Devil's Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache

Holy cow! It’s been one year, friends! Lisa and I officially started this little corner of the web last September, and we had no idea where one year would take us. We’ve learned a ton along the way, but, most importantly, we’ve loved getting to know more about YOU, our loyal readers. The interactions and comments from you make this whole adventure incredibly gratifying. So thanks for hanging out with us. We’re thrilled to continue to share our adventures in food and look forward to “meeting” more of you in the next 12 months! 

And what’s a celebration without cupcakes? Devil’s Food Cupcakes, to be exact. With a Salted Caramel filling. Aaaaaannnd topped with a Chocolate Ganache frosting. When we throw a party, we mean business! Our friends at OXO sent us these great baking tools (including the cute cupcake corer we used in this recipe), and we knew that our One-Year Blogiversary was the perfect occasion to try them out.  

But OXO has more in mind with these baking tools than just yummy treats. Buy a specially stickered OXO product at your local retailer this fall, and OXO will donate 25 cents to support pediatric cancer research as part of the company’s $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. This non-profit organization was founded by two OXO employees who were inspired by their son Liam’s battle with pediatric cancer. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research. For more information about OXO’s involvement with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, visit www.oxogoodcookies.com. To learn more about this worthy cause, visit www.cookiesforkidscancer.org

Lisa and I challenged ourselves to find a meaningful way to celebrate our one-year blogiversary milestone. We considered a number of deserving options, but in the end we chose to make a donation to Dakota Woodlands, a local charity that provides shelter and support services to homeless women and their families. As moms of school age kids ourselves, their work with empowering women to create stable futures for their kids hits close to home. We hope to make an annual tradition of donating to a charitable cause on our blogiversary…as well as eat Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache…with wine. 

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 12

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Salted Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (depending on how salty you like your caramel)

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Combine the coffee, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until the mixture is smooth. Add egg and mix to incorporate. Stir in 1/2 of the cocoa mixture, followed by the coffee mixture and the last 1/2 of the cocoa mixture.
  4. Evenly divide the batter in the cupcake pan. Each well should be about 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack until ready to frost.

Salted Caramel:

  1. Place sugar and water into a saucepan and gently stir to combine. Cook over medium low heat until sugar has dissolved. Try not to stir during this process or you'll end up with sugar crystals in your caramel. If you find sugar crystals forming on the side of the pan, dip a pastry brush in cold water and wipe them away. After all of the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to high.
  2. Keep an eye on the caramel but do not agitate it. This means no stirring. Occasionally grab the handle of the pan and swirl the sugar water mixture to ensure it is cooking evenly. The color will start to change and darken after 3-5 minutes. You want it a dark amber but not burnt. When the sugar water mixture has reached the desired color, remove from heat and stir in the butter, heavy cream and salt. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine. Let sauce come to room temperature and then refrigerate for a few hours before assembling cupcakes.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Bring cream to a gentle simmer in a small pan. Immediately pour warm cream over chocolate. Let sit for 10 minutes then stir in butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. Ganache should firm up enough for frosting after about 15 minutes.

Assembling cupcakes:

  1. Use a cupcake corer or a paring knife to cut a cone out of the center of the cupcake and set aside. Fill hole with about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce. Replace cake cone and frost with ganache. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.