Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Hello, hello! Quickly before I dive into these unbelievable cupcakes (which are every bit as amazing as they look), a quick apology for the lapse in posts last week. I had some recipes ready to share with you, but had some major Internet connection fails at the house we were renting. However, I’m back (and MARRIED!!… more on that later!) and way overdue on getting your kitchen dirty.

Now, let’s talk cupcakes! This is the 35th cupcake recipe I’ve shared on this site, and can you believe it’s the first chocolate-chocolate version?! I’ve had some chocolate cupcake bases, but those were topped with things like peanut butter frosting, espresso buttercream and salted caramel frosting… then there were the faux Hostess cupcakes, the black-bottom cupcakes and the vegan chocolate cupcakes. They are all fabulous cupcakes, but I felt it was high time that I find a chocolate cupcake and frosting combo that could be “the one” – my go-to when I needed something fabulously rich and overflowing with chocolate flavor. I’ve definitely found it and I’m not looking back.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

First things first – the cake part of these cupcakes is phenomenal. It’s often times hard to find a cupcake recipe that not only domes perfectly when baked, but is also moist and tender inside (not dry and crumbly). These are all of that and more; they totally melt in your mouth. To enhance the flavor and the moist texture, a dollop of chocolate ganache is placed on top of the cupcake batter before they are baked. It’s an optional step and you can make the cupcakes with out it, but I highly, highly recommend it. It’s the perfect segue from the cake to the frosting.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Oh, that frosting. It’s almost beyond words. Satiny smooth, buttery, just sweet enough and oh-so-chocolatey. I could (and did!) eat it with a spoon. Piled high on those cupcakes, it’s the perfect frosting-to-cupcake ratio for me. I just can’t get enough frosting. (Of course, if you like less frosting, you can use less and you’ll have some leftover.)

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I don’t believe I’ll ever search for another chocolate-chocolate cupcake recipe ever again. I’m sold on these cupcakes and frosting, plus I love that ganache filling. While I knew I couldn’t have a dozen cupcakes sitting around the house, the day after I had sent the leftovers on their way with my mom, I immediately regretted my decision. That’s a sure sign that I found a winner!

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Fresh Orange Sherbet
Two years ago: Pepperoni Pizza
Three years ago: Salted Caramel Brownies
Four years ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Five years ago: Zebra Cake

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 17-19 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These cupcakes are a chocolate-lover's dream!

Ingredients:

For the Ganache Filling:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the Cupcakes:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup hot coffee
¾ cup bread flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
1¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
¾ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate (milk, semisweet or dark), melted and cooled

Directions:

1. Make the Ganache Filling: Place the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just barely chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

2. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

6. Make the Frosting: In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. Frost the cupcakes as desired. The frosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes:

  • The ganache filling can be omitted it if you'd like a more traditional chocolate cupcake.
  • The frosting can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours before using, or refrigerated for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
  • I used the Ateco #823 decorating tip for piping the frosting.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)