Happy Valentine’s Day, sweets! Whatever your thoughts may be on today, I think we can all agree cupcakes are always a good idea, especially spiked ones! Decadent chocolate cupcakes, smooth Grand Marnier ganache and my go-to raspberry buttercream are on the agenda, and these little confections are a party waiting to happen!
You guys have been asking for chocolate cupcakes, and I think you know I’ll jump at any opportunity to make THE raspberry buttercream. Throw in some orange liqueur, and all I can tell you is this item is definitely more than a fling.
The chocolate cupcakes are super easy and incredibly versatile, not to mention delicious. They pair brilliantly with any buttercream you can dream up, but I just love them with the raspberry buttercream. Shocking, I know!
In case you missed my love letter on the raspberry buttercream, it’s a cream cheese based buttercream and contains no food coloring at all! That’s right, the hot pink color you’re looking at is from freeze dried raspberries. I know, I still can’t get over it myself. Aside from the color, the freeze dried raspberries add a big punch of raspberry flavor and cut the sweetness of the frosting making it all sorts of magical.
Like, put the spoon down now…
Making this situation even sweeter is a layer of lush Grand Marnier ganache. It works so beautifully here, offering a nice contrast to the raspberry, as well as a little sass. You could also use Chambord, but the orange liqueur adds the pop it needs. Feel free to add an extra teaspoon to the ganache if you want even more of a bite. Go for it!
The trick to getting the ganache to look good is to make sure it’s a little warm when you use it. You don’t want it to be hot because then it’ll run all over, but it should be fluid enough to work with. Once you hit them with the ganache, chill the cupcakes for a few minutes before you move on to the buttercream scene. More details on ganache and piping below. Also, don’t be alarmed if the cupcakes are a little on the flat side. Because these are oil based, they’re not as poofy (super technical term) as other cupcakes, but they deliver in the flavor department every. single. time. On a side note, if these cupcakes were on a dating app, that’d totally be their hook.
My first instinct is always to break out the sprinkles, but fresh raspberries seal the deal on these beauties. I hope you guys give these try, and share them with the ones you love, or maybe with someone who could use a little love. Thanks so much for reading. Happy baking! xo
- 3/4 cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
- Tip #825 or #826 for piping
- Fresh raspberries for garnish
- 8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. Grand Marnier
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs and vegetable oil on medium-low speed for about 2-3 minutes until combined.
- Slowly add in sugar, continuing to mix on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until mixture is fully combined.
- Reduce speed to low and mix in milk and vanilla extract.
- Add in dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Pour in coffee and stir to combine. Set batter aside for about 10 minutes to let it rest.
- Fill prepared muffin pans 2/3 full with batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
- If buttercream is really soft when you make it, pop it in the fridge to firm up a bit.
- Bring heavy cream up to a scald. You can heat it on the stove or microwave it.
- Pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for about 30 seconds. Stir mixture until smooth.
- Stir in light corn syrup and Grand Marnier until smooth. Set aside to let cool. You want it to be slightly warm when you use it - warm enough that you can spoon it around, but not hot where it runs right off the top!
- Spoon about a tablespoon of Grand Marnier ganache over each cupcake and work the ganache a bit with the back of your spoon to move it to the edge of the cupcakes. Pop the cupcakes in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to let the ganache set up before frosting.
- Fit a piping bag with either a #825 or #826 star tip and fill with raspberry buttercream. Pipe buttercream on top of each cupcake and garnish with raspberries.