Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Cream Cupcakes

On the day that my new issue of Cook's Country magazine comes in the mail, the dust bunnies are allowed to linger in the corners and the kiddos head to bed early, 'cause Mama needs time to read this thing from cover-to-cover.  Not too long ago, I received the February/March '10 issue and promptly found many recipes to drool over.  With Grandma's birthday coming up, one recipe I knew I had to try right away was one for Chocolate Cream Cupcakes (think Hostess).

They looked like they would be really yummy, but I was wondering how to make them more fancy for a birthday.  I remembered seeing some similar cupcakes in a Martha Stewart Living magazine that were dolled up for Valentine's Day and knew just what to do:


To say that these were delicious is an understatement.  Everyone was silent as they were eating and only a few scattered crumbs remained on the plates.  I think I might need to whip up another batch for Valentine's Day this weekend.   

Chocolate Cream Cupcakes

1. Heat the oven to 325-degrees and put cucpcake liners in a standard muffin tin (or you can grease and flour the tin).  Combine 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teapoon salt in a bowl.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed), 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli), and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder until smooth.  Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix until combined.  Whisk in the flour mixture until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups and bake 18 to 22 minutes (check doneness with toothpick).  Cool them in the tin for 10 minutes and on a wire rack until completely cooled.

2. For the cream filling, combine 3 tablespoons water and 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to let the gelatin soften.  Microwave until the mixture bubbles around the edges and the gelatin is dissolved, about 30 seconds.  Stir in 4 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter (cut into small pieces), 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt until combined and the butter is melted.  Let it cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in 1 1/4 cups marshmallow creme until smooth (be gentle and patient, the creme will eventually loosen up and smooth out).  Refrigerate the mixture until set, about 30 minutes.  Place about 1/3 cup of the filling into a pastry bag with a small, round tip to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes.

3.  When you are ready to assemble the cupcakes, microwave 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons unsalted butter until you can stir it smooth.  Cool the glaze to room temperature, about 10 minutes.  Cut a cone out of the top of each cupcake with a sharp knife (this is easier if the cupcakes have been partially frozen for about 30 minutes first) and then cut off all but the top 1/4-inch of the cone (this will be placed back over the filling).  (I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this step.  Check out the magazine- it's worth it for all the great recipes!)  Fill each indentation with 1 tablespoon of the filling and replace tops.  Spread 2 teapoons of cooled glaze over the tops and let set for 10 minutes.  Use the reserved filling in the pastry bag to pipe curlicues across the tops.

4.  Prepare to wow your friends and family.  


  1. Lynne O'DonnellDecember 18, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Thanks for the cupcake recipe. Tried to get it at the site, but couldn't get in. I have bookmarked you and will have a better look when I have more time. Have a great day. Lynne O.

  2. I hope you enjoy them, Lynne! They are soooo good.

  3. Lynne O'DonnellDecember 29, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Today I tried your pasta Fagioli. I am Italian and make it all the time and I have to say, though I hate to admit it, yours tasted better than mine. My husband loved it and my daughter was on her way out the door to work and saw the pot on the stove and was sorry she didn't have time to have any because she said it looked so good. We are having it for dinner again. Thanks so much for the recipe. Still haven't tried those cupcakes, but as soon as I clear away the Christmas cookies, I will try them! Thanks so much.

  4. That's one of my most favorite ATK recipes. Glad you enjoyed it.