That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes lined up on a white tray

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

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 These Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes were moist and tender and the rich ganache and malted milk balls were the crowning glory.  Plus, they are perfectly portable, which makes them ideal for so many occasions!

It was the weekend before Nick’s birthday, so we loaded up the family and these Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and headed to his college campus. We took him and his buddies out for a steak dinner, but they all had room for dessert back at his apartment. The boys all seemed to have no trouble digging right in (they basically have bottomless pits for stomachs), and from Nick’s report, the dozen cupcakes disappeared quickly. 

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes lined up on a white tray

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

It was a joy to spend time with the whole family plus Nick’s friends to celebrate his special day. I know as they grow older, we’ll have less and less opportunities to do so. I am grateful for all the time I get to spend with my children. So on this Mother’s Day, I was glad to share a recipe that reflects my mothering! Good food is one of the ways I show my family how much I love them. This best chocolate cupcake recipe was no exception!

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes - Terrific chocolate cupcakes with a swirl of decadent chocolate buttercream

Mother’s Day Tribute

Like me, my mom had a huge recipe collection. From cookbooks, to clippings, to recipe cards from her friends and family, they filled our family kitchen. I treasure those index cards with handwritten recipes she’d share after a visit. She was a marvelous cook, but I was always the baker in the family. So today, these luscious cupcakes are to honor my mom and her sweet tooth along with Nick on his 22nd birthday.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes - Terrific chocolate cupcakes with a swirl of decadent chocolate buttercream

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This is the first Mother’s Day without my beautiful, talented, giving mom. Bittersweet as I’m glad she is with her beloved parents, sister and  nephew, but sad for those of us she’s left behind. Cheers to you, Gretchen!


Mom and Katie

My mom with her only granddaughter, Katie.

Mom with me and my sister, Katie

My mom and me with my new little sister, another Katie!

Maddy's Baptism

Baptism of her fourth daughter, Madeleine.

Check out my Cakes and Cupcakes board on Pinterest! These Easy Vanilla Cupcakes are also winners!


Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

The BEST chocolate cupcakes topped with outrageously delicious chocolate ganache frosting!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 12 cupcakes


For cake:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the vegetable oil and water over low heat.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the melted butter mixture and beat with a handheld mixer at low speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about three-fourths full.
  4. Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  5. To make frosting, process the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor till smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process till combined. Add the chocolate and pulse till smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Pipe or spread a mound of frosting on each cupcake. Top with a piece of candy if desired.
  6. Makes a generous amount of frosting for 12 cupcakes.


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