I officially admit that I am horribly inconsistent at blogging. And I’m sorry. But, I’m back with a doozy of a cupcake recipe. Milky. Way. Cupcakes.
These cupcakes are fabulously rich chocolate cupcakes filled with a milk chocolate mousse, topped with a caramel swirl frosting and drizzled with a dark chocolate hard shell topping.
I actually don’t particularly like candy bars; if I’m going to eat a dessert I want something serious like cake, pie, a brownie sundae – you get my drift. However, if I do eat a candy bar, it’s gotta be all chocolate everything, plus a little caramel action. Hence, the milky way love.
These are my favorite chocolate cupcakes that I added just a touch more flour to because they’re a wee bit too moist (ugh, that word) to fill. The extra flour made them sturdier without making them dense.
The chocolate mousse filling is divine, y’all. It’s from Joanne Chang’s Milky Way Tart recipe and it is phenomenal. Couldn’t you just eat that with a spoon? I added a pinch of cinnamon because I have a thing for cinnamon and chocolate.
In my opinion, you need no occasion to make fabulous cupcakes, but valentine’s day is coming up, so, if you want to make something a little decadent, try these out!
#thatswirltho Did I just make up a hashtag? Bake up these cupcakes, fill ’em up with mousse, top ’em with caramel swirl frosting and some hard shell drizzle. The hard shell is optional but it drives home the whole ‘candy bar’ deal. Don’t stress over the swirl, either. Just drizzle some caramel along the sides of a piping bag, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe away! If you guys make these you must let me know how you like them! Also, please don’t be intimidated by the amount of instructions or the number of ingredients. It’s not as daunting as it looks! Read the notes section for some helpful tips!
Joy & Sprinkles,
Delicious cupcakes inspired by the Milky Way candy bar! Dark chocolate cupcakes filled with a chocolate mousse and topped with caramel swirl frosting and hard shell chocolate sauce!
- 2.5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
- 3/4 cup hot coffee
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 - 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon oil (I used canola)
- Add chocolate to a medium heat safe bowl
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and cinnamon until bubbles form around the edges of the pan (right before it starts to boil).
- Add the hot milk to the bowl with the chocolate and let sit for one minute.
- Whisk until smooth. Stir in the salt. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small container and cover with a lid.
- Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Once ready to use, place chocolate mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream at medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (Be sure not to whip this up until your cupcakes are ready to be filled).
- Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Place chocolate chips in a bowl and add the hot coffee. Let sit for a few minutes and then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until eggs are very light in color and a little thickened.
- Turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate mixture and mix until combined.
- Keeping the speed on low, slowly add in the flour mixture. Once it is combined, turn up the speed on your mixer to medium and mix for about 30 seconds. Do not over mix.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 cup full (I use a medium cookie scoop and fill each liner twice) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan then move to a wire cooling rack.
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and slowly pour in the water. Gently stir with a spoon just until the sugar is moistened.
- Set the saucepan over high heat and (without stirring!) let it boil rapidly for around 3-4 minutes. Keep your eyes on the caramel because it can burn very quickly. You'll hear the sugar boiling rapidly then it will boil more languidly as it begins to thicken. Once you hear it slowing down, the sugar syrup will start to darken around the edges of the pan. Once the syrup starts to turn color, slowly swirl the pan in a circular motion so that the syrup caramelizes evenly.
- Once the syrup is a deep golden brown, slowly add in the cream. Do this slowly and please be careful because the cream will cause the syrup to sputter and splash. Reduce heat to low and let sit for a few minutes then whisk the cream/sugar mixture for a couple of minutes (don't worry if it's hardened, it will smooth out again). Once the cream/sugar mixture is whisked together, add in the vanilla, butter, and salt. Whisk together, remove from heat, and pour into a heat safe container to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter, salt, and vanilla extract on medium speed for a couple of minutes, until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar; once the sugar is incorporated, turn up the speed to medium high and whip for 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy. I generally start out with 2 cups and then add more if needed until the frosting is at the desired consistency and sweetness.
- Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then continue microwaving in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval until chips are melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Using a knife or a cupcake corer, core cupcakes.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, place chocolate mousse into piping bag and fill cupcakes.
- Drizzle some caramel sauce along the sides of another large piping bag that is fitted with a large round tip. Once the caramel is drizzled along the sides, fill the bag with the vanilla buttercream. Pipe the frosting in a swirl pattern onto the cupcakes.
- Drizzle each cupcake with hard shell topping. Let the hard shell sit for at least 15-30 minutes prior to serving.
You MUST make the chocolate mousse a day ahead so it has enough time to chill. I would also recommend making the caramel a day ahead and letting it chill in the refrigerator so you don't have too many things to make the day you want to serve the cupcakes.
You will have caramel left over but if you're going to go through the trouble of making homemade caramel, at least you can have some left over for those nights when you want ice cream:)
You can sub store bought caramel and hard shell chocolate sauce if you wish!