Death by Chocolate Mum Cupcakes

I just got back from a long weekend in South Carolina. I was there to attend my cousin’s wedding. I had a fantastic time; I got to wear a fabulous, pretty dress, see Charleston for the first time, and buy myself a gorgeous new bag. All-in-all, a great weekend, if I do say so myself.

Looking fab! FYI-my sis did not wear jeans to the wedding; she’d just changed from her Matron of Honor gown 🙂

I shared a hotel room with my oldest sister and my mom while I was there.

My poor, long suffering mother.

I don’t know how she puts up with us.

The first night, my sister and I lay in bed giggling and making fake fart noises until one o’ clock in the morning.

We’re classy like that.


That is what I, 31 year old wife, step mom, supposed grown up, and my 35 year old sister (also a wife and mother, a student, and supposedly mature) did.

It. was. awesome.

It’s amazing to me how spending time with my sisters can instantly revert us into immature 12 year olds. Amazing, and wonderful. I really believe that we added at least 10 more years to our lives through laughter this weekend.

Which is a good thing, because I’m going to be trying my hardest to kill us all today with chocolate and cupcakes.

Did you know that today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day?

It is.


Isn’t that the most amazing holiday idea pretty much ever?!

I think so. And I’m totally celebrating it. So…

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day! I have the perfect cupcake to celebrate with; it’s to die for, and totally worth it.

I love the way these cupcakes look. I didn’t really expect them to be so perfectly Fall when I envisioned them, but they work beautifully as little mums (even though mums don’t have centers like these have). I think they’d be gorgeous with different colored, and striped, frostings. In fact, I can hardly wait to try them again…but with beautiful Fall colors!

Plus, the decorations on these were simple and quick; always a good thing these days.

I used the same cupcake recipe for these that I used for my salted caramel mocha cupcakes, except I tweaked it to yield fewer cupcakes, made them twice as chocolaty, and added mini chocolate chips. All brilliant ideas, if I do say so myself.

If you need more cupcakes, just use the recipe linked above, but double the amount of cocoa powder, and add three quarters to one cup of mini chocolate chips (you’ll end up with about 30 cupcakes).

Once my cupcakes were cooled, I made some dark chocolate ganache to dip them in. You may remember from my s’more cupcake post that I wasn’t happy with my current ganache recipe, but I think I’ve tweaked it enough that I finally have what I’ve been longing for. This ganache is smooth, glossy, and thick enough to act as a frosting, but thin enough to drizzle if desired. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting.

Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache, making sure to cover them completely, and tap off the excess.

The ganache should not run down the sides or make a huge mess, if it is runny, then you have added to much heavy cream to it. Allow these to set for 30 to 60 minutes, or chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Once my ganache was set, I made some fluffy milk chocolate buttercream. To make the mums, fit a decorating bag with a large writing tip.

Squeeze a row of chocolate frosting dots all the way around the edge of the cupcake. On each cupcake, I got 13 or 14 dots around the edge.

Then, use a small spoon, spatula, or other rounded utensil to press gently into each dot of frosting and drag towards to center of the cupcake. It only takes a slight amount of pressure to do this, and it’s crazy easy.

This is how your cupcake should look once each dot is done.

Now add a second ring of frosting dots around the cupcake, set closer to the center. I always got seven or eight dots on this ring.

Repeat the spoon dragging with this row of frosting, being careful to keep the center from piling up with frosting (you will have to scoop away excess bits once or twice).

Finally, fill the center of each cupcake with a little spoonful of ganache. If you decide to skip that ganache for these, you can continue to fill the centers of these with more frosting, nuts, candy, fruit…just about anything you like, and any of it would taste wonderful.

Now, eat a cupcake. Sigh in contentment. Repeat.

I mean, you have to repeat. I don’t know how you could ever stop at just one. Even as rich as they are, they’re irresistible.

If you’re feeling especially cheeky, chop up some good quality white chocolate, or make shavings, and sprinkle some on top. I don’t think the cupcakes are quite as pretty this way, but I love the sweet addition of the white chocolate on top. It’s just another layer of chocolaty goodness to die by. Enjoy!

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 18 cupcakes


1/2 cup (4 ounces or 125 ml) strong brewed coffee, hot
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 125 ml) hot water
1/2 cup (56 grams) cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups (191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoons (5 ml) vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, or a two cup measuring cup, stir the cocoa powder into the hot water until dissolved. Combine the cocoa mixture with the coffee. Set aside until cooled to room temperature, or place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Once the cocoa/coffee mixture has cooled, preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined; stir in the vanilla. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the bowl and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, mixing again until just combined. Repeat with reamining flour and chocolate mixtures, ending with flour. Mix only until flour is just incorporated. Do not over mix.

Place 3 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Once cooled, dip each cupcake in dark chocolate ganache and frost with milk chocolate buttercream. Garnish with white chocolate, if desired.

Dark Chocolate Ganache [Printable Version]


**I only made a half batch of this for 18 cupcakes**

4.5 ounces (128 grams) bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/2 cup (about 3.5 ounces or 114 ml) heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

Bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and (now melted) chocolate together into smooth and glossy.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream [Printable Version]
Make 24 ounces


**I only made a half batch of this for 18 cupcakes**

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and whisk on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and mix until thoroughly combined and light in color. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the vanilla.

Recipes by Darla

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Oooh, lovely pictures! When I first saw how they were designed, I groaned when I thought you used some fancy technique that I never picked up on in the Wilton decorating classes. But you didn’t so thank you for that! I’ll definitely try them at some point. And the fart noises thing doesn’t sound weird at all – it just sounds fun. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth "Lizzie" King says

    I am from South Carolina!! 🙂 I live in the Upstate, but my aunt has a house on Sullivan’s Island so we travel to Charleston quite a bit. I love it, its my oasis. Its great to escape and travel to the beach. Downtown Charleston is lovely but the many Islands also have their own personality and charm so I hope you were able to visit some. Speaking of lovely, these cupcakes look heavenly! I’m a chocaholic so I might have to add this to my baking to-do list. YUM. I love all of your creations and have inspired me to get back in the kitchen now that I’m done with college. 😀 ~ Lizzie

  3. says

    Not only is this the BEST holiday ever, but those cupcakes look divine!!! I am super tempted to go to some coffee shop and buy a cup of coffee to make these. I don’t drink coffee ever, but these look so crazy worth it.

  4. says

    hey darla! these look delicious! i’m excited to try your chocolate cupcake recipe :). and i love how you made the petals without using a special tip!

    anywho, i just went to visit my sister this past weekend & we are just like y’all… crazy, goofy & acting like 12-year olds. whenever we’re together, we always mention how sorry we feel for our parents… too much craziness in one house! but what would life be without all the laughter & fun?!!

  5. says

    These cupcakes are too amazing!! And I’m sure they taste heavenly good! My mom loved this recipe, so, I think I will make it this weekend! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. says

    …Two cupcakes? I’m thinking three! YUM! :o)

    …And yes, I know who I am commenting to this time Darla and again, my apologies for that mix-up last time. :o\

    …Your baking is a work of art! I love how you add this little extra “oomph” to turn everything from ordinary to extraordinary – gorgeous! Much like your sis’ and you… ;o)

    …Thank you for the recipe and the great tutorial.

    …Blessings :o)

  7. says

    The best way to describe these are:decadent, sinful, rich and utterly addictive. These are dangerous-but in a nice chocolatey way! Like the step by step photos and I have saved the recipe. Great presentation and pictures.

  8. says

    I just found your blog and already love it! well done! This recipe looks delicious and really pretty..water moutering. I was wondering where can I get this beautiful wrappers? Thanks..xx Ligia

  9. says

    These cupcakes look incredible – they are so rich looking I can almost taste them! I’m going to try them this weekend – although my fiance is getting bombarded with my cupcake experiments recently.

  10. Grace says

    Those cupcakes look amazing! To get that look I use a petal tip 104 with the small end facing the centre of the cupcake and pipe a teardrop shape, I find it a lot faster 🙂

  11. says

    These sound and look fabulous! sounds like you had an awesome time. I don’t have any siblings my my bff and I are the same way. we can laugh our asses off at silly stuff all day/night long.
    Thank you for coming up with something pretty for the “decorating challenged” individuals like myself. lol

  12. KJ says

    I love these and thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial and recipes. I can’t wait to try these. I thought I should mention that the printable version of the cupcakes recipe has some measuring differences from the on-line version. It looks like you maybe halved the recipe and forgot to change some of the measurements in the brackets. ie: 1/2 cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) strong coffee. The bracket amount is for 1 cup rather than the 1/2 cup. I’m sure most bakers will know anyway. Really appreciate you sharing! You are really great!

  13. says

    Made these for my mom’s (mum’s) birthday yesterday. They didn’t come out quite as nice looking as yours but they sure did taste good! 🙂 Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  14. Chantelle says

    While I’ll have to try this recipe the next cupcake needing to be baked are for my mom’s birthday, and she’s requested red velvet BUT I love how you make the flowers! I’m going to do that (hopefully!) with the cream cheese frosting and then save a little, add some yellow coloring to pipe a dot for the center. Thanks for such a great post! Just what my cupcakes need to make them extra special for her 🙂

  15. Quinn says

    Wow these look fabulous!
    I was wondering if you can make a diabetic dessert cupcake, though because someone in my family has been suffering from diabetes and I don’t want them to miss out on this goodness!

    • says

      Hi Quinn, I can definitely experiment with sugar free recipes. I’ve never made any before, so I’ll have to play around and see what works. You can always try using Splenda and other sugar replacements in regular recipes…I’ve heard that it works great. Otherwise, i’ll start experimenting. 🙂

  16. Mariam says

    I used the base recipe but only used one shot of espresso and used hot milk instead of water because I thought it would be moister. It turned out so good and definitely moist! I iced it with peanut butter and salted caramel frosting! YUM! Thanks for the recipe, will be using for a long time 😀

  17. Tracy says

    I made these tonight after scouring the net for good chocolate cupcake recipes, and I am SO glad I made these! I made strong instant coffee for the cake batter, and was worried when the batter had a strong mocha taste to it; however, the finished product was a heavenly chocolate cake with the best texture ever! The ganache adds an extra “something” to the cupcake and is SUPER yummy. I am saving this in my favorites to make again and again… but only if I have a place to take them to because these will be dangerous if I make them and have to eat all by myself! 🙂