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.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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! [email protected]

  3. I made these before (delish!), but I can’t remember – how many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  4. 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!

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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! 🙂

  11. 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! :/

  12. 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. :((

  13. I just made these on Sunday and they are divine!!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!!

  14. 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).
    Chanee

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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?!

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!