‘Triple Threat’ Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Other | 12 comments

Update: The last time I made these, I experienced issues with the ganache centers sinking to the bottom of the cupcake. They still tasted phenomenal – more like ganache-infused cupcakes – so I wouldn’t hesitate to make them again as written here, but if you want that perfect ganache center, here are two other methods:

1) Prepare as written below, but don’t add the chilled ganache scoops until the cupcakes have cooked about halfway through (8 minutes).

2) Bake the cupcakes without the ganache. Then, once the cupcakes have cooled, fill a pastry bag with the ganache, fit it with a small round tip (like a #3), insert it into the center of a cupcake from the top and squeeze to fill until the ganache comes up to the top. Voila! If you try this method, there’s no need to chill the ganache, either.

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!



Until this week, I didn’t know National Chocolate Cupcake Day existed. But now that I’m aware, I feel it’s my duty as the creator of a holiday baking blog to honor this special day with not just any old chocolate cupcake, but the chocolate cupcake.

Sure, we all like chocolate; otherwise, why would you be here? But if you consider chocolate one of the great loves of your life, if you automatically pin every chocolate dessert you come across, if you have to stifle a laugh when you hear someone complain, ‘this is too chocolatey,’ then THIS is the cupcake for you.


Each of these dark buttermilk chocolate cupcakes is studded with a rich ganache center and topped off with silky melt-in-your-mouth chocolate frosting – hence the triple threat. They’re fantastically chocolately and decadent, yet not overly sweet – the perfect treat for any chocolate fanatic.

I’d like to think there’s no wrong way to celebrate this wonderful holiday as long as you have a chocolate cupcake in hand. But if you’re going to put in the effort of baking from scratch, make it worth your while with these babies.



‘Triple Threat’ Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes approximately 30 cupcakes


Credit: Food Network

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar


Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 20 oz. bittersweet and semisweet chocolate (a combination of the two)
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cut into one-tablespoon pieces

Prepare the ganache:

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate, heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar. Heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth; if the chocolate won’t melt, heat in 10-second intervals.

Refrigerate the ganache for 20 to 30 minutes; note that it’s important not to chill the ganache any more or less! You need just the right consistency here.

While the ganache is chilling, start the cupcakes: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in your muffins tins.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Fill each cupcake liner halfway and let sit for 5 minutes (you don’t want the batter to be too warm after the addition of the hot coffee, or the ganache will melt into the cupcake).

Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of the chilled ganache and place one on top of each portion of batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 16 to 19 minutes, or until the tops feel firm. Let cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the frosting:

Combine the cream, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium until simmering. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped.

With the food processor running, slowly add the hot cream mixture and process for one minute, until the chocolate is melted. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and pulse until combined. With the processor runing, add butter one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding another.

Let the frosting cool then beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and spreadable.

Frost the cupcakes and top with grated chocolate and chocolate pieces, if desired.


  1. can I be a taste tester for you. I will do it for free :)

    • Come on over Denise!

  2. I have a question. I don’t drink coffee. What could I substitute for the hot coffee?

    • Hi Kati, thanks for reading!
      If it’s the taste of coffee that you don’t like, I can assure you there is no coffee flavor to these. Actually, I don’t like coffee either. Coffee is known as a wonderful flavor enhancer for cocoa so in this recipe it serves to deepen the chocolate flavor.
      However, if you still don’t want to use coffee, go ahead and substitute plain old hot water and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  3. You wouldn’t by chance half the measurements for half of this recipe would you. I don’t have very much luck attempting to downsize a recipe on my own.

    • Hi Eugenia! I don’t have the measurements on hand, but you could try a recipe scaling calculator. I haven’t used this one but it came up in a quick Google search:

      You could also halve the measurements in your head; this is a pretty straightforward recipe and a quick glance tells me all the measurements divide easily by two. Best of luck – let me know how it turns out!
      Thanks for reading!

      • Thanks for your quick response. I actually was able to figure it out and they came out beautifully. I paired them with a buttercream icing that I tweaked by adding caramel macchiato coffee creamer to. They are DELICIOUS!!!!

        • I am so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe :)
          And the caramel macchiato creamer sounds to die for – what a creative twist!

  4. In the frosting recipe, what combination of chocolate do you use ~ Half and half or more of one over the other?

    Thanks, J

    • Hi Jamie! Yes, usually I use roughly half bittersweet and half semisweet chocolate, but you can use any combination of the two. Because I keep an abundance of chocolate chips on hand, I often have more semisweet chocolate in the house than bittersweet so I’ll use a bit more of that. But really, you can’t go wrong!

  5. Without a processor should I use a blender?

    • Hi Michelle,
      I’ve never tried making the recipe with a blender so I can’t vouch for it, but I think it would work just fine. Best of luck – let me know how it turns out!


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