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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.

You Might Like:

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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38 comments on “Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling”

  1. Thatz a real treat to true chocoholics like me:-)
    The icing looks soo yummy.
    I am drooling here looking at the last click!!!

  2. Lol Nick is right – this is torture not being able to taste your delicious cupcakes! Delicious looking! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful! But if he can have a cinnamon roll , can’t he just eat a cupcake for breakfast? Then it is not dessert?

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cupcake as delicious looking as yours in my life. That ganache filling sounds like a dream.

  5. Just how do you eat all these sweets>? I have a ton frozen lol…this blogging is killing my waistline and you look awesome as these cupcakes are to heaven!

  6. If I made these I may never eat anything else but this. Chocolate cupcakes are legendary but ganache filled?? Please! I’m trying to stay away from such things and you’re making it difficult. 🙂

    I hope you are having a good week!


  7. Ganache-filled cupcakes are outstanding – I like to do them without frosting, but with frosting sounds incredible.

  8. I recently bought one of those little cupcake hollowing (hollower?) contraptions from Sur la Table, and I have yet to try it out. This looks like a nice recipe to finally give that thing a whirl! Beautiful blog you have here.

  9. Oh man my new BA is still in my mail sorter – usually I read it immediately when I get it but life has been so busy! But now that i know these beauties are waiting inside, I think I will have to hurry. I am esp eager to try the 7-minute frosting. 🙂

    Also, you mentioned you got your cupcake corer at target – how recently was that, I havent been able to find one anywhere!

  10. Ah, I have this one tabbed in my BA mag too. Now I will surely have to try it. Looks fabulous!

  11. Oh those look so delicious! That would be torture not being able to have one of these! Yummy!

  12. Ganache is fantabuloso :). Love your adorable cupcake wrappers. Love your little chocolate tops too!!


  13. Beautiful cupcakes, they look delicious! I would love to have one of these right now!

  14. Lizzy, such a genius idea to fill the cupcake whole with ganache. Drooling over this. Now, the thing to do for me is to get me a gadget like that. Probably it Sonoma?

    The seven minute icing is what we call now, marshmallow frosting is the same exact recipe I have, and most of the time, I have to double this for a cake.
    Yours turned out so perfect, and fluffy! Now you know why I stick with you…”great minds think alike!”

  15. I have to watch my spelling, since you don’t have an “edit”…take the W out of the whole…LOL I meant HOLE…and yes, I would like to fill the cupcake whole…entirely with the ganache, an why not? I would just eat it with a spoon, just like the fluffy frosting, which btw is perfect, but I already said that!

  16. These look awesome! Great pics!

  17. Oooooh! I love that little gadget for making the holes to fill! I will have to track down a UK supplier. It’s such a cute idea!

  18. Those liners are adorable! I could use a cupcake or two of those right now!

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. OMG, I feel Nick’s pain. I’m trying hard to stay away from chocolate and these are so inviting.
    Congrats on winning the giveaway too, the tuna salad sounds delicious.

  21. My Baking Addiction blog had a genius idea for filled cupcakes by using an apple corer to make a hollow.

  22. Thanks, everyone!!! Carole, thank you for the tip…I better check out that blog 🙂

  23. I have these marked as well but I think you just moved them to the top of my list!

  24. I LOVE filled cucpakes. The little surprise when you bite is so good, especially when it’s chocolate.

    I hope you’ll stop by and share this recipe on my linky, Sweet Tooth Friday!

  25. Happy to meet you and your blog….and these cupcakes too, hugs from Italy, ciao Flavia

  26. Love the pretty cupcake! I’m sure kids gonna go gaga over them. xoxo

  27. I’m sure everyone enjoyed these yummy looking cupcakes:@)

  28. If this isn’t a celebration cupcake, I don’t know what is!

  29. I love cupcakes with a surprise in the middle! These are the best!

  30. Oh Lizzy these cupcakes look sooo good! I love ganache center…total perfection! I also LOVE the new look of your site ^_^

    xoxo, Tammy<3

  31. You had me at ganache filling… what perfect cupcakes!

  32. These cupcakes would be perfect for my sweet tooth. They look so yummy!

  33. Well my mom never made anything like this! These look like something that I would eat the whole batch of! Chocolate is one of my many vices and these look so worth it!

  34. I’m with Abbe — my mom didn’t make these for me! And she was a pretty good baker. I always use a stainless bowl over a saucepan whenever I need a double boiler — works really well, and if things get too hot I can just lift the bowl off the saucepan and place on some ice for 10 seconds or so to cool things off. Anyway, these look great — thanks!

  35. My mother wasn’t a baker, we were lucky to get a Hostess cupcake. 😀 Yours sound ever so good.

  36. Step by step explanation is great !!
    explained the recipe using simplest possible words and I loved it.
    Thank you again for all of the work you put into your recipes, and all of the wonderful things that happen behind the scenes that help you help us 🙂

  37. Scrolling through the comments I recognize so many names from our FoodBuzz days. Gabbi would love these and I’ll have to whip up a batch the next time she’s over.

  38. You had me at ganache filling-AHHHHH

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