Back in my earlier days of blogging I felt the need to follow a bunch of “rules” that don’t really actually exist. I thought I had to post a perfect balance of sweet and savory recipes, and that I shouldn’t use too many of the same ingredients in recipes posted back to back.
Now I realize the best thing I can do is to simply share with you what truly excites me the most. That usually comes in the form of homemade baking recipes and CHOCOLATE. Lots and lots of chocolate. Always and forever.
The chocolate in these Chocolate Blackout Cupcakes hits you immediately. Especially if you take a big enough bite to reach the chocolate ganache filling right off the bat. There’s so much goodness in both taste and texture happening here that I encourage you to fully savor every moment.
Also since we’re getting closer to Halloween, I think these cupcakes would be the perfect treat to bring to any Halloween party! You could even make white chocolate spiderwebs to decorate these with.
Chocolate Blackout Cupcakes Recipe Tips
For a really dark color and rich chocolate flavor, I like to use a dark cocoa powder product like Hershey’s Special Dark. It’s actually a combination of both natural and Dutch cocoa so you kind of get the best of both worlds!
*UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that recently (in 2022), Hershey’s changed their Special Dark cocoa powder product and it is now only made from Dutch process cocoa powder. I prefer a Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe to achieve a deeper color, and because it will typically contain more cocoa fat, resulting in more moist and tender cupcakes. If you must use natural cocoa powder, that will work as well.
This recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of melted butter. Oil creates an ultra moist texture and open, slightly spongy crumb which is perfect for chocolate cupcakes. Since oil is liquid at room temperature, it gives the palate a sensation of moisture even though it contains no water! Give your vegetable oil a sniff before using to make sure it’s fresh. Feel free to use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
The more whole eggs a cake recipe has, the richer it’ll be. For this recipe I added in an extra egg yolk. This adds a touch more more richness, chewiness, and structure so the cupcake can stand up to a generous frosting.
This may seem like a strange ingredient, but I promise you won’t taste it in the final result. It simply helps to activate the baking soda to create tall fluffy cupcakes.
Preventing Cupcake Liners from Sticking
These are my favorite cupcake liners that basically never stick. They’re usually sold at Target as well. If sticky liners are a common problem for you, check out this helpful blog post.
Filling the Cupcakes
Possibly the best part of this recipe, filling with a hidden pocket of rich and fudgy chocolate ganache is made quick and easy with one simple tool: an apple corer. Use the corer to evenly remove the center of each cupcake. Then take a “chef’s sample” of the core to make sure the cupcake turned out nicely 😉
This buttercream has a LOT of chocolate in it, both in the form of melted chocolate and cocoa powder. It’s really thick and rich. You can play around adding in more cream to thin it out, or more powdered sugar to thicken it up. I also have more tips in my FREE Buttercream Guide here!.
Interested in learning more about the science of baking?
Check out my online baking class, The Magic of Baking! All of the video lessons, downloads, and side-by-side comparison photos are ready and waiting for you right now. It’ll show you how and why baking recipes work so you can bake with complete confidence. Learn more here.