Moist, rich double chocolate jumbo cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache and strawberry compote all topped with a creamy strawberry buttercream frosting. Be still my heart! These are chocolate cupcakes to die for. Or, better yet, live and grab a fork!
Like the road to true love, the road to these cupcakes did not come easy.
When I was thinking about what to make for a Valentine’s Day themed dessert this year, my mind turned to chocolate. As it usually does! But this time I went down memory lane to some awesome ganache filled chocolate cupcakes I made years ago. Luckily, I had written down the recipe I used, and I had even taken a photo of them, so I felt very confident! These particular cupcakes were baked with a dollop of ganache on top, which sinks down during the baking and fills the cupcake. They were moist and oh, so chocolaty and…sounds great, right? 🙂
Batch #1 – I make jumbo cupcakes and they bake up as they should. But they are dry! Bleh.
Batch #2 – Maybe standard cupcakes are the way go? Fine. This time the cupcakes are moist and yummy, but the ganache runs off the top.
Batch #3 – I check my times and make sure I melt the chocolate perfectly. And go back to jumbo cupcakes. And the ganache runs off the top…again. *sigh*
Batch #4 – Clearly putting the ganache in the batter and getting it to behave and do as it’s told is way too fussy. For me and for you. We’re baking up those jumbo cupcakes and taking them out while they are still a little soft in the middle and only then adding the ganache to make for the perfect creamy center. Nom!
The road to these cupcakes may not have come easy, but I think it was worth it! Even though I had a serious crisis of confidence somewhere between batches 2 and 3. I love to bake, but I know I’m not an expert and I wasn’t sure if I could solve the chocolate cupcake problem. I’m so happy I did – and in a way where I know I can share with all of you other non-expert bakers and have the recipe actually work.
I ended up with
- moist, rich, deep, dark chocolate cake
- creamy ganache filling
- sweet, thick strawberry compote filling (it’s a jumbo cupcake – you can fit both!)
- more chocolate ganache to seal the top
- and strawberry frosting made from the rest of the strawberry compote
I cannot think of any way to add more chocolate or more strawberry to one dessert. If I could, I would have added it! 🙂
Something I do want to point out is that you cannot make the cupcake recipe as written without filling it. Seriously, don’t even think about it. And not (just) because it’s so much better with the ganache, but because that little thing I said up above. You’re taking out the cupcakes while they are still a little underdone.
This has two results:
- Undercooked chocolate cake is richer and moister and generally yummier. (See Chocolate Lava Cakes for proof!)
- It makes the middle of the cupcake fall. Yep, you start off with a lovely hole in middle of your cupcake. You have no choice but to fill it. 🙂
Okay, you can make these cupcakes without filling them since frosting covers many sins, but why would you want to? Say yes to filling!
And a few more things I learned on this journey to True Love and cupcakes:
- Get the strawberry compote very thick before you take it off the heat. It should be like jam, only without all the sugar. You’ll be using one dollop per cupcake and the rest to flavor the frosting. Too much liquid will make your cupcakes sad!
- Be gentle and patient when melting the chocolate for the cupcake batter. Seized chocolate also makes your cupcakes sad.
- A #8 Disher is the perfect sized scoop for filling the liners. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to eyeball it. What you want is about 1/2 cup of batter per cupcake.
- This recipe halves nicely, so you can just make three cupcakes. Or two, if you wish, though you will have extra of everything.
That’s it! Have fun. Make cupcakes. Eat chocolate. Find True Love.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
- 3 cups sliced frozen strawberries
- 6 tbsp orange liqueur
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, either chips or finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, either chips or finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- 16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tbsp strawberry juice pressed from the compote through a fine mesh sieve
- heart sprinkles, optional
- Add the strawberries and liqueur to a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let simmer until the compote is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. You can make the compote a day ahead.
- Put the chocolate into a heat safe bowl large enough to hold the chocolate and cream and allow you to whisk. Bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Pour the cream into the bowl of chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Set the ganache aside. (The ganache will need at least 30 minutes to cool enough to get to a spreadable consistency.)
Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F. Fill the wells of a jumbo cupcake pan with liners. If you are halving the recipe, fill the empty wells halfway with water.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium low heat. Add butter and chocolate to a medium heatproof bowl and set it over the saucepan of water. Heat until the chocolate and butter are melted, whisking occasionally. Add the cocoa to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl aside and let cool until just warm to the touch.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking power, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add in the brown sugar and vanilla. Pour in the cooled chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the sour cream, another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining sour cream, and the remaining flour. Batter should be thick and smooth.
- Add 1/2 cup of batter to each cupcake liner. Bake the cupcakes for 18-19 minutes. A toothpick will still be a little wet if you put it the middle of the cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes then carefully move them to a cooling rack.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled for about 15 minutes on the rack, remove a 2 inch section of cupcake top from each. If needed, scoop out some of the middle so you have enough room for 2 tbsp of filling. Add 1 tbsp of ganache and 1 tbsp of strawberry compote to each cupcake. Replace the tops. Then spread another tablespoon or two of ganache over the top of each cupcake. Let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Press the remaining strawberry compote through a fine mesh strainer and collect the liquid. You should have about 3 tbsp when you're done. Set this aside for the frosting.
- In a large bowl begin beating together the butter and confectioners' sugar with a mixer on low speed. Add the strawberry juice one tablespoon at a time while you continue to beat together the butter and sugar. Once the frosting is creamy and smooth, transfer it to a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off. If you want, use a decorative tip to pipe the frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Decorate with colored sprinkles.
- I used Bittersweet Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips for both the ganache and the cupcakes.
- Other equipment includes 1) a #8 Zeroll Disher, 2) a Jumbo Cupcake Pan, and 3) Jumbo Cupcake Liners.
- Remember for halving the recipe that 3/4 cup = 12 tbsp. So you will need 6 tbsp each of flour and brown sugar.
- If you make the ganache ahead and need to warm it up so you can spread it on the cupcakes, you can very gently over very low heat in a double boiler warm it through. Or put it in the microwave on half power for a few seconds at a time.
- I used a large open star piping nozzle. (I looked this up so I would know what it's called!) One with just few zigzags and a wide opening. Like this one. I have also simply piped directly from the bag without using a tip.