Fluffy chocolate cupcakes stuffed with a chocolate ganache center and topped with a rich fudge frosting. These triple chocolate cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream dessert!
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream. There are three layers of chocolate: the moist chocolate cupcake, silky dark chocolate ganache, and creamy chocolate fudge frosting. These richly decadent cupcakes are exactly what you need for your chocolate fix and can be served at an event, birthday party, or family gathering.
What are triple chocolate cupcakes?
These cupcakes can be broken down into three parts. The chocolate cupcake, ganache filling, and smooth frosting.
The chocolate cupcakes have a wonderfully moist texture and the addition of espresso powder adds a subtle layer of flavor.
Chocolate ganache filling is poured into the center of each cupcake and adds a creamy center to this sweet dessert.
Smooth fudge frosting has a rich chocolate flavor that is artfully piped onto the tops of the cupcakes for a beautiful presentation.
These delicious chocolate cupcakes use simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry at home. If not, a quick trip to the grocery store is all you need to get started on these beauties.
- Brown sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Instant espresso powder (optional)
- Baking soda
- Neutral-flavored oil
- Whole milk
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- Semisweet chocolate
- Heavy cream
- Cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar
- Hot water
Instructions to bake triple chocolate cupcakes
Here’s how to make the best chocolate cupcake recipe:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and line 12 cupcake wells with liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
3. In another medium bowl or large measuring cup, stir the oil with the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
4. Add half the flour to the sugar mixture, then half the milk mixture. Repeat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
5. Use a large cookie scoop to portion the batter into the cupcake liners in a muffin tin and bake for 18-24 minutes until the center of the center cupcake springs back lightly when touched. Cool completely on a wire rack before continuing with the recipe.
6. When the ganache cools, remove the core from the cupcakes and scoop it into the center.
7. Pipe the frosting over the tops of the cupcakes.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips and tricks to make these the best triple chocolate cupcakes you’ve ever had.
- Alternate wet and dry ingredients to prevent overmixing the cake.
- Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to fill the cupcake holders so each one has the same amount of batter and they cook consistently.
- Chill the ganache so it’s easy to scoop into the holes in the cupcakes. If you’d prefer to pipe your ganache, you can let it sit at room temperature until you can spoon it into a piping bag.
- Check the doneness of the cupcakes 5 minutes before the timer goes off with a toothpick. If your oven runs hot, the cupcakes might be done early. Your tester should come out clean with a few dry crumbs.
This recipe is delicious, but you can make changes depending on your preferences. Here are some options:
- Leave out the ganache if you don’t want to take the extra step to make it.
- Substitute buttermilk for the whole milk for even moister cupcakes.
- Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract for a slightly nuttier flavor.
- Add orange zest to balance the richness of the chocolate.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, or rainbow sprinkles on top for a pop of color.
- Substitute vanilla buttercream frosting if you’d like a black and white version of this rich cupcake.
The best way to add the chocolate ganache filling to cupcakes
Without the creamy chocolate ganache filling, these decadent triple chocolate cupcakes wouldn’t be what they are.
There are a couple of steps to add this sweet interior to the cupcakes.
Start by removing the core of the cupcake after it’s baked. You can do this with a paring knife or cupcake corer. Don’t cut all the way through. Stop before you get to the bottom of the cupcake. You want the melted chocolate to stay in the cupcake, not leak out the bottom.
Fill the holes in the cupcakes with the ganache using a small spoon. Make the filling just about even with the top of the cupcake and smooth it with the back of the spoon. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay since the frosting will cover the ganache.
Using a piping bag, top the cupcakes with the frosting to cover the hole.
Sprinkle chopped chocolate, chocolate curls, or sprinkles over the top of each cupcake for a finishing touch.
How to serve
These moist chocolate cupcakes are a dessert all by themselves. They’re rich and pair wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Take them with you to a birthday party, or holiday party, or sell them at a school bake sale.
How to store triple chocolate cupcakes
On the counter: Save these cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature on the counter for up to three days.
Refrigerate: If you aren’t going to eat them right away or the temperature of your house is too warm, keep them in a container in the fridge for up to five days.
Allow them to warm up to room temperature before serving them, as the frosting will harden when refrigerated.
Freeze: You can also freeze these cupcakes for later. This is a great way to prepare them for a party or holiday get-together.
To freeze your cupcakes, bake them as directed and allow them to cool completely. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, put them in a plastic container, and freeze them for up to three months.
Allow them to sit on the counter for a few hours to thaw.
When they’re thawed, continue with the recipe, whip up the frosting, and assemble the cupcakes.
Why are my cupcakes too dry?
These dark chocolate cupcakes may get too dry if they are overcooked. When using a toothpick to check the doneness of the cupcakes, there should be a few dry crumbles of the cake remaining on the cake tester when you pull it out. If it comes out completely dry, the cupcakes may be overdone.
Do I need to use espresso powder?
The espresso powder is optional, and you won’t taste it in the final product. It does help to deepen the flavor of the chocolate, especially since there’s no hot water in the recipe to bloom the cocoa powder.
What’s the best way to frost these cupcakes?
Use a piping bag and tip to make these beautiful peaked swirls. You can use a quart or gallon-size bag if you don’t have these tools. Scoop the frosting into the bag and clip the tip of the bag off with scissors. The bigger the hole, the bigger the swirl.
I hope you love this decadent triple chocolate cupcake recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil divided
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 4 ounces heavy cream
Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (see notes)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup hot water
- Make your chocolate ganache: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and heavy cream for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Heat for additional 30-second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each, until the chocolate mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line 12 cupcake wells with liners
- Sift the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- In another bowl or large measuring cup, stir the oil with the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add half the flour to the sugar mixture, followed by half the milk mixture. Repeat.
- Use a medium scoop to portion out the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-24 minutes until the center of a center cupcake springs back lightly when touched. Cool completely before continuing with the recipe.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, your ganache should be set enough to pipe or scoop easily.
- Core the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or paring knife (be careful!). Scoop or pipe chocolate ganache into the center of each cupcake.
- Make your fudge frosting: Whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cut the softened butter into cubes and distribute it over the sugar and cocoa mixture.
- Heat the water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 45 seconds. This should make the water quite hot!
- Turn the mixer to low and drizzle in the water. Once you've added all the water, increase to medium-high speed and mix until the frosting is smooth, glossy, and at a consistency that's easy to pipe.
- Swirl the frosting over your filled cupcakes, decorate if desired, and enjoy!
- The espresso powder is optional, and you won't taste it in the final product. It does help to deepen the flavor of the chocolate, especially since there's no hot water in the recipe to bloom the cocoa powder.
- Fill each cupcake well about 2/3 of the way. Cupcake pans vary slightly in size, and you may end up with a few extra cupcakes. Those are a baker bonus!
- The fudge frosting is a halved recipe of the easy fudge frosting I share in this post. Check out that post for additional tips!
- You can use either salted or unsalted butter. If you are using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate's flavor and balance the frosting's sweetness.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 496Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 3gSugar: 57gProtein: 5g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.