Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

by alexandra

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

I hope I never run out of ways to put as much chocolate as possible in a cupcake, because… let’s be real here… chocolate makes everything a million times better. And if you follow me on Instagram or know me at all, you have to know that coffee and chocolate are two things I absolutely refuse to live without, so combine them into a cupcake and I’m SO there. And I should mention – we’re not going weak on either one here. We’re talking rich chocolate cupcakes with a serious coffee kick; this is real business.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

I should probably just admit that the extent of my celebrating Valentine’s Day is making cupcakes with sweet sayings on them, which basically means that I celebrated V-day in January. But really, I can only imagine it getting much better if someone made these cupcakes for me, because THAT would be like the ultimate show of love. (I mean maybe throw in some flowers, but really, chocolate comes first.) — And by that logic, since I gave most of these away in an effort to prevent myself from eating them all, I’ve already shown quite a few people I love them. :)

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

So I’m kinda obsessed with the cuteness of Ghirardelli’s new Valentine’s Day Impressions, and for that reason alone I HAD to make these cupcakes. I’m all for cupcakes that are a little more exciting than your basic cake + frosting duo, and I couldn’t think of a better way to make use of these cute little chocolates than put them on top of an already extra-chocolatey cupcake, so the idea for these came together pretty quickly. The good news is that they turned out better than I even hoped; whipped espresso ganache is officially one of the best forms of frosting ever, and Valentine’s chocolate toppers + raw sugar definitely takes a cupcake to the next level.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

I’ve been using Ghirardelli chocolate since I started this blog,  back when nobody even knew it existed and the extent of my baking repertoire was a good chocolate chip cookie, and it’s hands-down one of the most essential ingredients in my pantry. This is all to say: I’m 100% a supporter of their products and LOVE the depth and complexity their dark chocolate adds to these cupcakes. The cupcakes start out with a chocolate-espresso cake base — heavy on the good-quality cocoa and espresso to really bring out the flavors — and then a super-intense whipped chocolate espresso ganache (made with Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao baking chips) is piped on top. The chocolate is one of my favorites because it’s nice and bittersweet, and it literally creates the silkiest, smoothest ganache I could ever dream of. Can you tell I’m in love yet?? Because I am. ♡

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

The best thing about these cupcakes is that even though they’re really perfect for any occasion (like alldayeverydayforeverandever), it’s super easy to dress them up with the Ghirardelli Impressions – which are like little conversation hearts in the form of CHOCOLATE – and turn them into a sweet Valentine’s Day treat. Because if anything says I love you… it’s gotta be chocolate. ;)

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

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Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes - moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with whipped ganache make a rich chocolate treat with a bold coffee kick! Perfect for Valentine's Day| www.brighteyedbaker.com #GhirardelliVday #CG

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes


  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

A rich, chocolate-lover’s dessert: moist dark chocolate espresso cupcakes topped with a light and silky espresso ganache.


Ingredients

Whipped Espresso Ganache

Cupcakes

  • 2 7/8 ounces (2/3 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/8 ounces (2/3 cup) good-quality cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, room temperature*
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) espresso or strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Garnish

  • Ghirardelli Valentine’s Day Impressions
  • raw (demerara) sugar

Instructions

Whipped Espresso Ganache

  1. Place the chocolate in a large, heat-safe bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, mix together the cream and espresso/coffee. Microwave until just coming to a boil, about 1 1/2-2 minutes.
  3. Pour liquid over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make cupcakes.

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, espresso/coffee and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir/fold in just until evenly incorporated; batter does not need to be perfectly smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way, to make 11-12 cupcakes.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Espresso Ganache (continued)

  1. Transfer cooled ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment (or use a bowl and handheld electric mixer). Beat on medium-high speed just until thickened and paler in color, wiping down bowl and beater occasionally. Be careful not to overbeat.
  2. Immediatley transfer whipped ganache to a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I used an Ateco #827 open star tip) and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Press a Ghirardelli Valentine’s Day Impression into the top of each and sprinkle ganache with demerara sugar.
  3. Store cupcakes in an airtight container. These should be fine kept out for a couple hours at cool room temperature, but otherwise should be refrigerated.

Notes

*To quickly bring an egg to room temperature, place in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. These are always for products I personally use and love, which is the only reason I recommend them!

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Danielle | Krafted Koch February 2, 2015

Wow, these look absolutely decadent! I love the combo of espresso and dark chocolate. Pinned!
Danielle | Krafted Koch recently posted..Pomegranate Chocolate Mousse BowlsMy Profile

alexandra February 10, 2015

Thanks so much Danielle! ♡

Thalia @ butter and brioche February 3, 2015

These are the cutest cupcakes ever. I wish I had one now.. and it’s not even Valentine’s yet!
Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted..Blackberry and Lime FinanciersMy Profile

alexandra February 10, 2015

Thanks Thalia! ♡

Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers February 4, 2015

Love these! So perfect for a Valentine’s treat.
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers recently posted..Mixed Berry Bran MuffinsMy Profile

alexandra February 10, 2015

Thanks Jennifer! :)

Amy February 4, 2015

These cupcakes look so pretty, especially with the purple liners. I love the chocolate and espresso flavor combination. Yummy!
Amy recently posted..Heart Hand PiesMy Profile

alexandra February 10, 2015

Aww thank you Amy!!

Kathleen @ yummy crumble February 4, 2015

These look divine! I love dark chocolate combined with espresso. Beautiful pictures!
Kathleen @ yummy crumble recently posted..Nutella Strawberry CupcakesMy Profile

alexandra February 10, 2015

Thanks Kathleen!

June Burns February 14, 2015

Those look incredible! I’m always in favor of dark chocolate + espresso :)

alexandra February 19, 2015

YES! Haha thanks June!

Ana August 5, 2015

Hi! I’m terrible at reading directions before jumping in and now they’re in the oven I’m realizing I missed quite a few things. Is there a reason not to use Dutch process cocoa? I was experimenting with cold brewing coffee and made some with espresso grounds… then used that in the recipe – you don’t think it’ll be too strong , do you? Mine seem to be taking a while to bake, over 20 min, but I have a thermometer in the oven so that’s not the issue I think. At the 15 min mark, they are still gooey in the center… does it sound like I missed something?

alexandra August 6, 2015

You want to use regular cocoa powder because it will react with the baking soda in the recipe, whereas dutch process will not. That could affect how they rise, and therefore how they turn out. The coffee you used should be fine. Other than that, I would just check to make sure you didn’t skimp on the cocoa or flour at all and measured those correctly. Let me know if I can help you out any further!

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