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The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcakes are double chocolate cake, filled with a German’s chocolate ganache and topped with a decadent chocolate butter cream. They certainly bring big BOLD chocolate flavors! Chocolate craving crushed!

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

People who have spent 20 minutes with me know that I am a chocoholic.
I carry chocolate in my purse.
I even travel with my own chocolate stash, because I don’t trust that my destination will have quality dark chocolate or my favorite milk chocolate.
In preparation for tomorrow’s NYC Snowpocalypse I purchased Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt along with my milk and bread. {Umm…it’s a staple.}

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

Sometimes a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips is all it takes to satisfy, but sometimes chocolate overload is in order. Enter the BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.

If you are “meh” on chocolate, these cupcakes aren’t for you – you should probably just check out these caramel ones or my Peach Crisp Cupcakes.
But if you like your chocolate dark and in vast quantities, stick around because these cupcakes are going to rock your chocolate-loving world!

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

A soft, moist double chocolate cake is filled with a rich German’s chocolate ganache filling (you know I had to fill it!) and then all topped with THE BEST dark chocolate buttercream that I have ever had.
Oh the buttercream! It is rich and moosey but still silky smooth. I beat the frosting quite a bit to incorporate more air, because the last thing you want on a rich, chocolate cupcake is a dense, heavy frosting. But it is so sinfully good, you will want to eat it straight from the bowl!

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

The rich, dark chocolate cake has mini chocolate chips folded right into the batter and then is filled with a silky, smooth German chocolate ganache filling. The frosting has a moosy, light texture that melts in your mouth, but it is still decadently chocolaty with both melted semi sweet chocolate and dark chocolate cocoa powder!

This is a lighter chocolate cake when compared to this one or this buttermilk one. When you have this much chocolate all in one place you don’t want it to be dense and heavy.

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

All together each bite is one powerful hit of dark chocolate! If you love chocolate you will ADORE this cupcake!

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

Chocolate lovers unite!

Honestly, I feel bad for all the other chocolate cupcakes out there because they can never measure up to The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcake. It is pure, unadulterated chocolatey heaven!

These are really The BEST Death by Chocolate Cupcakes! Double chocolate cake filled with German's chocolate ganache all topped with a silky dark chocolate buttercream!

Now if you are more of a part-time lover of dark chocolate, you could consider filling the center with a cherry, peach, or apple compote, a pecan pie filling, or even the traditional pecan coconut frosting from German chocolate cake. Or you could top it with a swirl of a Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream that is a bit more like milk chocolate. So many options it’s overwhelming!

The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 18 Cupcakes

The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

The Best Death by Chocolate Cupcakes are double chocolate cake, filled with a German’s chocolate ganache and topped with a decadent chocolate butter cream bring big BOLD chocolate flavors! Chocolate craving crushed!

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch processed coca powder, the highest quality possible
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 ½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature (not low fat…they’re cupcakes not muffins)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the Ganache
  • 4 oz Baker’s German’s Chocolate, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • For the Dark Chocolate Butter Cream:
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder like Hershey’s Special Dark
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, almost room temperature
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Large 3 finger pinch kosher salt
  • 2 ½ pre-sifted confectioners sugar (I sift 3 cups and then measure my 2 ½ cups from the pre-sifted sugar)

Instructions

    To make the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 18 muffin tins with cupcake liners (I double up).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together on high for 1 minute then let stand for 2 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating for 2 minutes or until the mixture is light in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and sour cream beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. I did three additions. You want to stop mixing as soon as the last of the flour has been incorporated.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips on low speed just until distributed. You can do this with a spatula or spoon if you wish.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. The batter should almost reach the top of the liner. I use an ice cream scoop to make this process easier. Bake in preheated oven 12 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs.
  7. After 2 minutes, remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or frosting.
  8. To prepare the ganache:
  9. Microwave half and half and chocolate together just until the milk is hot and the chocolate begins to melt. Stir with a spatula until all chocolate is melted and incorporated.
  10. Add the butter and continue to stir until smooth and glossy. You don’t want to stir too much or too vigorously because it will actually whip air into the ganache and we want a nice, thick filling!
  11. Let cool until it is easy to spoon into the cupcakes.
  12. To make the Butter Cream:
  13. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals. Stir after each interval, being careful not the over heat it. Add the large pinch of salt and cocoa powder and stir to mix. Set aside to cool slightly.
  14. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add your half and half and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, but start on low speed or you will splatter milk everywhere!
  15. Add all the melted chocolate mixture at once and then beat for about 3 minutes. It will start to turn a lighter brown color and you will be able see that the texture has become lighter and more airy.
  16. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
  17. In half cup increments add your powdered sugar, beating well to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat until it is as light as you would like it. It will firm up as the cupcakes sit at room temperature but it will not harden unless you refrigerate them.
  18. If the consistency is too loose, add a bit more sifted powdered sugar about a tablespoon at a time, beating to incorporate. If it is too stiff you can add more half and half but only in 1 teaspoon increments.
  19. Assembling your Cupcakes:
  20. Cut out the center of each cupcake and reserve the removed cake. Spoon about a teaspoon of the ganache into each hole and replace the cut out cake. Don’t press down because you want your filling to remain in one place!
  21. Fit a piping bag with your favorite tip, fill and frost!

Notes:

Store at room temperature for up to 4 days. They are best within 3.

https://www.cheflindseyfarr.com/2015/01/best-death-by-chocolate-cupcakes/

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳 Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #americanheritagecooking

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80 Comments

  • Nikki Pals
    January 27, 2015 at 12:48 am

    These sound heavenly. If you love German Chocolate Cake..flavors then you must check out a recipe that I found and have been making for a few years now. I saw the baker on a TV show. The baker is Julia Baker and the cake is “Julia Baker’s German Chocolate Souffle Cake” There are a number of steps but essentially a pretty easy cake. However the cake is worth every moment of preparation.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 8:39 am

      I will check that out Nikki! Thank you! I love German chocolate cake! I posted a cupcake version of my Grandmother’s recipe last year. Can’t wait to try a soufflé version!

      Reply
  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    January 27, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Now these are my kind of cupcakes! The more chocolate, the better!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Agreed! Bring on the chocolate!

      Reply
  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
    January 27, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Wow! This is my kind of cupcake!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks, Laura!

      Reply
  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    January 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Yes to all that chocolate! You make the prettiest cupcakes 🙂 I love that you stuffed them with ganache! Just stunning! I’ll take a dozen please 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks, Kelly!!! What’s a little more ganache between friends? 😉

      Reply
  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    January 27, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    This is definitely a chocolate lover’s dream! Absolutely love these, Lindsey! I wish I could reach through my screen and grab one. That chocolate frosting is gorgeous, friend! Hope you’re staying safe and warm out there!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you, Gayle! The frosting was lick-the-bowl-clean good!!!!

      Reply
  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    January 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    1-I like your priorities in your snowpocalypse prep
    2-girrrl you know how I am about chocolate so I am ALL OVER these cupcakes! pinning!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      January 27, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Haha! Chocolate is #1 always! Thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • marcie
    January 27, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I’m a choco-holic, too! I eat some every day, and the darker the better. It’s like you made these for ME. (thank you). 🙂 I think the more chocolatey the better, and bring these on! Pinned.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Bahah! mee tooooo! I did make them for you, marcie! obvi 🙂 Thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    January 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I just ate 5 Hershey’s Truffle Kisses because I NEDDED CHOCOLATE. Now I need more because these cupcakes have me wanting dark chocolate! Gorgeous, pinned!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 1, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Oh I know that feeling!!! Thanks for the pin!!

      Reply
  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen
    January 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Fabulous chocolate cupcakes, Linds! I hear ya…I crave chocolate…on the hour, every hour! Thanks for sharing and have a fun Super Bowl weekend!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 1, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Me too! It’s a curse – or at least a curse to my hips! Have a fabulous Super Bowl Sunday, Stacy! xo

      Reply
  • Janet
    February 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    These are awesome looking! Just wondered – there are no chocolate chips listed in the ingredients, but you mention mini-chocolate chips in your narrative above being mixed into the cupcake dough. How many of the chips do you add? Thanks!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Oh goodness you are right! Thank you for catching that! I put 1/2 cup in. I will update the recipe now!

      Reply
  • Alyssa
    February 22, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Hi! I would love to make these cupcakes! They sound perfect for winter! I have one question though, I am allergic to coffee… Would it hurt if I left out the espresso powder?? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Alyssa! You absolutely can leave out the espresso powder. It just accentuates the chocolate flavor, but they will still taste delicious without it! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Chris @ Shared Appetite
    February 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    These are so beautiful I almost shed a tear. Heck yes to these cupcakes… if only I could actually reach through the screen and grab one. Someone really has to invent that already…

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      February 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Lol thanks, Chris! If someone invented that, I would gain 20lbs a week!!!!

      Reply
  • Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules
    March 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    OH MY! These are sinful! They look soooo good!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      March 10, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Thanks, Julia!

      Reply
  • […] americanheritagecooking.com Get the recipe […]

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  • […] Recipe from American Heritage Cooking […]

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  • Jillian
    April 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    These are gorgeous and I love your frosting peaks! What tip did you use? Cheers!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Jillian! Thank you! I used a Wilton 2D tip 🙂 Happy baking!

      Reply
      • Leigh
        May 13, 2015 at 7:52 pm

        I’m making the chocolate buttercream now but I don’t see when to add the cocoa powder as listed in the ingredients. Can you help me please? Can’t wait to try these!

        Reply
        • AmericanCooking22
          May 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

          Hi Leigh! I am so sorry I didn’t see this last night. You are right; I totally missed that in my directions. I stirred it into the melted chocolate. I’ve updated the recipe. Thank you so much for letting me know and I hope you figured it out and your buttercream turned out fabulous!

          Reply
  • Liz
    June 13, 2015 at 10:23 am

    My frosting turned out darker and not quite as fluffy as yours! I followed directions to the tee!!! How do you get it so fluffy looking?

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      June 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Hi Liz! Beat it more! How long it takes depends on the consistency of your butter and your mixer. Just keep going until it is as light and fluffy as you want it! Enjoy!

      Reply
  • Liz
    June 13, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Ok I’ll try that! I was adding quite a bit for powdered sugar too

    Reply
  • […] 6. Death By Chocolate Cupcakes. […]

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  • Jill
    June 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    I made these today and if this doesn’t hit the spot for a chocolate craving, I don’t know what does! The flavors are sooo perfect together! I’d like to have one every day for the rest of my life! The ones I made are almost gone!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      June 25, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thank you so much, Jill!! You totally just made my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply
  • Erin
    July 5, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    We made these cupcakes this weekend and they were soooo good! We were fighting over who got to eat the last ones! These are definitely going in my recipe box for later!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      July 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Yay!!! I’m so glad you liked them, Erin!!! I would definitely fight over the last one too!

      Reply
  • scarlette
    July 17, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Hi, I plan on making these cupcakes tomorrow and I’m just wondering about the half and half. I have heavy cream, could I use that instead? What would the results be if I do (if you know)? 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      July 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Hey Scarlette! You can absolutely use heavy cream for the buttercream instead of half and half. It will just be a little thicker but it will still be rich and creamy and delicious!

      Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      July 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Also if you have milk in addition to your heavy cream, you can mix them and make your own half and half! 50% milk, 50% cream.

      Reply
      • Ev
        August 1, 2017 at 3:45 am

        Thanks for this info! Where I live, half and half is not easy available so knowing I can make my own is awesome!

        Reply
  • danette
    August 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Hi – I’m assuming the Bakers Germans chocolate called for is the sweetened variety (as opposed to semi sweet or unsweetened) since there’s no sugar in the ganache?

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Danette, Germans chocolate is always sweetened. If you can’t find that particular type, I would substitute semi-sweet. Germans chocolate is somewhere between milk chocolate and semi-sweet. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Marina
    September 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    These look simply divine…and your style of cooking is great!!! No “low-fat” there’re not good anyway! Can’t wait to try!…thanks

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      September 24, 2015 at 10:12 am

      Haha! Thanks Marina! I believe in everything in moderation and I want my cupcakes to be indulgent!

      Reply
  • […] Death By Chocolate Cupcakes from American Heritage Cooking Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from I am Baker Crockpot Chocolate Lava Cake from Life in the Lofthouse […]

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  • Hayli
    December 18, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Hi lindsay! I made these cupcakes for ‘friends giving’ a while back.. And they were amazing! And It was that buttercream!!!! People could not stop eating it. And then next day I would find myself eating it out of the piping bag next to the fridge!
    Anyway, I had a question, when i was eating just frosting, it almost resembled a fudge consistancy. now I have a Christmas party to go to, would you alter your buttercream recipe so it firms up like fudge in the fridge overnight?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Hayli! I am so glad you liked these cupcakes! That frosting is to die for! If you want it to be more dense and fudgy when refrigerated, just beat it less when you are mixing it. The less air, the more dense! If you just want a different frosting recipe that is super fudgy, this one that I put on yellow cake is more like fudge when refrigerated.

      Reply
  • Amanda
    February 6, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    My cupcakes were all flat and spilled over the sides. Are you sure only one cup of flour? What did I miss?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 7, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Amanda, I’m sorry that happened. Cupcakes are supposed to be flat on top so that you can frost them. It sounds like you over-filled the cups. There is 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour.

      Reply
    • Kayla
      August 3, 2016 at 10:17 am

      I had the same issue on my first batch. They all spilled over and joined forced into one giant muffintop! (Still delicious, but they were no longer individual cupcakes.) For the second batch, I made them into 24 cupcakes instead of 18, and they came out great – no spill-over!

      Reply
      • Lindsey
        August 3, 2016 at 11:07 am

        Hi Kayla! I’m glad you were able to trouble-shoot the second batch! The difference is probably as small as a difference in our cupcake liners! Some of mine are larger and some are smaller than others. Hope you enjoyed the whole cupcake once finished! Happy baking!

        Reply
  • Rebecca
    March 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    These look amazing- I am such a chocoholic too! I’m a little shocked at the amount of butter in the buttercream though- does this recipe ice more than a single batch, or is it really 4 sticks of butter for 18 cupcakes?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 4, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Rebecca! That is correct! They don’t call it “butter”cream for nothing! It also depends on how much frosting you put on your cupcakes. You could probably get away with making a half recipe but they won’t look like the pictures 🙂

      Reply
  • ListsForAll.com
    June 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Love this recipe! That is why we decided to add it to our list of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes https://www.listsforall.com/best-chocolate-cake-recipes/ Congrats and keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • Top 10 Cupcakes of All Time – diycrafts01
    August 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    […] American Heritage Cooking […]

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  • […] American Heritage Cooking is BACK! I used Lindsey’s cupcakes previously when I reviewed We’ll Never Be Apart, and these Death by Chocolate cupcakes have been on my mind for ages! Make sure you click the links to get the info behind it, since I didn’t take this gorgeous photo. Just thinking about these cupcakes makes my mouth water. And the murderously good chocolate jump-ropes perfectly with the murder mystery at the heart of Stalking Jack the Ripper. You know you want it. Go pre-order it, put it on hold at the library, or get it sent to your kindle, because you WILL NOT want to miss this! […]

    Reply
  • Rachel
    October 10, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Have you made a cake with this recipe? Just made the cupcakes and yes, they are to die for, but wondering how it the recipe would come out as a cake. Wondering if it would be as moist, etc.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      October 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Rachel! I haven’t made a cake with this recipe but I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t work 🙂 Just adjust your bake time and you should be good! Be sure to report back! Happy baking!

      Reply
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    December 21, 2016 at 10:29 am

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    […] s folded right into the batter and then is filled with a silky, smooth German ch […]

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    April 28, 2017 at 4:52 pm

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  • CakenGifts.in
    July 5, 2017 at 3:43 am

    This turned out so good! So good information for making a cake. I’ll need to use your tips 😉 this one looks amazing…

    Reply
  • Michelle
    January 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve made plenty of “Death by Chocolate” style cupcakes, but this my friends is the real deal. I followed every direction, however I did have enough batter to make 21, while filling each cup almost to the top. I did have a slight mushroom after baking, and next time would probably go ahead and make 24 to avoid as I had to cut them away a bit from the pan. The cupcake was delish, ganache easy, and that frosting!!! I’m typically not one for too much frosting, but it was sooo good! Overall, delicious recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! I will absolutely make these again.

    Side note: I had to go grab Dutch processed cocoa and it was pricey. I had read online you can substitute it for regular cocoa and baking soda. However, did not want to mess with the recipe on my first go. Anyone try the substitute method?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 24, 2018 at 10:56 am

      I am so glad you liked them, Michelle! I take my chocolate seriously!

      As for Dutch processed cocoa. It is definitely more pricey. But the real difference is in the flavor. You can substitute Hersheys (Hersheys dark will be closer) if you would like. I would not add any more baking soda. The processing of the dutch cocoa powder takes away the acidity so it will not react with baking soda. That isn’t a big deal in this recipe because there is sour cream which is the acid activating the baking soda and there is baking powder. The difference will be in the color and the flavor of the final baked cupcake.

      Reply
  • Etfu Blog
    March 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm

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  • Mary
    September 17, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Hi! These cupcakes look amazing! Can I use instant espresso granules. Should I maybe grind it until it’s a powder. I just got into using dark cocoa (KAF) and this recipe is perfect for it. 😋😁

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      October 4, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Mary, If you use instant espresso granules that is perfect! You don’t need to grind them up

      Reply
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  • Delia
    June 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I made these exactly as written and got rave reviews and requests for the recipe. Recipe requests are the ultimate compliment in my book.
    ( I’ve never been a fan of a powdered sugar butter cream but this one was the best I’ve had. Maybe due to the chocolate flavors hiding the raw taste of powdered sugar. Since I enjoy the kind which is a bit more labor intensive I’ll adapt my recipes to see how it goes.)

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that! If you want a more labor intensive buttercream look no further lol

      I too am not a giant fan of American buttercream but when its chocolate it is more tolerable. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • […] You know I live for some cupcakes! […]

    Reply

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