These triple chocolate fudge cupcakes have a moist chocolate cake base filled with creamy chocolate ganache, and then topped with rich chocolate buttercream and chocolate pearls! These cupcakes are a chocolate lovers dream!
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes
- Perfect birthday cupcakes - If you have a chocolate lover in your life, these chocolate fudge cupcakes are the best way to say happy birthday!
- Better than box mix - You'll never want to buy boxed chocolate cake mix again!
- Rich chocolate buttercream - The chocolate buttercream is whipped to create a light, fluffy texture with a smooth, velvety taste!
- Super easy to make and decorate - These cupcakes are incredibly easy to make and are garnished with crunchy chocolate pearls!
You just need a few ingredients (and a LOT of chocolate) to make these moist chocolate fudge cupcakes!
- Vegetable oil - I use oil instead of butter in these cupcakes to help keep the cake super moist and delicious! You can also use canola oil or a neutral olive oil.
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Cocoa powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But you can easily substitute unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa instead!
- Espresso powder - This is optional, but I love how espresso powder enhances and deepens the chocolate flavor! King Arthur is my favorite brand of high quality espresso powder!
- Dark chocolate - Use dark chocolate baking bars as opposed to chocolate chips!! Chips contain emulsifiers that help them keep their shape, which also means they won't combine as smoothly as chocolate bars. If desired, you can use milk chocolate instead.
- Heavy whipping cream - This is for the ganache and cannot be substituted.
- Chocolate pearls - I love these crunchy chocolate pearls as an easy garnish!
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
This dark chocolate ganache is super easy to make, but I just have a couple quick notes!
- Use a spatula to combine the ganache as opposed to a whisk, so you don't incorporate any air.
- I recommend making the ganache a few hours before the cupcakes so that it has time to set.
Finely chop the dark chocolate and place into a large bowl.
Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot to the touch but not boiling.
Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about two minutes.
Using a spatula, gently mix until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache is fully combined and smooth.
Let sit at room temperature or in the fridge until is has thickened enough to hold its shape.
If your ganache is too firm, microwave for 10 seconds to soften and then stir until ganache is the desired consistency.
How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Gently mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be thin.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let the chocolate cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with 1-2 teaspoons of thickened chocolate ganache.
Frost the filled chocolate fudge cupcakes and garnish with crunchy chocolate pearls!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips & Tricks
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!!
Use a cupcake corer to easily remove the center of your cupcakes before filling with chocolate ganache.
For these big beautiful frosting swirls on these chocolate fudge cupcakes, I use the 1M tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
These cupcakes will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days once assembled. To make in advance, store the cupcakes and frosting separately for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have different properties so that can not always be swapped 1:1. In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Chocolate Recipes You Might Like!
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Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil, substitute canola oil or light olive oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Filling
- I recommend making the ganache a few hours before you make the cupcakes so that it has time to fully firm up.
- Finely chop the dark chocolate and place into a large bowl.
- Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 1 minute or until hot to the touch but not boiling.
- Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about two minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently mix until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache is fully combined and smooth.
- Let sit at room temperature or in the fridge until is has thickened enough to hold its shape.
- If your ganache is too firm, microwave for 10 seconds to soften and then stir until ganache is the desired consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pan with liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
- Gently mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with about 2 teaspoons of thickened chocolate ganache.
- Melt the dark chocolate and let cool almost to room temperature. It should be melted but cool to the touch. I prefer to melt the chocolate in the microwave in intervals of 20 seconds, stirring each time.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Add in the cocoa powder and mix until fully combined.
- Set the mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate until it's fully incorporated into the buttercream.
- Beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- If the frosting in too thick, add in 1 tablespoon of cream at a time to thin it out a bit.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos.
- Garnish with chocolate pearls if desired!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.