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.

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

Read More

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Questions & Reviews

  1. Brad- you can google and find alterations for your specific altitude. That's what I would recommend!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. I just came across your blog and am (drooling) in love….I can not wait to try making….I have a LIST of to do's….seriously.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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?

  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. 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!!

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. DJ- You make time to actually come visit us when you’re here, and I’ll make a whole pan just for you!

  16. How about we put these up on the wish list for the next time I visit Idaho…?

    They look absolutely scrumptious

  17. 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.

  18. Um yeah. That looks completely DIVINE, it’s definitely my kind of desert, and I WILL by trying this one. I’m salivating.

  19. 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.

  20. these cupcakes look so good! I’m a huge fan of chocolate so this gets major points from me 🙂

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. Sara-
    My family and I were more than happy that I had a late August birthday, those cupcakes were delicious and fought over at our house!

  24. 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!