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Recipe: Grown-Up Chocolate Cupcakes

August 11, 2009

A Late-Adopter to the Cupcake Phenomenon
by Suzanne Lenzer

The writer has a cupcake epiphany after baking her own batch of cupcake heaven.

“I still don’t totally get the cupcake craze,
but I’ve clearly been missing something
all these years. Cupcakes are fun, and
when they taste good, so much the better.”

Amen to that!<—sez Zen Cupcake

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Time: About 1 hour


  • For the cakes:
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 5 1/3 ounces (10 2/3 tablespoons) sweet butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • For the ganache (cupcake icing):
  • 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet butter
Method for Cupcakes

  • 1. Heat the over to 350 degrees and line 4 6-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Sift together the flour, soda, salt, and cocoa powder and set aside. Use a standing mixer or hand-mixer to cream the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one until smooth.
  • 2. On the lowest speed, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two. Beat only until smooth and fully combined, you don’t want to overwork the batter.
  • 3. Scoop the batter into the prepared pans filling each about two-thirds full (don’t bother to smooth the tops–the batter will level itself as it cooks). Bake the cupcakes for about 25 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and spring back when lightly pressed. Be careful not to overbake the cakes, but know that if you take them out too early they may sink a bit. Cool the cakes in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a rack and let cool completely.

Method for Cupcake Ganache

  • 4. To make the ganache, put all the ingredients in a small, deep saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking occasionally to combine, until the chocolate and butter are nearly melted. Take the pan off the heat and whisk continuously until all the chocolate is melted; the ganache should be shiny and without any lumps.
  • 5. When the ganache is about room temperature, use a butter knife to spread it evenly on top of the cakes; sprinkle with nonpareil if you like. The cakes can be made a day in advance and refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container.

Source of Chocolate Cupcake recipe:

Adapted from “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts” by Maida Heatter

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