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Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

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Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling and fluffy marshmallow frosting tickled the chocolate loving palates around our house! I hit the major sweet spots including chocolate, cupcakes, ganache and 7 minute frosting reminiscent of marshmallows. A winning combination in every bite!

If you’re looking for a celebratory dessert, these fabulous chocolate cupcakes are a fun change from the typical party fare!

Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling on a small white plate topped with sprinkles

Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

These cocoa cupcakes debuted in 2011 when my blog just had its first birthday. I’m impressed that the old photos were actually in focus with decent white balance. But I won’t torture you with those tiny images, since I remade these while Nick was living back at home earlier this year. Like his father, he’s a chocoholic, so it was a nice treat for both of them. Looking back, I originally baked these during Lent.

Here’s what was going on back then (taken from my old post):

Mom, why are you torturing me????  I know that’s what Nick will say when he arrives home from school this afternoon and sees the counter lined with cupcakes.

In 2011, he was a junior in high school. His most frequent response was (and still is!), “I’m always hungry,” when I inquire if he wants seconds or needs a snack. I’m sure it was torture to be denied these cocoa cupcakes!

It was the arrival of my April Bon Appetit that lead me astray. I knew I’d have to bake the chocolate cupcakes topped with seven-minute AKA marshmallow frosting. Nick, unfortunately, gave up desserts for Lent that year, as he often does.

I probably made some gooey cinnamon rolls to make it up to him. He gave up dessert, not breakfast treats! I was glad I could make these again for him seven years later.

Inside view of Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling on a white plate

 What is 7-Minute Frosting?

I remember my mom attempting this seven-minute or marshmallow or meringue frosting on more than one occasion.  Sweet, fluffy and similar to a meringue topping on a pie or a homemade marshmallow, it’s glossy appearance is beautiful to ice a layer cake or pipe on cupcakes.

But, at least on one occasion, this marshmallow-like frosting did not fluff as expected. She didn’t have Google to find out what went wrong, but I can hazard a guess. Read on.

Tips for Making 7-Minute Frosting or Marshmallow Frosting

The billowy, marshmallow-like frosting is what makes these ganache filled cupcakes especially impressive. But if you’re not careful, you may not get perfect results!

  • PRO-Tip: My mom didn’t realize that all kitchen implements have to be free of grease (including even a speck of egg yolk) or the frosting will never get light, fluffy and spreadable. I think a fifteen minute frosting was attempted a few times!
  • Heed my warning and make sure your bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean so you don’t have to make more than one attempt! I always make sure they’ve been run through the dishwasher to ensure they’re grease free.
  • The egg white and sugar mixture needs to be cooked and whipped over a double boiler. PRO:Tip: If you don’t own a double boiler, you can rig one up using a saucepan and a heat proof bowl that sits atop the pan. You do not want the bottom of the bowl to touch the simmering water, but instead be about an inch above so that the heat easily transfers to the surface of the bowl.
  • Beating this frosting requires some patience. First the mixture must get frothy, then foamy and finally becoming white, light and ethereal. I use a handheld mixer for this process.
  • If you have a failure, just try again. It’s worth the effort to have a light, fluffy icing to contract the intense double dose of chocolate.

Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling without frosting with frosted cupcakes in the background<

Tips for Filling Cupcakes

I used a cupcake corer (see link below), but having a special piece of equipment isn’t a necessity. You can also use a finger or thumb to press down the middle of the cupcake to create a well. A serrated knife or grapefruit spoon can also carve out a nice opening.

Remember that the cavity you create will be covered with fluffy icing.  So if your hole isn’t picture-perfect, you’ll be the only one who has to know! P.S. I like to make my ganache in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup with a spout so I can pour the ganache right into the opening.

These cocoa cupcakes with the surprise ganache filling were perfect for the true chocoholics in the family. The glossy 7 Minute Frosting was just icing on the cake!

Check out Bon Appetit to see how their fabulous food stylists iced these cocoa cupcakes with ganache filling with peaks and swirls.

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Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling on a wood board with chocolate chips

Photo circa 2011

More Recipes with Chocolate Ganache:

Have you ever made a filled cupcake? Let me know what flavor combination you used in the comments below.

Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Cocoa Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate Ganache

Rich Cocoa Cupcakes with chocolate chips and a ganache filling topped with a fluffy marshmallow frosting!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 24



  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350º.  Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.  Set aside.  With a mixer, beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.  Add vanilla and mix.

Add half the dry ingredients, the hot water, then the rest of the dry ingredients, beating just until blended after each addition.  Let batter sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips, then divide batter into muffin tins.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in tins.

To make filling, place cream in a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup or microwave safe bowl.  Microwave just to boiling.  Add chocolate chips.  Let stand a minute, then whisk till smooth.  Let stand at room temperature until cool and thick, at least 2 hours.

To make icing, whisk 1/3 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in large heatproof bowl.  Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and beat with a mixer until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes).  Remove bowl from saucepan and continue mixing till frosting is cool and very fluffy. (about 2 more minutes).  Mix in vanilla.

Using  your thumb or cupcake corer (I found mine at Target), press down into center of cupcake to form a deep opening.  Spoon ganache into each opening.

Frost cupcakes, making generous peaks. May be made a day ahead and stored at room temperature.


Adapted from Bon Appetit.


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