Double Chocolate Cupcakes

How to make easy chocolate cupcakes with a sour cream chocolate frosting. The batter for these cupcakes combines butter, cocoa powder and sour cream, these chocolate cupcakes are light, chocolaty and moist. Jump to the Easy Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.

Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes

How to Make Double Chocolate Cupcakes From Scratch

There’s no need to break out the mixer for these cupcakes or the frosting. Just a few bowls, a whisk and a spoon.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch

The cupcakes are simple — melt butter, add coffee and cocoa powder then whisk until smooth. Add flour, sugar and a few more ingredients like baking soda and salt then stir in sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Simple.

By the way, we know, coffee sounds a little odd, but trust us. You don’t end up tasting the coffee, but you do taste the chocolate. That’s right — coffee boosts the flavor of the cocoa powder, making these taste rich.

Making the frosting

We love adding a sour cream chocolate frosting to these. If you’ve never had it, it tastes like a combination of chocolate pudding and buttercream. You don’t pipe it onto the cupcakes and instead just spoon or spread it on top. The frosting then has enough powdered sugar in it to gently fall over the sides of the cupcake, but not so far that it’s messy.

For more chocolate cake recipes, take a look at our favorite chocolate cupcakes recipe or this amazing chocolate cake.

Recipe updated, originally posted April 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

  • PREP
  • COOK

These double chocolate cupcakes are so easy to make. They are light, but so chocolaty. We top each cupcake with a spoonful of sour cream chocolate frosting — a frosting that’s between pudding and buttercream. It’s rich, chocolaty and delicious.

We add coffee to this recipe — you don’t really taste the coffee. It’s there to bring out as much chocolate flavor as possible. If you don’t want to use coffee, water will also work. Also, you can make the sour cream chocolate frosting a day in advance — just keep covered in the refrigerator.

Makes 18 to 20 cupcakes

You Will Need

Chocolate Cupcakes

12 tablespoons (170 grams or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (175 ml) brewed coffee

1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (125 grams) sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sour Cream Frosting

4 tablespoons (55 grams or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 ounce (30 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar

1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 grams) sour cream


  • Make Cupcakes
  • 1Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper baking cups in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups.

    2Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat then add coffee and warm through. Remove from heat then whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool 1 minute.

    3In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream and the vanilla extract until well blended.

    4Gently stir the cocoa and coffee mixture into the flour mixture until combined. You do not need to beat, just stir until incorporated. Add the egg and sour cream mixture and continue to stir until blended.

  • Bake Cupcakes
  • 1Fill prepared muffin cups two-thirds full then bake until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

  • Make Frosting
  • 1Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Transfer butter and chocolate to a medium bowl then whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

    2Whisk in the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of the sour cream. The frosting should be loose, but spreadable. Add more sour cream as necessary. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (The frosting will thicken slightly after refrigeration).

  • Frost Cupcakes
  • 1Check the consistency of the frosting — if it is a little too loose, refrigerate it for another 30 to 45 minutes. It thickens slightly when cold.

    2To frost cupcakes, spoon or spread a generous tablespoon on top of each cooled cupcake.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Frosting inspired by Susan Tollefson’s Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting recipe on Epicurious.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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22 comments… Leave a Review
  • Tanya September 19, 2020, 10:29 am

    Dear Adam & Joanne, The cupcake recipe was really easy to make and they tasted fantastic but mine sunk-in, I followed the recipe to the T are there any tips you could give me. Thanks

    • Joanne September 23, 2022, 11:46 am

      Hi Tanya, It is possible that you needed to bake them a few minutes longer.

    • Hayley June 3, 2023, 3:59 pm

      Cook them a few minutes longer and they should work out

  • Rannie November 6, 2015, 1:47 am

    Hi Joanne,

    I tried your bluberry muffin and it was a hit. Today i will try this chocolate cupcakes, and i have one question to ask to you. Should i mix coffee with water first or just put directly coffee granules to the butter?

    Thanks in advanced?


    • Joanne November 7, 2015, 2:36 pm

      Hi Rannie, We actually use brewed coffee for these cupcakes. Just add it to the melted butter. Sorry if the recipe was not clear. I just updated it to say “brewed coffee” instead of “coffee.” All the best! Joanne

  • Linda July 18, 2015, 9:40 pm

    Hi Joanne, can I put chocolate chips in these cupcakes and if so, will I have to adjust the rest of the recipe?

    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 1:53 pm

      Yes, some chocolate chips added would be great. No adjustments should be necessary. We would add around a 1/2-cup of chocolate chips.

  • Jude September 29, 2013, 4:37 am

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it was not moist. Was it supposed to be moist? But still, our church group loved it as I baked a whole batch for them. You’re right, coffee enhanced the flavor of the chcolate that my church friends thought i used dark chocolate 🙂 And it tasted even better the following day 🙂 thanks

    • Joanne September 30, 2013, 3:00 pm

      So glad everyone enjoyed them. The cupcakes should not be dry — it is possible they baked a few minutes longer than necessary (since cupcakes are so small, they can over bake and become dry).

  • Ash July 12, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Yum yum !!!!!! There good

  • Jean Cazimero June 21, 2013, 5:01 am

    I got this recipe and I can say it was thick batter. And very chocolatey. I love the smoothness of it.I will definitely make this again. They also taste mmmmmm!

  • The Lone Person May 23, 2013, 6:36 pm


  • Brooke @ Keep Calm Cupcakes May 6, 2013, 9:16 pm

    Going to make these this weekend, I bet they’ll be a hit!

  • WC April 25, 2013, 9:19 am

    Love this recipe! I’m going to try it and compare it with my (as of now) go-to chocolate cake / cupcake recipe and see what the difference is.

    Is it possible though to substitude yogurt for sour cream in the actual batter? Or will it not have the desired effect?

    • Adam April 26, 2013, 7:31 pm

      Substituting yogurt for sour cream should work just fine. You will have to come back and let us know if it replaced your go-to 🙂

  • Judy April 10, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Hi Joanne, would there by a high altitude adjustment for this recipe? I live at about 4500 feet. Cannot wait to try this – I need to bake 6 dozen for a baby shower! thanks

    • Joanne April 16, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Hi Judy — This is a tough one since we really have no way to test the recipe at higher altitudes. Here is a great article from All Recipes with tips for baking cakes at higher altitudes. We’re assuming you will need to increase the oven temperature slightly (by 25 degrees F). We also recommend testing the recipe first before making the 6 dozen for the baby shower.

  • Sarah April 4, 2013, 10:49 am

    This looks delish! Excited to try them..but is the 3/4 cup coffee in the recipe just straight black coffee? Im not a coffee drinker so wondering just how much coffee goes into the 3/4 cup… a teaspoon maybe? stronger?

    • Joanne April 4, 2013, 11:27 am

      Hi Sarah — You could use instant coffee. Take a look at the instructions on the package — instant usually requires a slightly rounded teaspoon per cup of coffee. For regular brewed coffee, one cup of water usually needs about 2 tablespoons of coffee. The coffee does not need to be strong.

      • Sarah April 26, 2013, 10:42 am

        Just wanted to let you know i made them last week and LOVED them!! Wouldn’t expect something so quick and easy to put together could be so yummy! Next week i’m going to try the Guinness Chocolate Cake..can’t wait!!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 2, 2013, 4:59 pm

    Gotta love a classic like this! Yum!

  • Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste April 2, 2013, 2:38 pm

    These look absolutely incredible! Can’t wait to make them ASAP!


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