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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

After making my mini chocolate cake last week, I’m all about minis!! That sentiment is what inspired me to make these mini chocolate cupcakes.

I swear mini desserts just taste better! I’m not sure if it’s the increased ratio of buttercream to cupcake, or just the sheer cuteness of such a small cupcake.

Either way, they’re fun to make and perfect for just about any occasion.

image of a mini chocolate cupcake being placed on a mini cake stand

The Chocolate Cupcake Base

This mini chocolate cupcake recipe is based on my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. It’s obviously been scaled down but is just as moist and delicious!

My biggest tip when making these mini chocolate cupcakes is to be sure not to overmix the batter. Overmixed batter can lead to dense, chewy little cupcakes.

Your cupcakes will bake up tender and soft if you mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined.

image of an adorable mini chocolate cupcake

How to Make Mini Cupcakes with Any Cupcake Recipe

While I highly recommend my mini chocolate cupcake recipe below, you can really use any recipe to make mini cupcakes!

I’ve converted this recipe to make a dozen minis, but you can also use a regular cupcake recipe to make mini cupcakes.

There’s no need to change the measurements or ingredients!

image of mini chocolate cupcakes baked and cooling on a wire rack

The two things you need in mind when doing this is that you will end up with three times as many mini cupcakes as you would regular cupcakes, and that the bake time will be about half what the recipe lists.

For example, if your cupcake recipe makes 12 regular sized cupcakes, it will make about 36 minis.

And if full sized cupcakes bake for 18-20 minutes, I’d suggest baking the minis for 9-10 minutes.

How Full Should You Fill Mini Cupcake Liners?

There actually isn’t a universal answer for this! The amount you should fill your mini cupcake liners will vary based on the recipe you use.

If you’re using a regular cupcake recipe to make mini cupcakes, fill the mini liners as full as the recipe instructs.

I like to fill my mini cupcake liners about 3/4 full with this mini chocolate cupcake recipe because they don’t rise up a ton.

image of mini cupcake liners being filled with chocolate cupcake batter

Making the Right Amount of Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

While the cupcake base itself is wonderful, a cupcake isn’t a cupcake without some delicious frosting.

I decided a rich chocolaty buttercream would be perfect for these mini chocolate cupcakes.

It’s pretty much half chocolate, half frosting and it’s absolutely irresistible.

When you’re frosting a mini batch of cupcakes, you don’t need a ton of frosting. To make just the right amount, I modified my chocolate American buttercream to make 1/8 of a batch.

image of a small batch of dark chocolate buttercream frosting that's been made to frost mini chocolate cupcakes

Substitutions and Swaps – Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

This mini chocolate cupcake recipe use quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have them all on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make.

image of chocolate cupcake batter being made with a mini whisk
  • Chocolate – You can use milk, dark or semi-sweet chocolate to make these chocolate cupcakes! Just be sure it’s a good quality chocolate so it will melt down smoothly.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use full fat yogurt, sour cream, whole milk or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of these cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola or sunflower oil would work great!
  • Eggs – If you have an egg allergy you can use 1 flaxseed egg instead or a vegan egg replacer like this made by Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Vinegar – This recipe needs a bit of vinegar because it uses baking soda as a leavening agent. The vinegar activates the baking soda and helps the cupcakes rise. You can use white or apple cider vinegar.

Small Batch Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Salted Butter – If you only have unsalted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the salted butter, just be sure to add a pinch of salt. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Melted chocolate – Any type of chocolate will work! I love using dark, but semi-sweet or milk chocolate would taste great too.
  • Heavy Cream – Whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract.
  • Cocoa Powder – If you’re out of cocoa powder, you can use additional powdered sugar in its place.
image of a mini chocolate cupcake being placed on a mini cake stand

Making These Cupcakes in Advance & Storage Tips

You can make these mini chocolate cupcakes in advance. If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

These cupcakes can also last up to 3 months in the freezer.

If you plan to freeze them, wait to frost them until they’re thawed.

image of mini chocolate cupcakes that have been decorated with dark chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles

You can also make your frosting up to a week ahead of time or save any leftovers. Leftover frosting will last in the fridge for up to a month.

Be sure to give the frosting a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

Frosted cupcakes shouldn’t sit out at room temperature for more than a day.

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container once they’re frosted after they’ve been out at room temperature for a day.

Tips for Making the Best Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better. Set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to easily fill your mini cupcake liners. I fill my scoop about 3/4 full for each cupcake.
  • Mix your cupcake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated. This will ensure your cupcakes are tender and fluffy.
  • One batch of batter can also be used to make 4 regular sized cupcakes. Bake them at 350 F / 175 C for 18-19 minutes.
  • Make vegan or dairy free mini chocolate cupcakes! Use your favorite type of dairy free milk, a flax seed egg, vegan dark chocolate, and vegan butter sticks in place of the butter.
image of a mini chocolate cupcake that's been bitten into to show how moist it is

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you make this recipe for mini chocolate cupcakes I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and comment below.

Tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media.

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Yield: 12-14 mini cupcakes

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

image of mini chocolate cupcakes frosted with a chocolate buttercream and topped with nonpareil sprinkles

These mini chocolate cupcakes are bite-sized, super moist and topped with a delicious chocolate buttercream frosting!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (60g)
  • 2 Tbsp milk or dark chocolate chips (20g)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (32g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 2 Tbsp baking cocoa powder (12g)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda (1g)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt (1g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (28g)
  • 1/4 tsp white vinegar (1g)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1g)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, room temperature (56g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2g)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (62g)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (20g)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk (30g)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted and cooled (40g)

Optional Toppings

  • 1/4 cup sprinkles (45g)

Suggested Equipment


Mini Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C and place 12 mini cupcake liners in a mini cupcake pan. Set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and 2 Tbsp chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or over a double boiler until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Whisk together until the ingredients have combined, making sure all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt into chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Add 1 large egg, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1/4 tsp vinegar and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Mix just until the batter is smooth.
  6. Fill the mini cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for about 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. If you have leftover batter, let it sit at room temp and bake a second batch once the first has baked.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Small Batch Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of salted butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract together into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 2 Tbsp of heavy cream or milk.
  3. Pour in 1/4 cup of melted and cooled chocolate into the buttercream and mix until combined.
  4. If the frosting seems too thick, add an extra tsp of heavy cream. If it's too thin, add in another Tbsp of powdered sugar.
  5. Place the frosting into a small piping bag fit with your favorite frosting tip and pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake. Top with sprinkles if desired and enjoy!


These mini chocolate cupcake can be made in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for:

  • 1 day at room temperature
  • Up to a week in the fridge
  • Up to 3 months in the freezer

If you have extra buttercream you don't use, it can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or piping bag for up to a month.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 125Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 21mgSodium 99mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 3g


Friday 3rd of May 2024

Hi, thank you so much for sharing the recipe above. I don't own a small cupcake pan, but I still want to make a mini version of these, can I use a normal sized cupcake pan, lined with mini cupcake cases or pour the batter in the mini cupcake liners but bake them on a sheet pan?


Sunday 5th of May 2024

Hi Mitchelle,

That's a great question! I know that a cupcake pan is a must for full-sized cupcakes, but mini cupcakes use a lot less batter, so there is a chance that placing them inside a regular cupcake pan or on a baking sheet might work! I've never tried it before so I'm not quite sure, but if you do try it I'd love to hear how it goes! Please let me know :)


Monday 4th of September 2023

Thanks for the recipe. Made these mini cupcakes with vanilla frosting for my son’s birthday (he insisted on a white frosting) and they were a big hit. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

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