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Soft, moist, and perfectly bite-size, these mini chocolate cupcakes come together in 22 minutes! Because of their diminutive size, these mini cupcakes bake quickly—they need just 12 minutes in the oven. This tried-and-true homemade recipe for mini cupcakes yields 24 cupcakes!
Pro tip: To decorate mini cupcakes easily use a piping bag with a star tip to pipe the frosting. It’s much harder to frost mini cupcakes with just a spatula because they are so tiny!
What’s better than cupcakes? Bite size cupcakes! In pastry school we made a lot of cakes and fancy desserts, but cupcakes, especially mini sized, have always held a special place in my heart (and stomach).
These mini chocolate cupcakes are fluffy and moist, with a rich chocolate flavor. They can be made without buttermilk, so they’re perfect for people who don’t have any on hand or don’t like the taste of it.
A fun mini cupcake recipe is always good to have in your back pocket. They are almost like perfect dessert appetizers and are great for a crowd because they are so bite sized! You can also make a vanilla version with my homemade mini vanilla cupcakes, or you can use any of my recipes or cupcake ideas and turn them into minis. See instructions on how to below!
This mini cupcake recipe is a scaled down version of my chocolate filled cupcakes but without the filling. You can frost them with classic vanilla frosting, but don’t stop there! Try them with coffee buttercream frosting, caramel buttercream frosting, or even a fruity raspberry buttercream frosting.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- The chocolate cupcake batter is moist and super light.
- Mini cupcakes are great for parties or to feed a crowd.
- The ingredients are simple and you may already have them on hand.
- Customize these cupcakes using your favorite homemade frosting or toppings.
To make this recipe you need mini muffin liners and a mini muffin pan.
- Granulated Sugar – Adds a necessary sweet flavor to the base of the cupcakes.
- All-Purpose Flour – Makes up the base of these cupcakes giving them structure and texture.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Adds a rich chocolatey flavor to the mini cupcakes.
- Espresso Powder – Helps enhance and deepen the natural flavor of the chocolate.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder – Helps the cupcakes rise to become fluffy while still staying moist and dense.
- Kosher Salt – Helps balance the sweet and bitter flavor of the sugar and cocoa powder.
- Egg – Helps bind all of the ingredients together to set the cupcake while baking.
- Plain Yogurt – An unflavored yogurt or sour cream is the secret ingredient to making these cupcakes moist.
- Water & Vegetable Oil – Helps thin out the cupcake batter to make it the perfect consistency for baking.
- Vanilla Extract – Infuses the cupcakes with a light and warm vanilla flavor.
HOW TO MAKE MINI CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a mini muffin tray with mini muffin liners. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients: To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to fully combine the ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients: To the same bowl, add the yogurt, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Whisk the mixture until a smooth chocolate cupcake batter forms. Make sure you pay attention to any dry mixture that may get trapped on the bottom.
- Bake the cupcakes: Fill each mini muffin liner 2/3 of the way. Bake for 12 minutes or until the center is set. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting with your favorite buttercream frosting recipe.
Baking time for Mini Cupcakes
The baking time for mini cupcakes is shorter than a regular sized because they are so small. When I bake mini cupcakes, no matter what the recipe is for, the baking time is 11-12 minutes. Regular sized cupcakes bake from 18-20 minute, to adjust the time for mini cupcakes it would be no longer than 12 minutes on 350° F.
How to turn regular sized cupcakes into mini cupcakes
You can easily turn any regular sized cupcake recipe into mini cupcakes. First think of how many you will need. A regular sized cupcake recipe can yield about 50+ mini cupcakes. If you don’t need that many, I would halve the cupcake recipe. This will yield about 24 like this recipe does.
Then make the recipe as usual. Line a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners and bake for 12 minutes total on 350°F.
How to decorate
To decorate mini cupcakes easily use a piping bag with a star tip to pipe the frosting. It’s much harder to frost mini cupcakes with just a spatula because they are so tiny. Top with sprinkles!
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- Measure your flour properly. Use a scale for the most precise measurements or spoon flour into your measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.
- When mixing the batter, make sure you don’t overwork the batter. Overworking the batter will result in a tough cupcake.
- Don’t over bake the mini cupcakes or they will easily become dry.
- If you don’t have yogurt on hand, sour cream can be substituted, just make sure you’re using full-fat dairy for the best texture.
- The eggs, butter, and yogurt should be at room temperature before beginning to bake. Room temperature ingredients mix together more easily and produce a more consistent cupcake.
- Only fill the muffin liners 2/3 full to prevent them from overflowing while baking.
- If you don’t have espresso powder, you can omit it from the recipe.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: To store mini cupcakes, place them in an airtight container or bag and keep them at room temperature for up to three days. They can also be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezing: For longer-term storage, mini cupcakes can be frozen for up to two months. Before freezing, wrap the cupcakes tightly in plastic wrap then place them in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the fridge before frosting and enjoying.
Making these gluten free
To make these gluten free use gluten free flour and make a flax egg with 1 tablespoon flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water.
Can I make these regular sized?
Yes, just make my easy chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting instead, it’s the same!
MINI CUPCAKE FROSTING IDEAS
- Mascarpone Frosting
- Zesty Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Fluffy Espresso Buttercream Frosting
- Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Quick-Baked Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
- ½ cup sugar (100g)
- ½ cup all purpose flour (60g)
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (21g)
- ½ tsp espresso powder (optional) (1g)
- ¼ tsp baking soda (1.5 g)
- ¼ tsp baking powder (1g)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (1.5g)
- 1 egg (50g)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream (57g)
- 3 tbsp water (39g)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (12g)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (2.5g)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a mini muffin tray with mini muffin liners. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl add the ½ cup sugar, ½ cup flour, 4 tbsp cocoa powder, ½ tsp espresso powder (if using) ¼ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add the 1 egg, ¼ cup yogurt, 3 tbsp water, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, and ½ tsp vanilla extract and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Make sure you whisk well, some dry ingredients can get trapped on the bottom of the bowl.
- Fill each muffin liner 2/3 of the way and bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool completely, then frost with buttercream frosting.
Sharon Frisbie says
2/3 CUP for mini cupcakes – don’t use that much for regular cupcakes. Do you mean fil 2/3 rds of the mini muffin liner? Can’t wait to try these, Glad to find your site
Sam Adler says
You are right Sharon! Thanks for catching that, I have updated the recipe. The mini muffin tins don’t even fit 2/3 cup 🤣