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 Filled Cupcakes are a fun change from the typical party fare!

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

Why You Must Make

  • They’re perfect for all the chocoholics you know: Cocoa Cupcakes plus a Chocolate Ganache Filling.
  • The ganache center is hidden so it’s a surprise until you bite into a cupcake.
  • These cupcakes are a delicious change of pace from ordinary chocolate cupcakes, plus if you’ve never made a fluffy 7-Minute Frosting, here’s your chance!!
Inside view of Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling on a white plate.

Expert Tips

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 certain 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: King Arthur Flour recommends that the egg and sugar mixture be at 161 degrees when you finish beating it for the perfect consistency. I have not tested this.
  • 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 turn 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 contrast with 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!
  • PRO-Tip: Make your ganache in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup with a spout so you can pour the ganache right into the opening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 7-Minute Frosting?

Also known as Marshmallow Frosting, 7-minute frosting is a sweet, glossy, and fluffy frosting made by gently beating egg whites and sugar over a double boiler. Once the sugar melts, it’s whipped until light and billowy.

Its name comes from the approximate time it takes to whip this frosting. This recipe (and its variations) have been around since the early 1900s.

Why is My 7-Minute Frosting Gritty?

It’s because all the sugar crystals were not dissolved. Whether on the side of the bowl or in the egg mixture, one crystal can recrystallize all the sugar making it gritty instead of silky smooth.

To prevent this from happening, wipe down the sides of the bowl with water with a very clean brush. You can also rub some of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger. If you feel any sugar granules, it needs to be cooked longer.

Why is My 7-Minute Frosting Runny?

If it’s runny, the frosting mixture was not brought to the correct temperature. The mixture will not be stable if it does not reach 160-161° in the center during the whipping process over the double boiler.

How Do You Store Cakes Frosted with 7-Minute Frosting?

7-Minute Frosted cakes and cupcakes are safe at room temperature for about a day, but any longer than that, they should be stored in the refrigerator. Sudden temperature changes can make the frosting separate, so for the best presentation, eat within a day or so.

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Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Cocoa Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate Ganache

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

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



  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 ¼ cups bittersweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.  Set aside.  With a mixer, beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.  Add vanilla and mix.
  4. Add half the dry ingredients, the hot water, then the rest of the dry ingredients, beating just until blended after each addition. 
  5. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips, then divide the batter into muffin tins.
  6. 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.
  7. To make the filling, place cream in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave just to boiling. 
  8. Add chocolate chips.  Let stand a minute, then whisk till smooth. 
  9. Let stand at room temperature until cool and thick, at least 2 hours.
  10. To make the icing, whisk ⅓ cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. 
  11. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and beat with a mixer until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes). 
  12. Remove bowl from saucepan and continue mixing till frosting is cool and very fluffy. (about 2 more minutes). 
  13. Mix in vanilla.
  14. Using your thumb or cupcake corer (I found mine at Target), press down into the center of the cupcake to form a deep opening. 
  15. Spoon ganache into each opening.
  16. Frost cupcakes, making generous peaks. May be made a day ahead and stored at room temperature.


Adapted from Bon Appetit.

When making the frosting, make sure the beaters and mixing bowl are free of grease and egg yolk or it will not whip properly.

Plus, make sure the frosting reaches 161 degrees at the end of the whipping time for the proper texture.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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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.