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Friday, February 12, 2010

Life by Chocolate Cupcakes from The Pioneer Woman

Once Valentine’s Day is over, I’ll let you eat dinner again.  But I’m going to force you to have a little more chocolate today. Sorry. I know it’s torture.

rachel's desserts web

For our Super Bowl shindig last week, my friend Rachel made cupcakes in addition to the homemade oreos I shared with you yesterday. I love these cupcakes. We all kept debating back and forth about which we liked better – cupcakes, oreos, cupcakes, oreos. It was a close race, but these chocolate-packed cups of heaven won.

The cupcake recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. As always, she provides beautiful step-by-step photos. Everything about these cupcakes is great. The actual cake part in and of itself is fantastic. The Hershey kiss hiding inside…oo la la! And the ganache icing…to die for.

A few quick notes.

  • Rachel said the recipe made a TON of ganache, enough for a double batch of cupcakes.
  • The cupcakes are really heavenly served warm. Since Rachel had made them the day before, when we were ready to indulge, we put the cupcakes in a 250-degree oven for 7 minutes. They came out PERFECTLY.

life by chocolate cupcakes2 web

Life by Chocolate Cupcakes from The Pioneer Woman
  • Cupcakes
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, put ½ TBSP of lemon juice or vinegar in your ½ cup, fill the rest with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Water, Boiling
  • 18 whole Hershey’s Kisses, Unwrapped
  • Ganache
  • 8 ounces, weight Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 6 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 muffin cups with baking spray.
  2. To make the cake batter, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate container, combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add boiling water, allow to bubble for a few seconds, then turn off heat.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Stir a few times to cool the chocolate. Pour buttermilk mixture over the top and stir to combine.
  6. Pour ¼ cup cake batter into each muffin cup. Lightly set one kiss in the middle of each cupcake; do not press down.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove cupcakes and allow to cool on a baking rack.
  8. To make the ganache, heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat. Chop chocolate and add to a bowl. Add vanilla to cream mixture, then pour cream mixture over the top of the chopped chocolate. Whisk together until melted, smooth, and glossy.
  9. Dunk cupcakes in ganache. Allow to cool and set before serving.

Thanks again to my friend Rachel for spoiling my family with such delicious desserts! And thanks to Ree for a wonderful cupcake recipe! And Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


  1. Those do look yum, yum, yummy! Let’s make some when we get together!

  2. The cupcakes look great. THanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Jane, you’re killing me with this chocolate kick. I can feel my hips widening everytime I read your blog! 🙂 Happy V-Day!

  4. 4

    oh goodness gracious these look fabulous!!

  5. The cupcakes are awesome. I made them when Pioneer Woman posted them a couple of weeks back.

    I had a TON of Ganache just like your past says so I dipped the tops, put them on a rack and let them dry for 15 minutes and then dipped the bottoms. Talk about a high speed super turbocharged slap yo mamma dessert! Even with doing this I still had enough ganache left to probably do another batch of cupcakes.

  6. 6

    Oh my oh my oh my – those look like heaven on a plate. I do believe this just might satisfy the chocoholic in me. Looks sensational!

  7. I agree with what Amy said! These look so good. Perfect for indulging while hanging out with other food loving friends.

  8. 8

    These cupcakes look adorable – and that ganache looks heavenly!

  9. 9

    I made them yesterday – fabulous! I saved all of the ganache for dipping anything I can think of, this week. I also found Hershey’s “special dark” kisses, so that was fun. Thanks for sharing this – I’m a hero now!

  10. These look great! I’ve been posting more recipes recently…today French onion soup. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and soup, huh? Okay, I will admit, I do not plan to make leek soup!

  11. 11

    These look too addicting.. but I’m willing to take that chance! 🙂

  12. 12
    Allison Rufleth

    Quick question Jane, do you use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder?

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