chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting

chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting

These moist chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting are festive and delicious! In honor of birthday week, I’m sharing the coveted recipe for my favorite cupcakes. Impossibly moist with the perfect chocolate flavor, any cocoa fan will love these little cakes.

chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting

I started baking cakes almost 20 years ago with the help of Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. When boxed cake mixes were involved, I focused on decorating the cakes and adding fun personalized touches to celebrate special occasions. Once my culinary skills evolved I started baking delicious cakes from scratch for everyone I knew!

“You should turn this into a business” was a common phrase people would utter while tasting my delicious confections. I finally listened to them and started a home cake business called Imagine Cakery. I was in my early twenties and filled with bright eyed ambition. Word spread from friend to coworker and before I knew it I had a cake to bake, decorate, and deliver almost every weekend! Having zero business acumen, staff, or room to store supplies I quickly learned that baking cakes for money [without the proper infrastructure] was more stress than it was worth.

Being a “home baker” meant I couldn’t buy wholesale supplies in bulk for lack of storage space. I also lacked a team of decorators to help me mold intricate details in fondant. I spent many weekends binge watching all of the Rocky movies while painstakingly decorating elaborate cakes. The multi tiered cakes took over 20 hours to bake and decorate, which is probably why the bakeries I researched classified similar tiered creations as “wedding cakes” and charged appropriately. Without the confidence to charge what my work was worth so I could scale appropriately, I burned out and promptly “closed” my cake business after tearfully delivering a 3-tiered “bee motif” birthday cake that cracked in transit.

After the demise of my bootstrapped cake business (and a brief hiatus from baking) I was back to making delicious cakes but only for friends and family and without the pressure of a paycheck. I still cherish the fond memories of donating dozens of cupcakes to raise money for a high school journalism class and watching a 5 year-old’s face light up when presented with her very own Little Mermaid cake but my cake business days are behind me.

My cake baking now involves finding the best recipe for moist delicious sponge and pairing it with frosting that is not too cloying. I’ve also learned to pare down my decorations to keep the cake elegant and simple to execute (like this naked cake I baked for my bridal shower with fresh orange flowers).

Aside from the simple decoration, I love this chocolate cupcake recipe because it’s simple to execute and using a number 16 ice cream scooper gives you the exact right ratio of cake to frosting. The frosting is light and delicious and requires only two ingredients. Business or not, I still love to present family and friends with homemade treats and these chocolate cupcakes are ones that I’ll turn to again and again.

A #16 ice cream scooper makes this recipe a breeze. You’ll use it to divide the cake batter and to frost the cupcakes. Get yours here:

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chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache frosting

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  • Author: Sep Campos


  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Whipped ganache frosting

  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • Colorful sprinkles for decorating (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.
  2. Combine chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, butter, and instant coffee in a large bowl.
  3. Cover with boiling water, and whisk until the chocolate and butter have melted and the ingredients are fully combined. If your water is not hot enough to melt the butter and chocolate, place the bowl over a pot of simmer water for a few minutes to completely melt the ingredients.
  4. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture, whisk to combine.
  5. When the mixture is slightly cooled, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Don’t add the eggs to the hot mixture to avoid scrambling them.
  6. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and salt over the chocolate mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  7. Use a #16 ice cream scooper to easily fill the muffin tin. Note: a #16 scooper portions out 4 tablespoons or 2 ounces of batter.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting, about 1-2 hours. Once the cupcakes cool, prepare your ganache frosting.

Whipped ganache frosting

  1. Empty the chocolate chips into the bowl of a standing mixer.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in  a small saucepan over medium low heat until just warm and steam rises from a spoon dipped into the cream. Don’t let the cream come to a boil or it will scorch the chocolate.
  3. Once the cream is heated, let it cool slightly just to insure it’s not too hot for the chocolate.
  4. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate, let it sit for 2 minutes, then stir until completely smooth and thoroughly combined.
  5. Place the chocolate ganache in the refrigerator until cooled enough to hold it’s shape, about 45-60 minutes.
  6. Place the bowl in the standing mixer with whisk attachment in place.
  7. Whip on medium setting until the ganache is slightly lighter in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Don’t over-whip or the ganache will become grainy.
  8. Frost the cooled cupcakes immediately and store in the refrigerator if not consuming right away.
  9. To frost: Use a #16 ice cream scooper to place a mound of frosting on top of each cupcake. You can leave the scoop as is or use a butter knife to flatten the sides of the frosting.
  10. If you wish to decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles, pour the sprinkles onto a plate and roll the top of each cupcake in the sprinkles until they stick to the frosting.
  11. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
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