I love baked goods with chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in them, which is why this chocolate chip cupcake recipe is my new favorite! If you’re wondering how to make chocolate chip cupcakes, look no further. Here we have a super moist vanilla cupcake with mini chocolate chips evenly dispersed so every bite is the best bite. It’s straight-up delicious.

If you love this cupcake recipe, you will definitely love my Cookie Dough Cupcakes!  For more cupcakes with sweet surprises, try my Oreo Cupcakes and Reese’s Cupcakes.

A hand holding a chocolate chip cupcake with chocolate frosting, and a bite taken out of the cupcake!

Why This Recipe Works

  • More chocolate. For chocolate chips cupcakes that have chocolate in every bite, we use mini chocolate chips that won’t sink to the bottom of the cupcake.
  • Easy chocolate chip cupcakes. You know I love baking cakes, but cupcakes are often much easier. No whipping egg whites or stacking layers. Just mix your dry ingredients, mix your wet ingredients, combine them, and bake. You’ll never need another recipe for chocolate chip cupcakes!
  • Tender cupcakes. Using vegetable oil as well as an additional egg yolk helps make this choco chip cupcake recipe melt-in-your-mouth good – no dry cake here!

Ingredient Notes

  • Brown and granulated sugar: Brown sugar adds depth of flavor to these cupcakes, making them irresistible. It also adds moisture. Granulated sugar adds to texture and flavor, so we use both to get the best cupcakes.
  • Vanilla extract: The base of these cupcakes is a simple but scrumptious vanilla cake. By adding vanilla to our batter, we add another layer of complementary flavor.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk helps with the chemical reaction that makes our cupcakes rise. It also adds a delicious tang that contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of this cupcake.
  • Eggs: This recipe calls for one egg plus one egg yolk to help the cupcakes rise, give them structure, and keep them moist.
  • Unsalted butter: Butter really does make everything better. Here, it adds yummy flavor to these cupcakes.
  • Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil is one of the other key ingredients to having a moist cupcake.
  • All-purpose flour: Some of my cake recipes use cake flour, which has a lower protein content and helps with fluffy cakes. For these cupcakes, however, we’re using good old reliable all-purpose flour.
  • Mini chocolate chips: Using mini chocolate chips instead of regular-sized chocolate chips is crucial because the mini chips disperse more easily and won’t sink to the bottom (as long as we don’t overmix the batter). This way, you get chocolate chips in every bite. It wouldn’t be a chocolate chip cupcake without these! I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use milk chocolate chips if you prefer.
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes topped with a swirl of chocolate frosting and mini chocolate chips on a white background.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare your oven and cupcake pan. Preheat your oven to 325℉ and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 18 cupcakes, so you can either line one and a half pans with liners or reuse one 12-cupcake tin.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients. Mix 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside. 
  3. Mix wet ingredients. In the large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together 6 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter with ½ a cup of brown sugar and ½ a cup of white sugar. Once the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and creamy, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Once the oil and vanilla are mixed in, add 1 room-temperature egg and 1 egg yolk. Mix until combined.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. With your mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Next, add a ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Finally, add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until mostly combined – but don’t mix too much, since we’re adding the chocolate chips next.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold a ¾ cup of mini chocolate chips into the batter. Resist the temptation to add more! 
  6. Fill cupcake liners and bake. Fill your cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way – roughly 3 tablespoons of cupcake batter in each cup. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool. Let the baked cupcakes cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning them out to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Four photos showing Chocolate Chip Cupcakes batter in a glass bowl, then cupcake liners filled with the batter and then baked.
  1. Melt chocolate for chocolate buttercream frosting. Melt 3 oz. finely chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Turn your microwave down to half power and microwave the chocolate in 30-second increments, stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, allow it to cool for five minutes.
  2. Make buttercream. While the chocolate cools, whip 12 tablespoons of butter with a mixer on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Butter should be cool, but not rock-hard. Reduce mixer speed and add 2 cups powdered sugar, beat until mixed, then add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture for 30 seconds, then pour in melted chocolate and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until everything is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the frosting is not as smooth as you would like, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
  3. Frost cupcakes. Using a piping bag or a butter knife, pipe or spread chocolate frosting onto cooled cupcakes. For prettiness and extra texture, sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes.
Two photos, top photo is chocolate buttercream frosting for chocolate chip cupcakes in a glass bowl, bottom photo is chocolate buttercream topped Chocolate Chip Cupcakes on a white background.

Recipe Tips

Make sure your eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature before starting to make your cupcakes. Bringing ingredients up to room temperature helps them blend more easily, making for a more tender cake. 

Feel free to experiment with your flavors! For peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes, top these choc. chip cupcakes with my Peanut Butter Frosting instead of chocolate buttercream. White chocolate chip cupcakes would also be delicious! Just make sure to always use mini chocolate chips, whatever flavor you choose.

Make Ahead, Storing, Freezing

Make Ahead: Cupcakes without frosting can be made and kept at room temperature for up to two days in advance. Frosting can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.

Storing: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature.

Freezing: Freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to six months. You can also freeze cupcakes with frosting – place frosted cupcakes on a tray in the freezer and freeze until solid, then wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to six months. To thaw, unwrap frozen frosted cupcakes and allow them to come to room temperature.

Check out my How to Store and Freeze Cakes guide for more information on storing and freezing cakes!

A Chocolate Chip Cupcake on a white plate, cut in half with a knife to the left of the plate.

Recipe FAQs

What if I don’t have a stand mixer?

You can use an electric hand mixer with great success. You can also mix everything by hand, but I don’t recommend it as it’s more difficult to whip air into the batter so your cupcakes may come out more dense.

Can I use regular-sized chocolate chips?

You can, but they won’t disperse as evenly and may sink to the bottom of your cupcake.

Why did my cupcakes overflow?

It’s crucial to only fill cupcake liners to ⅔ of the way full. Otherwise, you will likely have cupcake overflow.

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

​If you don’t have buttermilk, you can thin out some sour cream to use instead, or make your own! Fill a measuring cup with 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of buttermilk. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and let stand for five minutes.

Mini chocolate chip topped Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with a swirl of chocolate buttercream frosting on top!

More Chocolate Chip Recipes

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Moist Chocolate Chip Cupcakes made with buttermilk on a white marble table.
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Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Moist chocolate chip cupcakes are studded with lots of mini chocolate chips and topped with a luscious chocolate buttercream frosting. These cupcakes are one of our absolute favorites!!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg - at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk - at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter - not fully at room temp, butter should be chilled but slightly soft. 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate - or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream - if needed

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the oil and vanilla and mix. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix to combine.
  • With the mixture on low speed, add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until partially combined, then fold in the chocolate chips but don’t overmix.
  • Fill the cupcake cavities half to 2/3's full, using approximately 3 T of batter in each compartment.
  • Bake for 17-20 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle come out clean or with a couple crumbs stuck to it. Remove from oven, let cool in pan for 5 mins then turn out to cool on a wire rack until room temperature. 
  • Make the chocolate buttercream: Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. (You don't want to add hot melted chocolate to the butter because it'll melt it and/or make it VERY soft).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is mixed in, add the vanilla. Beat for 30 seconds. 
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is evenly incorporated. Add the heavy cream (if needed) and beat for another minute.
  • Place frosting in a piping bag and pipe a generous amount of frosting overtop of each cupcake. Enjoy!

Notes

Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
You can use regular-sized chocolate chips for these cupcakes, but they may sink to the bottom of your cupcakes. 
Bringing ingredients to room temperature will help them mix more easily.
If you don’t have buttermilk, thin some sour cream with water to use instead. Or make your own by add 3/4 cup, 1 tbsp and 2 tsp milk to a bowl, then 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice. Allow to stand for five minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 36g (12%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 53mg (18%)Sodium: 101mg (4%)Potassium: 94mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 412IU (8%)Vitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 39mg (4%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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