Cake Mix Cupcakes

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These cake mix cupcakes with chocolate buttercream are easy to make and taste delicious! Best of all, they feature a classic chocolate buttercream frosting.

This post was originally published back in June of 2016. Needless to say, it’s a classic.

While there’s nothing wrong with classics, sometimes they need a little updating. So, that’s what we’re doing today.

Kim made a few changes to the recipe and hopefully you gals and guys will enjoy our new and improved cake mix cupcakes. Let’s get started!

Five cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and colorful sprinkles.

How to Make Cake Mix Cupcakes:

First, preheat your oven to 350°F, and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

The yellow cake batter in a large glass mixing bowl.

After that, combine the yellow cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and sour cream.

Use a hand mixer to beat all the ingredients into a batter.

The cake batter has been transferred to the cupcake liners.

Next, transfer the cake batter to the cupcake liners and place them into the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

Then, once the cake mix cupcakes are done, set them on a cooling rack to cool for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, you can make the frosting.

The cupcakes have baked and are cooling before being frosted.

How to make chocolate buttercream frosting?

To begin, grab a large mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Toss in the butter, vanilla, milk, and espresso powder.

Slowly sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Combine the ingredients on low speed with hand mixer for about 1 minute.

The sugar, butter, and other frosting ingredients in a bowl.

Afterward, increase the speed to medium and continue to mix the chocolate butter cream for another 2-3 minutes.

For a light, whipped butter cream, blend the ingredients until the frosting become light and fluffy.

The chocolate buttercream frosting has been mixed in a glass mixing bowl.

All that’s left is to top the cake mix cupcakes with the frosting. That’s it your cupcakes are done.

Kim and I hope you enjoy the recipe and wish you all the best 🙂

Top down view of the decorated cupcakes on a rack.

How many cupcakes come in a box of cake mix?

Usually, around 2 dozen or 24 cupcakes. It can vary slightly depending on how much cake mix you use for each cupcake.

For example, our recipe makes about 22 individual cupcakes.

What can you substitute for eggs?

We typically recommend using a flax, “egg.” Basically, it uses ground flax seed and water to create a gelatin that acts like an egg in baking.

Three yellow cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

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Three yellow cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

Cake Mix Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

4.7 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 22 Servings



  • 15 ¼ ounces yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix, 1 box
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup sour cream

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional



  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare muffin pan with muffin liners.
  • Pour all ingredients into a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined.
    15 ¼ ounces yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix
    3 large eggs
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    ½ cup water
    ¾ cup sour cream
  • Use a ¼ cup measuring cup or a small scoop to fill the muffin liners until they are halfway full.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Transfer them out of the muffin pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • Place the butter, vanilla, milk, and espresso powder (if using) into the bowl of a stand mixer.
    1 cup unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix on low speed for about a minute then adjust the speed to medium. Continue to mix for about 2 to 3 more minutes until the buttercream is fully combined and fluffy.
    3 ½ cups powdered sugar
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream and serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of 1 cupcake with chocolate frosting. The calorie count does NOT include the sprinkles seen in the photos. Actual calories will vary. The cupcakes can be stored in your fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.72 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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