Not quite sure that there’s anything better than chocolate in this world. I mean, chocolate is up there along with surprise snow days, long walks on the beach and lazy Sundays. Anyone that said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend clearly never had these double chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache. Yep, I said it, the “g” word, gasp! Laden with butter, it used to be one of my favorite things to eat before I became lactose intolerant. These days, I make do with dark chocolate squares after dinner, close my eyes and pretend like I’m licking the chocolate ganache off a spoon.
This chocolate cupcake and ganache recipe stems back to my bakery days, when I worked at one bakery in Minnesota. They served the best cupcakes, and this recipe is inspired by the light and fluffy, but still intensely chocolate-y cupcakes I would make. The key to these chocolate cupcakes is fresh baking soda. I’m not even joking, one time, I had baking soda left over from who knows when, and my cupcakes ended up flatter than Flat Stanley. It was a sad day for all of us in the Chung household craving cupcakes. Lesson learned: always use fresh baking soda!
Okay, maybe I lied, the frosting is more of a buttercream frosting with an identity crisis. It tastes just like a chocolate ganache, but way easier to make than ganache. The problem with ganache is that you can so easily burn the chocolate, or overcook the cream, or even worse, the ganache might not even come together after all the effort you spent perfectly heating up that cream and chopping your chocolate into slivers. This one just requires room temperature butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and an arm looking for a good workout.
For my cupcakes, I chose to pipe the frosting on, but you can dip, whip, or spoon the frosting on in any way you would like. Heck, you could probably skip the frosting altogether and just eat a bite of cupcake and lick the spoon you used to make the frosting. This is really a whatever-you-want type of recipe. Since baking is always such a precise measurement, I think that there’s a sort of beauty in decorating something that suits your taste and style. There’s nothing better than taking a step back from your finished masterpiece and feeling utterly accomplished and satisfied.
As I’m nearing the completion of my first month of work, I can tell you its been an uphill battle the whole way. Some days, all I can do is relish in the small victories of the day, and secretly wish I had a time machine to make time pass faster. Once I’m in the kitchen though, the stress and worries of the day melt away. I guess the whole point that I’m making is, don’t forget to take some time for yourself! And also, eat a chocolate cupcake or two 🙂
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES | Makes 12 cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp baking soda (FRESH)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil, or any other neutral tasting oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot coffee (instant is fine)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 (F)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk together.
- Add egg, sugar, vegetable oil and buttermilk together into another large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Alternate adding hot coffee and dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, starting first with the dry ingredients.
- Line cupcake tins with liners and fill each tin 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the center of a cupcake.
- Let cupcakes cool before frosting.
- Beat butter until creamy (usually 5-8 minutes for me by hand).
- Add in cocoa powder and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Alternate adding in powdered sugar and milk and whisk until a fluffy frosting is achieved. If mixture looks try, at additional milk 1/2 tsp at a time. If mixture looks wet, add additional 1 tbsp powdered sugar at a time.
- Either spoon chocolate frosting on, or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
- Frosted cupcakes will stay fresh for up to 5 days covered a room temperature.