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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

A deliciously moist chocolate cupcake that won't fall apart when you take a bite!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 14 Cupcakes
Author: Tricia


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • cup water

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • orange gel food color if using


To make the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.  Whisk until blended and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Beat on high for 3 minutes or until creamy and lighter in color.  Add the mayonnaise and blend on low speed until incorporated.  Add about 1/4 of the flour mixture and blend just until incorporated.  Add 1/3 of the water and blend again on low.  Repeat adding about 1/3 of the remaining flour, then half the remaining water.  Start and end with the flour mixture divided into 4 additions, and the water in 3 additions.  Scrape the sides and the bottom using a rubber spatula.  Beat on low for another 30 seconds.
  • Fill the muffin liners to a little more than 3/4 full.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Frost as desired.

To make the buttercream frosting:

  • Add the butter and cream cheese to a medium mixing bowl.  Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low, add the vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of the milk, and the salt.  Beat another minute on low to combine. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.  Adjust by adding the remaining milk if needed, for desired consistency.
  • If not using immediately, refrigerate and rewhip before using.
  • To tint, remove half the frosting to a small bowl and add gel food color if using.  Pipe on cupcakes as desired.  Repeat with the plain buttercream in a clean piping bag.  I used a Wilton 2A large round tip to frost the cupcakes.  


  • This recipe has only been tested with Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise and was adapted from a recipe on their website.
  • This cake may also be baked in a 9-inch x 9-inch square baking pan.  Grease and flour the pan and watch the baking time.