, I’m not sure. It might be enough but you might need more. Sorry, I’ve only used it for cupcakes so far.

  • allison

    i just made these cupcakes a couple of days ago and they are amazing. the cake is rich and moist, the ganache is yummy, and the frosting is out of this world. if anyone is reading through these comments trying to decide if they should make these cupcakes or not, let me offer you some advice — stop reading and go make these cupcakes! now! thanks for another great recipe. :)

    ps — i halved all components of this recipe and everything worked out perfectly.

  • Rachael

    I’m in the process of making these and so far, so good! I snuck a taste of the plain cupcake – heaven! I was hoping I could ask you to clarify a point about the consistency of the ganache filling. You indicate in the recipe that it should be thickened/not runny. Does this mean it should still be liquidy or does your thicken up to almost a truffle-interior consistency (almost as if I could scoop out little balls and place them in the cupcake)? Mine thickened up initially but then remained in a “goopy” state (I’ve tried sticking it in the fridge and freezer but nothing really is helping). Just trying to figure out if the center should be firm when you bite into the cupcake or kinda dribbly (sorry for the poor wording, I can’t figure out how to describe the consistency accurately!). I appreciate your input!

  • Annie

    It doesn’t really matter what consistency it is when you fill them. It will thicken up and set eventually on its own. I just like it thicker because I find it much easier to work with that way. If it hasn’t set in the fridge or freezer, you just need to wait longer.

  • Rachael

    Thank you for your reply! I mixed it up a little with my hand-mixer, which seemed to help thicken it. Probably should have thought of that before bugging you, doh! But thank you again for your input, I appreciate it! Can’t wait to try the finished cupcakes!

  • Brandi

    These cupcakes look awesome I can’t wait to make them. I have one question with the frosting if I use semi sweet chocoalte instead of the bittersweet would it make a difference in what it should taste like?

  • Annie

    Yes, it will taste sweeter.

  • Oh Annie, I think you are nicer than I could ever be. It cracks me up how often you get asked what size tip to use on your cupcakes. LoL maybe you need to change your Slogan to Annie’s Eats: I use a large star tip! LoL, kudos to you for your patience with your adoring fans. Saw this in MS’s cupcake book and will be doing a 2/3 recipe so that I don’t have to do two rounds, glad to see someone who has already made it and loved it. I read many reviews of people who said the butter seeped through onto the papers, but it doesn’t look like you had that problem, hopefully I won’t either! Happy baking!

  • Oh Annie, I shouldn’t be surprised that this is another winner! I made them for my cousin-in-law’s birthday this afternoon, and it will be shocking if they aren’t a hit. At the very least, they’re a hit with Carter, and really, does any opinion matter more than that of a 2 year old?

  • Annie

    Yay! I just made them last week. Oh, how I love them!

  • Irene

    Hi Annie- I just made these, and they turned out amazing! The frosting is one of the best I’ve ever had, and the cupcake was so moist! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Caroline

    These look awesome! Do you think it is okay to use regular cocoa powder? What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Erin

    Annie! Thank you so much for the frosting! It’s absolutely wonderful. Just made chocolate cupcakes for 11 firemen and they loved them! Piped perfectly, had a satiny finish and the flavor was exactly right-chocolatey but not to sweet! Definitely a keeper!

  • Daisy

    Hi Annie, I have made so many recipes from your blog and they have all turned out amazing! I was just wondering if this cupcake is the recipe you posted on Facebook for the graduation cupcakes you recently made? I noticed you said the recipe was posted on your blog and I was thinking maybe this was it.

  • Annie

    Yep, this is the one! It’s my favorite chocolate cupcake.

  • Daisy

    So I made these last night and I was blown away with how good they were. So moist and the chocolate flavor really came through. I thought I had finally found the perfect chocolate cupcake! Then….today I went to have one, outside still looked and felt moist but the inside was completely dry. I’m so bummed! I was sooo excited about these! I know I didn’t overcook them because I took them out with still a few crumbs on the toothpick. I definitely didn’t over mix once the flour was in but I did beat the butter mixture for way more than 3 min because it was just not getting cool. Do you think that could have done it? I really don’t want to give up on these!

  • Annie

    It’s not common for them to become more dry after a day, usually the opposite occurs. It could have been an issue with storage, or it’s possible you could have overbaked them.

  • I made these last week and they were simply amazing! Decadent and delicious. Friends are begging me to make them again. Thanks for sharing, Annie! :)

  • Jessica F

    I made these to supplement the vanilla sheet cake at my little sister’s grad party. They were amazing! People kept being surprised that we hadn’t boughten them. I would say home-run for my first cupcakes from scratch! Thanks for the recipe and love the blog!

  • Kim

    So, I’m on the hunt for the perfect chocolate frosting to pair with my go-to chocolate cake. I recently tried chocolate flour frosting and while the flavor was great the texture was too light and whipped in comparison to the dense fudginess of the cake. My hunt for the next frosting to try led me here! I’ve seen raves for this frosting several other places, as well, and I almost always have success with your posts. But I have a possibly obvious question: how long could these be kept out at room temperature safely? A few hours? Overnight? I’ve read differing remarks about the safety of not refrigerating cream cheese based frostings and would love to hear your experience with this frosting in particular.

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage. Thanks!

  • Danielle

    hi do you have more recipes to share?
    i`m from the Netherlands and it`s not easy finding recipes here.
    so please if you have more to share than please do!
    a lots of thanks by forward.

  • Annie

    Danielle, I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. My whole site is full of recipes!

  • D

    Made these yesterday because I love chocolate… they are fantastic!! I don’t usually like sour cream but it goes very well with this recipe! And Danielle, go to Categories on the top of the page and you can find the rest of the recipes. :)

  • Nina

    I made these today for my co workers birthday. Huge hit! Absolutely delicious!

  • I just made the frosting recipe (with my standard chocolate cupcake recipe) and it is to die for!!! I think a lot of frostings are too sweet, but this is perfect. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Rachael

    Annie – When you put cupcakes on a surface that is not as tall as the cupcakes (for example, putting them on a baking sheet to transport them), what method do you use to keep the plastic wrap from getting stuck to the frosting? I’ve tried a few methods that haven’t been too hot, so I’d love to hear how you avoid squishing your frosting. :)

  • Annie

    I plan on doing a post about this soon, so stay tuned :)

  • NRS

    Annie, have you used this frosting on a cake? Does it work as well? Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t but there is no reason it wouldn’t work on a cake. Cupcakes and cake are the same thing after all, just different sizes.

  • Denise

    My 4 year old insisted on yellow cupcakes (so I used your Vanilla bean cupcake recipe) and chocolate frosting for his birthday. The frosting tasted like chocolate cheesecake (delicious!). The flavors from the chocolate, cream cheese and sour cream all balance each other very well, resulting in a heavenly frosting. Everyone enjoyed it. Thank you!

  • Jill

    Annie: Where can I find Dutch Process Cocoa? . . . all of your recipes look great! Can’t wait to try them!

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page or try Google.

  • Yors2discover

    I love this recipe! I used this recipe to make the s’mores cupcakes. I did the graham cracker bottom and with that got 32 cupcakes out of this recipe. Thank you so much for posting this :)

  • BakingMom

    Made these cup cakes today and was SO anxious to try them. They smelled AMAZING; however, they tasted so bitter I ended up throwing the entire batch in the trash. VERY DISAPPOINTING!

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like something probably went wrong because these are most definitely not bitter. They are my favorite chocolate cupcake and I make them at least once a month. Did you mix up the baking powder and baking soda by chance? That can cause a very bitter bad taste.

  • Mary Jane

    These were absolutely wonderful. I am not a huge frosting fan, buttercream is too sweet and cream cheese too tart, but I LOVED this recipe. I modified them a bit with some chipotle flavor for a spicy, smokey Valentine’s Day treat. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  • Mary Jane

    Did you accidentally grab unsweetened chocolate instead of semisweet? That has happened to me before…

  • Athens Slater

    Is dutch process unsweetened coco powder the same thing as unsweetened coco powder? Can you use just regular unsweetened coco powder in these recipies?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Mollyvpalmer

    could i use the ganache to dip the dip of the cupcake in? will it harden?

  • annieseats

    All ganache will set eventually, yes.

  • veronicabalbuena4

    I just ran out of sour cream..!!! GOsh… I wish I could make these but you’re very fond of adding sour cream to your chocolate cupcakes.. Aren’t you?? Does it make them more moist or something?

  • annieseats

    Yes, it is the best! You can also use an equal amount of greek yogurt if you have that on hand, or I’ve even used ricotta in a pinch.

  • MikeUrban

    Not sure what I did wrong but these turned out badly. The flavor of the batter is amazing and the cake is “good,” it’s all appearance. The middle looks like a sinkhole. I’ve read your FAQ. ;) Just sharing my first shot at these. The only notes to share would be the liners are foil (gold). Everything else was followed to a T. Maybe I’ll give them another shot some other time, too tired tonight. LOL

  • annieseats

    Usually when cakes sink in the middle, they are underbaked. Try baking for a little longer next time. It’s possible your oven runs a bit cool.

  • MikeUrban

    Thanks for the tip. I’m definitely going to try them again. The flavor is there, just need to get my technique. :) They are quite buttery, perhaps I could reduce that to 1 cup? Although maybe it has to do with the under-baking? PS: I recently made your Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake w. Chubby Hubby Frosting. AWESOME!

  • annieseats

    I wouldn’t recommend reducing the butter, but you can experiment as you see fit. Enjoy!

  • Isa

    I love making these cupcakes – so good, and so many compliments!

    Sometimes I add raspberry to the ganache (frozen berries, thawed and blended then strain out the seeds) because I love the raspberry/chocolate combination. DIVINE!

  • sarakm

    I brought in these cupcakes to work and people went crazy over them! They took a while to make but it was 100% worth it. They make wonderful ‘just-because’ gifts which is necessary because it makes so many. I had a blast making them and it was well worth the time. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from this website but most definately not the last! Thank you very much!

  • Rachel

    I made this frosting today. I was looking for something to top my chocolate cupcakes filled with white chocolate raspberry ganache. Buttercream would have been too sweet, whipped ganache wouldn’t have had the texture I wanted, and I needed something I could pipe a big swirl with so I could plop a raspberry on top. This was PERFECT! I loved the tang from the sour cream, and although it was super chocolatey, it wasn’t too sweet. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and ended up eating the leftover frosting from the fridge with a spoon. Haha

    I will definitely be making this again and again…. Thank you for your wonderful recipe!!

  • Daizy

    Oh my – this was my pick for chocolate mini cupcakes for my friends bridal shower this weekend & this recipe tops anything I’ve ever made or purchased from any bakery anywhere!!! This chocolate cupcake this outstanding – the frosting you could take bath in its so delicious. I followed your recipe exactly – bought good chocolate & cocoa from New Seasons, oh my goodness, I ended up with about 60 mini cup cakes and a dozen bigger than standard cupcakes (to keep for ourselves lol) I baked and filled the night before, they sat for about five hours & I frosted them in the morning and they were completely moist, no hint of stale, the frosting doesn’t “crust” because of sitting out – no problems at all! I made from scratch six desserts and these were without question the hit of the party!! <3 Thank you ;0)

  • Blair

    These cupcakes are in the oven right now. The only problem I had was that the chocolate mixture didn’t dissolve in the cupcake mixture…there are bits of cocoa in it! Hopefully it wont matter when they’re baked though. Why could this be?

  • annieseats

    It just wasn’t sifted/whisked well enough.

  • Joana

    Would this frosting work with white chocolate?:>

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried it to find out.

  • Annie, I made these tonight to surprise my classmates in my violin studio and they absolutely LOVED them. :) Only 10 people there polished off over 20 cupcakes (they had to take some for the road.) One guy told me he doesn’t usually like cupcakes because they are too sweet but that this was “amazing.” I made them over three days and the cupcake was still as moist tonight as on Sunday when I made them. What a way to celebrate my birthday! :D Thanks for the fabulous recipe! I’m looking forward to trying some more as soon as I can.

  • Thanks for this AWESOME recipe! I made these for a friend’s 40th birthday! The icing is beyond words!! YUMMMM!!

  • Awesome recipe, made this cupcake and will never look for another chocolate cupcake recipe. I used salted butter and omitted the salt and they turned out perfect. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Kim from design life kids

    Tested this recipe out this weekend for my daughter’s 5th birthday and they were yummy! But warning, they are super rich. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Aubrey

    Hi Annie! I LOOOOVVVEEE your recipes! Btw, What brand of Cocoa Powder would you recommend? Thanks a bunch!

  • annieseats

    I’m not really brand loyal so I don’t have a favorite. Enjoy!

  • Annette L.

    My nephew liked these so much when I made them for his bday lst month that he signed me up to make 65 of them for his 8th grade graduation brunch, yikes,

  • Nick

    A question about the sour cream in the frosting. The recipe calls for 1 Cup and 2 tablespoons, but this seems to be a lot. I followed the recipe exactly and the cram ended up almost soup like. I reduced the amount to 2 tablespoons and it came out exactly like the picture. Could this be a typo in the recipe?

  • annieseats

    No, it’s correct. I’ve made this recipe countless times directly from this post and it has always worked for me. The issue is likely that the chocolate was too warm, so it made the frosting more runny. I have had that happen once or twice. In that event, a quick chill helps it set up but now I’m just careful to be sure that the chocolate is at the right temperature. Hope that helps!

  • Kaitlyn Montgomery


    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made this recipe to thank everyone at the end of my summer job as a receptionist, and got numerous compliments when I brought them in this afternoon. I was a bit hesitant about all of the sour cream, but you never lead me astray! Thanks for helping inspire me in the kitchen; I’ve been following your blog for a long time, and look forward to experimenting some more with you in the kitchen!

  • annieseats

    I love to hear this! Thank you so much :)

  • Deanna

    can you freeze the frosting?

  • annieseats

    I would not recommend freezing or chilling this before use, as the melted chocolate will resolidify. This frosting needs to be applied immediately after making.

  • Deanna

    I didn’t word my question correctly, what I meant was would it be ok to make the cupcakes, frost them, then freeze them?
    But, I already tried this.. I made the cupcakes in little Mason Jars, and I filled them and frosted them and then put them in the freezer. A few days later I shipped them out for my sister’s birthday (these are her favorite!). She got them in 2 days and they were perfect… the frosting was still pretty just the way i pipped it and they tasted great and rich! I love this recipe :)

    I didn’t think the frosting would freeze well because of the cream cheese and sour cream, but it actually works great! I still have some in the freezer for the next time I get visitors :)

  • annieseats

    Oh yes, I see. I would have imagined that they would freeze well already frosted, so glad my theory proved true. I’m sure your sister appreciated that. So very sweet of you!

  • Rebecca

    I made this frosting to go with a heart-shaped cookie cake today. It is delicious! It has much more flavor depth than regular buttercream, and I’m so glad I went with it instead. Thanks for making me look good!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed it! It is my favorite of all frostings, for sure.

  • Diana

    These are phenomenal. I don’t think I need to look at any other chocolate cake or frosting recipe ever again.

  • Kirsty Clark

    Please can you tell me what cup measurement you use? as they differ from country?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding conversions. Thanks!

  • Kirsty Clark

    Unfortunately FAQ is not really helpful! 1 cup measures come in 240ml / 250ml / and 234ml in the UK as the various countries use different measures. I am guessing the recipe is from the USA so will go for 240ml / 1cup measure as your FAQ don’t really clarify at all!

  • annieseats

    I see. I don’t think it makes a huge difference since each of those only varies by 2%. Happy baking!

  • Kirsty Clark

    I have made these twice now… once i used 74% dark chocolate and today 54% rich chocolate… what a difference. The bittersweet batch was great for my granddad and fans of dark choc but the 54% was def the not bitter and very chocolatey and perfect for work ppl! Baking soda and Baking powder in the recipe are equal amounts so that shouldn’t have made a difference.