Cupcakes are probably my very favorite dessert to make. You can be creative. In fact, you can turn anything into a cupcake. I’ve even seen meatloaf cupcakes out there with mashed potato frosting and a ketchup garnish. While savory cupcakes really aren’t my thing, you can see that really, if you put your mind to it – you can make a cupcake version of anything you want.
This particular cupcake was born while I was shopping for candy for a birthday gift – I saw a bag of the cute, mini version of my favorite candies and I just knew that they’d be the perfect cupcake garnish. I used one of my favorite chocolate cakes and my very favorite frosting recipe ever – marshmallow frosting.
To take it up a notch, I dipped the first layer of frosting into some chocolate, then topped it with another dollop and some mini candies.
Not only do these taste fantastic, they’re bright and colorful and would be a welcome addition to any celebration. Let me know what you think – come and see me over at Lemon Sugar!
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes (total) ♦ Bake time: 22 minutes
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons instant coffee granules
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and prepare two cupcake tins with cupcake papers. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk to stir together. Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. With a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for one minute. Add the coffee granules and beat for another 20-30 seconds. The batter will be thin. Evenly divide batter between cupcake tins, and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Dipping Ganache Ingredients:
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate squares
In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate according to directions on package. I heated mine for one minute, then used a fork to stir until chocolate was completely melted and smooth. Allow to cool while you prepare the marshmallow frosting.
Marshmallow Frosting Ingredients:
- 5 egg whites
- 1 and 1/2 cups white/granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bag mini M&Ms
In a double boiler over medium heat (or a glass bowl over simmering water), whisk to combine egg whites and sugar. Continue to whisk until the sugar dissolves completely, which you can determine by feeling the mixture between your fingers. This usually takes 4-5 minutes. You don’t have to whisk continuously, just frequently to prevent the eggs from “cooking” on the side of your pan. Once the mixture is smooth and the sugar is dissolved, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl in sticky strings. Add the vanilla, and beat just to combine. Place the frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe a small mound of frosting on to each cupcake. If necessary, allow the frosting to sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set. (I didn’t need to do this, my frosting was stiff enough.) Carefully dip each cupcake into the chocolate to just cover the frosting mound. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to set chocolate. Using the remaining frosting, pipe a small mound on to the chocolate, and immediately sprinkle with mini M&Ms.