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chocolate raspberry cupcakes

Chocolate and raspberry is always such a great combination (especially for the upcoming holiday!)  These cupcakes start out with a moist chocolate base, are filled with a homemade raspberry filling and then topped with a rich ganache.  A ganache-filled raspberry on top makes the cupcake complete :) Although these involve a number of steps, none of the steps are too difficult, and you can work on the filling while the cupcakes are baking to help speed up the process.  These are one of the cupcakes I’ve made again and again (which rarely happens) so you know they must be good!


For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream

For the filling:

  • 1 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

For the ganache:

  • 12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Fresh raspberries, as garnish


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and stir until fully combined.  In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until fully combined.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated (so flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3 full.  In my experience these cupcakes tend to rise a LOT, so err on the side of under-filling the liners.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, combine the thawed raspberries, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan to make the filling.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and thickens.  The raspberries should pop and cook down, releasing their juices.  Remove from the heat.  At this point, you can press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and any large pieces of fruit.  Chill the raspberry sauce before filling the cupcakes.

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup and heat until just barely simmering.  Pour the cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes.  Stir together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.  Let the ganache sit at room temperature for a short period until it thickens and becomes spreadable.

If desired, pipe some of the ganache into fresh raspberries to use as a garnish.

To assemble the cupcakes, use a cupcake corer or paring knife to cut the center out of the cupcake, being careful not to get too close to the bottom or sides.  Fill the cut-out with raspberry sauce.  Using a small offset spatula, spread the ganache over the top of the cupcakes.  Top with a ganache-filled raspberry (before the ganache sets!)  Allow the cupcakes to set completely before serving.

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats; originally from Gourmet, March 1999




Cupcakes, Desserts

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