Chocolate Lover’s Cupcakes for the Birthday Girl
A friend of mine from out-of-town has a birthday coming up soon, and she will actually be staying at my house on that day. It is pretty rare that we get to be together on her birthday so I wanted to make her a special treat. I know she likes chocolate, dark chocolate especially, so I set out to make her the cupcake of her dreams. Hence this chocolate lover’s cupcake!
The base of the cupcake is made from my go to chocolate cake recipe. It makes the most moist, chocolaty cupcake you could ever want. Then the middle is filled with a dark chocolate ganache. This really adds richness, while balancing the sweetness of the frosting. The first layer of frosting is from my Vanilla Bean Cupcakes recipe. Full of vanilla extract and real vanilla bean seeds, it is heavenly and adds a contrast to all of the chocolate flavors. The top layer is a semi-sweet chocolate frosting with 2 types of chocolate incorporated into it. I have been wanting to find a great chocolate frosting recipe, and I think this is it. It has abundant chocolate flavor, yet is light and creamy.
Then to top it all off, I drizzled the frosting with some more dark chocolate ganache and pearl sprinkles because you just can’t have too much chocolate in a chocolate lover’s cupcake, and how can you have the cupcake of your dreams without sprinkles? Not possible.
Quite often I find myself on the fence about whether I am a chocolate lover or a vanilla lover at heart. I guess that is why I love this cupcake so much. It incorporates all of my favorite flavors – dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla beans, and sprinkles. What more could a girl (or boy) want?
I am making it sound like I made this cupcake for me instead of my friend. Turns out the cupcake of her dreams is also the cupcake of my dreams. I guess that is why we get along so well. We agree on all the important things in life!
Chocolate Lover's Cupcakes
For the Cupcake:
2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c vegetable oil
- 1 c hot coffee (you won’t be able to taste the coffee at all, just makes the chocolate more pronounced)
- 1 c whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
- Add oil, coffee, and milk and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes. Expect batter to be thin.
- Line cupcake pan with approximately 24 paper liners.
- Pour batter into liners, making sure each liner is about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
- Cook approximately 17 to 18 minutes, testing after 17 with a toothpick to see if done. Important not to over bake.
- Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
- After cupcakes are pretty cool, cut out a small hole in center of cupcake, about 1 inch wide and 3/4 inches deep. A smaller serrated knife works well for this.
Recipe from Food.com
For the Ganache:
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips (I recommend Ghiradelli)
- 1 c heavy cream
- Place chocolate pieces in a large heat proof bowl.
- Heat heavy cream on medium high until just before it comes to a boil. Stir constantly and watch carefully so it doesn’t come to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate. Do not stir. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool.
- When ganache is cool, spoon into a piping bag or baggy and snip off the end. Fill holes in cupcakes. SAVE LEFTOVER GANACHE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR DRIZZLING AT THE END.
- Cover cupcakes and refrigerate until frosting is ready.
For the Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting:
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or clear vanilla extract to maintain bright white color)
- 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted (approximately one 1 lb. box plus 1 3/4 plus 1/8 cups)
- 4-6 Tbsp. heavy cream (I used 4)
- Beat butter and vanilla bean seeds until soft and fluffy.
- Add in powdered sugar, and beat at low-speed until all lumps are gone.
- Add in vanilla and 3 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat well.
- Add in 1 to 3 more Tbsp. of heavy cream one at a time and beat until of desired consistency.
- Place in a piping bag with a large round tip. Squeeze onto cupcakes in a single round layer, leaving edges of cupcake showing. Leave cupcakes out at room temperature while making chocolate frosting.
Recipe from My Baking Addiction
For the Chocolate Butter Cream:
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips)
- 1/4 c cocoa powder, sifted (I used Ghiradelli)
- 2 c unsalted butter, almost room temperature
- 1/4 c half and half
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 c pre-sifted confectioners sugar (sift first then measure out 3 cups from sifted powdered sugar)
- Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals (important so the chocolate doesn’t seize up). Stir after each interval, being careful not to overheat it. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes on medium low-speed.
- Add half and half and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, but start on low-speed or milk will go everywhere.
- Add all the cooled melted chocolate, and then beat for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
- Add sifted cocoa powder and powdered sugar in half cup increments, beating well to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat until it is as light as you would like it, but it is more of a soft set frosting.
- Pipe on top of the vanilla frosting using large round tip.
Recipe from American Heritage Cooking
For the Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:
- leftover ganache from above
- piping bag
- pearl sprinkles
- Place leftover ganache into piping bag without tip.
- Cut a tiny hole in end of tip.
- Drizzle ganache over cupcakes.
- Sprinkle with pearl sprinkles if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Make sure you set them out 1 hour prior to serving.
- Can be frozen for up to one month. Thaw out for approximately 4 hours before serving.
Chocolate Lover’s Cupcake created by Cook AZ I Do