Chocolate-Glazed Cupcakes with Vanilla Creme Filling


I have to start this post by sharing my amusement of last week’s poll results. Did you notice? Two options were clear stand-outs among the choices and in the end they were neck and neck. The two things you readers want more of? Low-Cal Meals, and Desserts. Now either there are two schools of thought out there, or you’d like more low-cal meals so that you can eat more desserts. Am I right? haha. Either way, we’re going to pleaseeveryone in the next couple of weeks. And I’m starting with this:

Can you guess which of the two categories it falls under?

I’m not even joking when I say that I dreamed these cupcakes up. Before hurricane Gustav interrupted our blog schedule around here, we were thinking about doing a lunch box week, so I had lunch on my mind. I immediately thought back to elementary school and the things I loved. My Mom didn’t buy a lot of “junk food” but every once and a while I’d open up that lunch bag and see a shiny, crinkly, foil wrapper. I’m convinced she bought ding-dongs all the time and just kept them to herself, but that’s another story. One night after thinking about this, I went to bed and literally had a dream about a grown up, gourmet ding-dong. One with a rich, moist cupcake, a silky-smooth creme filling, and a decadent chocolate glaze on top. And since I’m all about making dreams come true…here we have my latest favorite cupcake. Special thanks goes out to all of my friends who decided to be born in late August-Early September, because they ended up being my guinea pigs. Something tells me they didn’t mind…

This recipe is in three parts. Below you’ll find the cupcake, which is a recipe by pastry chef Shelly Kaldunski, and then the chocolate ganache for the topping. The vanilla creme filling is in a separate post because I use it for lots of other things too! Don’t be turned off by all of the steps- these cupcakes aren’t hard, and you can make both the cupcakes and the ganache ahead of time. They’re sure to impress!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
1 C Flour

1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar

4 T uns
alted butter at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 C luke warm water

1/4 C buttermilk

Position rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350. Like a standard 12 cup muffin tin with liners. I like the foil ones because they’re pretty and play on the whole ding-dong angle.Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. I know lots of people skip sifting, but in some recipes it’s really important. This is one of them, so just pop it in a strainer and shake all those lumps out.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not over beat.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups- use a cookie scoop for even filling. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Mine usually only take about 15- don’t over bake! Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove them and let them cool.

Prepare the vanilla creme filling and place in a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with the tip cut off.

Fill ‘er up:
Now there’s 2 ways to fill a cupcake. I use them both depending on the consistency of the cupcake I’m using. See what works best for you. One option is to take a pastry bag with a regular tip on it and place it directly in the center of the cupcake. Press out filling while slowly pulling the bag up and out.

Another method is to take a sharp knife and remove the center of the cupcake in a cone shape. Place filling inside, cut the bottom of the “cone” off, and place the to
p part back on.

Now fill ’em up!

Finally, the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 C Cream
2 T real butter, melted
8 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped

Place chocolate in a bowl. Pour melted butter over it. Place cream in microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes- it needs to be at a simmer. Immediately pour over chocolate and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 3 minutes and then stir until smooth. Let it cool until it’s a good spreading consistency and then spread on top of filled cupcakes.

Here’s a picture before the ganache had cooled at all. It was runny and messy, and totally fabulous.

Let it harden a bit more, and you get a firmer consistency, as shown here

Do you really care which one you stuff in your mouth? Ya. I didn’t think so.
Click on this picture so you can see it in all its glory.

Now go get a paper towel to wipe your tongue marks off the screen.


  1. I dream about eating food all of the time, but I have certainly never dreamed about making food. I’m sure I will be dreaming about eating these until I actually make them…so I’d better go and purchase all of the ingredients right now!

  2. I too benefitted from having an August birthday and I must say these cupcakes were A-MAZING. I wnated to eat them all myself, but my kids would have none of that. Hence I am grateful for the recipe so that I can make my own batch. Thanks Sar-Bear

  3. I’ll definitely have to go w/ the filling method that doesn’t involve cutting any cake out. Otherwise, I’d be too tempted to BITE the bottom off, rather than cut it off. Then again, at least I’d be justified in not sharing after I’d “marked” them all.

  4. Wow! I have a soft-spot for hostess cupcakes (yeah, it’s right around my middle! ha!) I love that this recipe is homemade, so there aren’t any yucky trans-fats in it! Not that it’s exactly “healthy” right, but it’s not so bad for ya! These are right on the top of my list for things to make after the baby’s born, when I can eat sugar again.

  5. I went over to my mom’s house the other day and she MADE some and had these waiting for me. I prompty ate 2.5 of them. They were amazing.

  6. Ok… I made these today and HOLY COW these are by far the best cupcakes I have ever had! They were SO rich and moist. I think I would like them even better with just the filling as frosting. The ganache was so rich I could only eat one!

  7. I made these this last weekend, and I’m not sure what I did wrong but my cupcakes looked terrible. I am thinking I may have mixed too much, the tops were completely flat. I almost threw in the towel and didn’t make the filling or the ganache, but I am so glad I didn’t give up. These were so delicious! I will definitely make them again, hopefully they will look a bit better next time.

  8. Kristin, while it *is* important to not over mix these, you may have not done anything wrong! Did you notice in my pictures how flat my cupcakes are? I think they’re supposed to be so you can pile frosting on top if you want! So no worries, as long as they taste fantastic, it’s all good. They tend to be pretty flat 🙂

  9. I’m not much of a cake person, but I love cupcakes…maybe it’s because it’s more cake to frosting ratio. I grew up loving a cupcake recipe very similar to this, but with a cream cheese filling and no frosting. The vanilla filling and chocolate ganache sound like a divine combo, I can’t wait to make it!!

  10. I left my cupcake pan at my mom’s house so I made these as mini cupcakes and they were awesome!! I LOVE that frosting so very much. Thanks!

  11. Do you know how well these would freeze? Also, I know you talked about not making the filling in advance, but once the filling is in the cupcakes, will they be okay the next day?

  12. Renae,

    I’ve never tried freezing them. The cake part should freeze great, but I’m not so sure about the filling and topping. Test it out and let me know! And ya, after the cupcakes are filled they are just fine the next day (but good luck getting them to last that long 🙂

  13. I've read the recipe(s) and comments so I know about NOT making the creme filling ahead of time, but once these cupcakes are filled, how long are they good for (assuming there are any left over LOL!)? If they're not eaten the day they are made do they still taste good the next day? I want to make these for a baby shower so I'm thinking of making the cupcakes the day before and then making the creme filling the day of…do you think that would work?

  14. Shafer-

    Ya know, once the cupcakes are filled, I even think they're fine overnight (in the fridge). When you're putting gobs of it on *top* of the cupcake then it tends to separate some times. It still tastes great, it just doesn't look as pretty. I think when it's in the middle of the cupcake it doesn't matter- it will still taste fine and even if it did separate a little you probably wouldn't noticed when it's smashed all together with the chocolaty goodness! You will want to make the chocolate glaze with plenty of extra time though. Sometimes it takes a while for it to come to the right consistency to spread on top. If you can do it a few hours before you need it then you'll have plenty of time to put it in the fridge to thicken up if you need to.

  15. I had a little TOO MUCH help from my children and we forgot the water and to cream the butter/sugar, we over beat so they sank. And I turned on the wrong burner for the filling and melted the bottom of my laptop. In the end, they weren't beautiful, but they tasted wonderful! As miserable as the experience was (only because too many hands tried to help;)) I can't wait to make them again, but this time by myself! The vanilla filling/frosting is heavenly!

  16. Jen, it's fantastic on cakes. In fact, I just used it in my husband's birthday cake last week. I substituted half brown sugar for the white and folded in toffee bits. It was amazing!

  17. Do you have any tips for making these at high altitude? I live at about 5500 feet – I made these and the batter didn't cook at all. Help!

  18. These are SOOOOOOO good! My daughter wanted vanilla filled cupcakes for her birthday this year and you girls came through for me AGAIN! Guests were coming back for 2nds and 3rds. I should have made more! Your blog rocks… I recommend it to everyone!

  19. OMG, not only are these awesome, they are pretty mistake-proof! My mind was elsewhere when I was making these this a.m. and instead of sifting the dry ingredients together and mixing the butter and sugar first, I inadvertently dumped everything in one bowl and mixed it all up. Oops! Still, they came out so great! Thx again!

  20. I made this last week for a friend's b-day.

    They were unspeakable good!

    Unfortunately, I had a problem with the ganache recipe – the butter wouldn't incorporate and then it seized.

    I used an old standby ganache recipe instead (1 cup cream, 9oz chocolate and vanilla).

    This cupcake recipe is amazing.

    I have two questions for you:

    1. I have photos of the cupcakes if you'd like them.
    2. Can I please be your taste tester?! The pictures of food here is addicting!

  21. foster- that's strange, did you use real butter? I've never had that problem, maybe something else got in there?

    This post has been on my re-shoot list forever!

    And yes, if you're a local, you can totally be a taste tester 🙂

  22. I just sent the photos.

    I am not local to you but could you please move closer to me so I could fulfill my duty and eat all this yummy food?!

  23. Does this recipe only make 12 cupcakes? I've had such great luck with your recipes (and I'm lazy) and don't want to do a test run before my daughters' birthday.
    Thank you for such awesome recipes!

  24. Yes, Chanee, it only makes 12. I don't know if you plan to use the ganache, but I always put the filling inside and frost the tops with the filling/frosting. If you do that, then double the frosting recipe.

  25. Thank you so much for the quick reply! I'll probably just do the cupcakes and use the "Perfect Cupcake Filling" as icing as it was such a hit last year at her party (I don't need filling because she doesn't like much icing/frosting anyway).

  26. Hey Sara, Yeah, that’s where I normally used to print things. But that button is gone on here (at least for me)! :(( Sadness. All the buttons that are there are Leave a Comment, Tweet This, Share on Facebook and Stumble it. The ‘Print’ button isn’t there like it usually is. :((

  27. Hi again Sara, did you just reply to my second post? I had already deleted your first reply and then my email said something about my having a new message from Kate and Sara. I hope i didn’t just erase your message! :/

  28. I’m using Mozilla Firefox as my browser (that’s what I normally use). And I’ve never had any problems with this before so that’s why it’s so weird! But it’s okay. Maybe tomorrow it’ll work for me! 😉 And for now, I’m just going to do what you said and copy and paste it! 🙂

  29. I made these for mutual so my girls could “ding dong” ditch the less active or inactive girls for Young Women’s.

  30. These are my favorite cupcakes to make! Since finding the recipe a few months ago, I’ve made them more times than I can count…and people always ask me what the amazing filling is made of. 🙂 I always have all of the ingredients too- so that makes it easy to whip up a batch. 🙂 Thank you for helping me satisfy my chocolate cravings!

  31. Just made these for like the 10th time but this time forgot the vanila and egg. Arrgh i can’t cook with kids around they distract me to much lol
    Great recipe though normal when i make these they rise uniform and taste great.
    Thanks again

  32. Is there not a print option for this recipe? I tried to copy and paste the steps indivicually but it didn’t work well. I’d like to print this!

  33. I just made these and filled one cupcake with pink colored filling. We’re having them for our dessert and our way of revealing our baby’s gender 🙂 My mother-in-law will be so surprised when she sees the pink filling and gets to make the announcement! The other 11 will have the cream color. Thanks for sharing great recipes 🙂

  34. Wow! I just made these and I am blown away! The cupcakes are delicious! So moist and chocolately!! And the ganache is out of this world! Total chocolate overload in a good way. I am not sure about the frosting though. It seemed too buttery but that may have been my fault in the cooking. Overall, the cupcakes are amazing! Love!

  35. Hi, I’m hoping to make these chocolate cupcakes and when I go to the link for the vanilla cream filling, it says it can’t be found. Wondering if that’s a new spot on the web site or if it’s something easy you could email me! Thanks so much!

  36. How would these work to freeze for 2 weeks? would the chocoate Ganache hold up ? and was thinking peanut bitter in the middle … what do you think ? I look forward to trying out your recipe 🙂

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