These mini chocolate cupcakes are filled with rich chocolate flavor and topped with decadent cream cheese goodness. These mini cupcakes make the perfect bite-sized dessert for a party or celebration. Using canned frosting makes these cupcakes ready in under an hour—a win when you're short on time.
Our daughter absolutely LOVES everything chocolate. She is my (very picky) taste-tester whenever I have a new chocolate recipe to try out. She loves these mini chocolate cupcakes, and I'm pretty sure you will too! If you're in the mood for even more chocolatey goodness, check out my "Too Much" Chocolate Cake!
Why you'll love this recipe
- A delicious mini cupcake that you can eat in just two bites!
- Ready in under one hour and perfect when you're in a rush!
- Packed with rich chocolate flavor and creamy cream cheese goodness.
Key ingredients and why we use them
These mini chocolate cupcakes are packed with lots of chocolatey goodness! Read about some of these key ingredients below.
Canned Frosting: I love using canned frosting in this recipe to save a little bit of time. I like to whip my canned frosting using a stand mixer and add a little vanilla extra to improve the texture and flavor.
Cocoa Powder: Use natural cocoa powder in this recipe and not Dutch-process cocoa. I usually use the regular Hershey's cocoa powder in my baking. You can't go wrong with this brand!
Baking Soda: Make sure you're using baking soda and not baking powder in this recipe. If you've had your baking soda in the cupboard for a while, you'll want to check and see if your baking soda has gone bad.
Sprinkles: Feel free to go wild here—use whatever type of sprinkles you'd like! For another sprinkle-filled dessert, check out my meringue pops, which are perfect for your next party.
You'll want a mini muffin pan for this recipe. You could use a regular muffin pan, but you would need to adjust the baking times for the recipe. I also like to use mini muffin liners if I'm going to be serving the muffins for a party or celebration. This is totally up to you. It's not a requirement.
These mini chocolate muffins are the perfect dessert for a birthday party or festive celebration. I love serving them on a party tray, and people can simply pick one (or two) up and just pop them in their mouth! Switch up the sprinkles, and these would be adorable for a baby or wedding shower! I've used my strawberry crunch topping for a fruity burst of flavor.
Frequently asked questions
You can't go wrong decorating these mini cupcakes! I like to pipe frosting using a piping tip and then add some sprinkles. You could also smooth the frosting on with a spatula or even go with a light glaze as well. The sky is the limit, so let your imagination run wild!
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own! Simply add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 scant cup of milk (any type is acceptable). Mix everything up and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. VOILA, you've got buttermilk!
Check on your mini cupcakes after 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. You don't need to change a secular cupcake recipe if you're making mini cupcakes. Simply check on them after 15 minutes! If they need more time, keep checking at 1-minute intervals.
You'll want to put approximately one tablespoon of batter in a mini cupcake. In addition, you want your cupcake liners to be approximately halfway full with cupcake batter.
Heather's helpful hint
To fill your mini cupcakes, I like to use an ice cream scooper. This will ensure that you have approximately the same amount of batter in each cupcake. It also really helps with cleanup!
The entire recipe is below and can be printed to save for later. But, before you get there, let's walk through it step-by-step, so you understand what you're doing beforehand.
Step 1) Melt the butter, canola oil, and water over low heat in a medium saucepan. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) into a large bowl. Slowly pour in the melted butter mixture and stir until all incorporated and smooth.
Step 2) Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl.
Step 3) Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about one-half full. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Top cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, then enjoy!
Make ahead and storage tips
Make-Ahead: You can easily bake your cupcakes in advance and freeze them until you're ready to frost and serve. They will last in the freezer for up to three months if they are tightly wrapped to prevent freezer burn.
Simply let them defrost in the fridge overnight before you frost them and serve them at your party!
Storage: These cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If you're not serving them right away, I like to wait to add my sprinkles. Sometimes they will bleed into the frosting, which doesn't look quite as nice for a party.
I love chocolate cupcakes because the basic recipe is so versatile. So here are some ideas on creative ways to switch up this recipe.
- Feel free to add mini chocolate chips into the batter for some added chocolatey goodness!
- You can swap the cream cheese frosting for any type that you want. You could go with chocolate frosting or even strawberry. This is totally a personal preference!
- If you're not a frosting fan, these cupcakes are also delicious with a light vanilla glaze on top. It's almost like a chocolate breakfast muffin!
Try these other cupcake recipes
Don't stop baking with these mini chocolate cupcakes! Check out some more of our delicious cupcake recipes linked below.
Our recipe index is a great place to search all My Sweet Precision recipes!
Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
- 24 cup miniature muffin tin
- 24 mini muffin liners
- piping bag optional
- piping tip optional
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg large
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 container cream cheese frosting
- sprinkles optional
- Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 20 minutes before baking your muffins. Line a 24-count mini muffin pan with liners and set aside.
- Melt the butter, canola oil, and water over low heat in a medium saucepan.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) into a large bowl. Slowly pour in the melted butter mixture and stir until all incorporated and smooth.
- Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl.
- Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about one-half full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Using a spatula, or a piping bag fitted with a piping tip, frost the cooled cupcakes with canned cream cheese frosting. Add sprinkles and serve!
Notes and Tips
- Storage: These cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If you're not serving them right away, I like to wait to add my sprinkles. Sometimes they will bleed into the frosting, which doesn't look quite as nice for a party.
- Frosting: You can add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to the frosting for some extra flavor. You can also whip it using a stand mixer to make it a little extra creamy.
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!