Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

You all know I am a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE fan of America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Magazine so it should come as no surprise to you that when I found this “free” posting of their recipe for “Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling” I HAD to try it. Like the original poster said, they are recipe hoarders and while I do subscribe to one or two publications I am always looking for more.

The cupcakes themselves were the best I’d ever had. They were moist, soft, rich and velvety. The depth of chocolate flavor really exceeded my expectations. A grown up cupcake, if you will. I profess to be a chocolate gurl. But the icing they provided coupled with the cupcake was a little toooooo chocolaty, even for me. I couldn’t handle it. It scared me. lol. (The kids seemed to not care but they aren’t known round these parts for their discriminating palates….except when it comes to veggies. o_O)

So, I sought out for something else to partner with the scrumptious cake and found this much lighter (and much less involved) frosting. (It’s FROSTING for heaven’s sake. It shouldn’t take longer than the cupcakes to prepare if you ask me… but who am I? #shrug) It has a taste similar to a cool whip but you can tell it is more substantial and more akin to icing.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and for 12 very happy people.


Ganache Filling:

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (I used the Ghiradeli chocolate brick. It’s 60% cacao and premeasured into 1/2 oz. pieces. each square represents a 1oz portion so measuring shouldn’t be a problem…for my slow friends, that is 4 pieces.)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (6 pieces of the Ghiradeli block ), chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ¾ cup hot coffee
  • ¾ cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour (While I usually use cake flour for baking, if they say use “bread flour” I am using it. I trust them.)
  • ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) granulated sugar (regular table sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature) 
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)



Ganache Filling:

Place-chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in medium -microwave-safe bowl. Heat
in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds.
Whisk until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just
chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan(cups have ½-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners. Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.


In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It should look like a thick, wet paste of sorts. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (You can also place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) Once it is completely cooled, stir in the vanilla. 

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and whip it on medium high for about 4 to 5 minutes.  If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

To frost, mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.

Now eat! Told you they were good!!!!

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