A rich, moist buttermilk chocolate cake is paired with a silky bittersweet chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and filled with an easy homemade lemon curd. These are fabulously addictive Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes!
The Chocolate SMB is creamy and smooth with a delicate chocolate flavor. Unlike the American Buttercream, this frosting isn’t overly sweet – a perfect pairing with this intense chocolate cake! The tart lemon curd surprise in the middle elevates these cupcakes above the quotidian!
Of course, this double chocolate lemon surprise cupcake could stand alone with no filling. A chocolate ganache or caramel filling is never remiss, but the slightly tart lemon curd tantalizes the tastebuds!
I was experimenting with how buttermilk vs sour cream tasted in chocolate cake, but I loved both so much that I had to use them both. The sour cream variety was a bit lighter and more springy, while these buttermilk chocolate cupcakes are a bit denser and more like pound cake. I love pound cake.
The cake in these double chocolate lemon surprise cupcakes melts in your mouth while the chocolate flavor intensifies.
Because of the SMB debacle, during which I learned the hard way what not to do with SMB, these poor little cupcakes sat, un-iced, for 3 days. So, if you would indulge me please, imagine these cupcakes in their original glory! They were even more moist with a small, delicate crumb. I was amazed with how well they stood the test of time in the dry air! Even on day three they were delicious!
Double Chocolate Lemon Surprise Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (1 cup +2 tablespoons )
- ½ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (the highest quality possible)
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (melted (I used Ghirardelli 60%))
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup low fat buttermilk (room temperature)
To make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together on high until thick. 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. Add the melted chocolate and mix to incorporate.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk 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.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. The batter should almost reach the top of the liner. Bake in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs.
- After 2 minutes, remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or frosting.
To Prepare the Buttercream:
- Follow the recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream but add 75 grams bittersweet chocolate (melted and cooled) after adding vanilla and salt.
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