Chocolate lovers, this recipe is for you! Rich and fudgy, these chocolate cupcakes are filled AND topped with chocolate truffles. I’ll be impressed if you can eat more than one of these at a time. 🙂
This recipe involves several steps, and it’s important to go in order. For example, don’t make the cupcakes without chilling the truffles!
Let’s talk about the truffles. The recipe makes exactly 24 truffles, but if you don’t want an extra truffle as a garnish, cut the recipe in half. Also feel free to leave out the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. I love the way it enhances the flavor, but if you can’t find it or don’t feel like ordering it from Amazon, then don’t sweat it. I bought mine at a specialty store in Charlotte called Pour Olive. But don’t skip the espresso powder! You can find it here.
Melting the chocolate on medium-low heat takes 10-15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to bump the heat up, because if the chocolate gets too warm the butter will separate while the mixture chills in the fridge.
The truffle mixture will set after an hour in the fridge. Scoop 1-inch balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, wax paper or a silicone mat. I use a small cookie dough scoop. Put the truffles back into the fridge after scooping them.
Now it’s time to make the cupcakes. The cupcake recipe also calls for dark chocolate balsamic vinegar and espresso powder. Skip the balsamic if you can’t find it, but don’t leave out the espresso powder!
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Use a mesh colander if you don’t have a sifter.
The batter will be silky and pillowy soft. Divide it evenly among 12 muffin cups, so that each is about 3/4 full. I prefer greasing the pan with cooking spray instead of using paper liners, but that is up to you! If you use cooking spray, swirl a paper towel inside each cup to evenly distribute it and dab off any excess spray.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I usually test the two middle cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes are done baking scoop a small hole out of each one. I use strawberry huller (like this one). But you can also use a 1/4 teaspoon. Fill each hole with a truffle and put the cupcakes back in the oven for 1 minute.
Take the cupcakes out of the oven and put the entire pan into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. The truffles need to set a little before you take the cupcakes out of the pan. Let them cool completely on a wire rack in the fridge before decorating them.
Roll the remaining truffles in chocolate sprinkles while the cupcakes are cooling and place them back in the fridge until you’re ready for them. Then make the chocolate frosting.
I used Wilton tip #1M to decorate the cupcakes and topped each one with a truffle. However you decorate them, be sure to store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge. But these are best eaten at room temperature!
Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try the recipe, and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. Happy baking! 🙂
Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes
- 8 oz. semisweet Ghirardelli baking squares chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter chopped into cubes
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp dark chocolate balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cupcakes
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp dark chocolate balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream room temperature
- 1/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3-5 tbsp whole milk
- 3-5 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Start by making the truffles. Pour water into a sauce pan so that it's 1/3 full. Combine the chopped Ghirardelli, butter cubes, heavy cream, vanilla, dark chocolate balsamic vinegar and espresso powder in a glass, heatproof bowl, and place the bowl on top of the sauce pan. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl! Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat, and pour the chocolate into a different heatproof bowl. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or a silicone mat (I prefer a silicone mat). Once the truffles have set, take the bowl out of the fridge and scoop 1-inch balls onto the baking sheet. You should have 24 truffles. Put them back into the fridge.
- Now it's time to make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a muffin pan with wrappers or lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and espresso powder into a medium bowl. Lightly whisk.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the sour cream. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture on low speed, mixing until just combined. Add in the buttermilk, followed by another 1/3 of the flour, the oil and the remaining flour. Mix until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Assembling and Decorating the Cupcakes
- Take the cupcakes out of the oven and immediately scoop a small hole out of each one. Insert a truffle and place the pan back in the oven for 1 minute. Take them out of the oven and put the entire pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan, lifting them straight out (don't tilt them from side to side, because the truffles won't be set yet). Place them on a cooling rack and put them back into the fridge until cool. Check them frequently, because once they're cool you need to place them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
- Roll the remaining 12 truffles in chocolate sprinkles and put them in the refrigerator until you're ready for them.
- Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth. Mix in half of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder on low speed. Add 2 tbsp of milk and 2 tbsp of heavy cream. Then add the remaining powder sugar and the cocoa powder and the vanilla. Add in additional milk and heavy cream as needed, 1 tbsp at a time. Mix on low speed until just combined, and then beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Frost the cupcakes as desired, topping with a chocolate truffle. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best enjoyed at room temperature!