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These incredibly moist chocolate cupcakes are my daughter Estelle’s favorite recipe from my newest book, “Cupcake Cookbook for Kids“.

We made them for her ninth birthday, then again, and again. The tender cupcakes are so perfect when topped with this subtle and not-too-sweet peanut butter frosting but you can add any type of frosting you love. Here are two of my favorites: 

  • 2-Ingredient Tangy Chocolate Buttercream
  • Real Strawberry Frosting

What makes these chocolate cupcakes so moist?

There’s a combination of tricks that give these cupcakes their incredible texture:

  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Adding wet and dry ingredients separately

You might be surprised to hear that the only chocolate involved is a humble third cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. It still packs a (delicious) punch, believe me.

Get the recipe for super moist chocolate cupcakes


Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Print Recipe

5 from 2 reviews

These chocolate cupcakes are rich, tangy and moist, just waiting to be loaded with your favorite frosting. In this case, we picked peanut butter.

Excerpted from my book, “Cupcake Cookbook for Kids” available at bookstores everywhere.

  • Author: Charity Curley Mathews
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x




4 tablespoons butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 large egg (or 2 medium eggs)


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup creamy peanut butter (not “natural”)

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk



  1. Preheat the oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Cream the butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or large mixing bowl with electric beaters, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes until fluffy, stopping partway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients. In a glass measuring cup with a spout, measure the buttermilk. Add the vanilla, stir and set aside.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, stir about 10 times to combine well. Set aside.
  5. Add the egg. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Add the egg to the butter mixture. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add half the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds until combined. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix. Repeat until all the ingredients are combined.
  7. Fill the pan. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pan, filling each about three-quarters full.
  8. Bake. Carefully place the pan onto the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. They are ready when you can press your finger into the top of a cupcake and it springs back.


Combine butter and peanut butter in a mixer, beating on high for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, slowly, beating on low. Add milk as needed, one tablespoon at a time. Cool in refrigerator until the cupcakes have completely cooled, about 1 hour. (Store any leftover frosting in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)

Did you make this recipe?

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If you like the look of these moist chocolate cupcakes, you’ll find dozens more easy cupcake ideas in my new book, “Cupcake Cookbook for Kids“! 


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