Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes from The Cupcake Doctor

Food blogging is sooo not good for my diet.

As I write, I am pausing between sentences to sample my latest awesome dessert recipe from Anne Byrn.

It is only 10:15 in the morning and I am nibbling on a Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcake with Creamy Chocolate Blender Ganache!

Sooo good, and sooo bad.

This glorious batch of cupcakes was made in honor of a girlfriend who had the unfortunate luck to share a birthday with the SuperBowl yesterday. Her flavor request was chocolate, and cupcakes are the perfect vehicle for chocolate at Super Bowl party.

I turned to Anne Byrn’s Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor. She truly has a great, easy recipe to satisfy just about any sweet craving.

Fast forward to chocolate heaven. Yep, Anne never lets me down. The cupcakes had that kind of deep, dark, rich chocolate flavor that has you running to the refrigerator for some milk. Yu-um.

Creamy Chocolate Blender Ganache

And, I absolutely loved the blender ganache. No messy powdered sugar or butter, just chocolate awesomeness. More of a candy-coating than a frosting.

Note: This recipe is fabulous, but did need two minor tweaks. Anne forgets to mention folding in the chocolate shavings (oops) and I always need to increase the frosting recipes in her books to cover cakes and cupcakes the way I like them covered. No bare spots on my cupcakes…no way! The recipe below is actually 1 1/2 batches of her ganache.

Cupcake Ingredients List

24 cupcake liners

2 Hershey milk chocolate bars

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix

1 package (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache Ingredients List

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup evaporated milk

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method for Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF and insert liners into cupcake pans.

Shave chocolate bars. You can stack the chocolate bars and use a very sharp knife to shave the edges. I used my potato peeler to shave the edges of the chocolate bars.

In a large mixing bowl, pour in cake mix, cream cheese, water, oil, eggs and vanilla. Blend ingredients for 1 minute, scrape down the sides and then blend on high for 2 minutes.

Fold in the chocolate shavings.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Each of the 24 liners should be about 3/4 of the way full.

Place cupcake pans in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when the top springs back if you push on it lightly. When done baking, remove from the oven and place the pans on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.

To release the cupcakes from the pan, run a dinner knife around the edges of each cupcake and prop them up from the bottom and grab with your other hand. Place the cupcakes on wire racks to continue cooling for 15 minutes or more.  You can work on the frosting as they cool.

Method for Ganache

Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave. Start with 1 minute on high and stir. If chocolate chips are not completely melted, reheat for another 15 seconds.

Pour the melted chocolate chips into a blender. Add in evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Blend on high for two minutes and then check to make sure the frosting is thick and shiny. If not, blend for another minute.

Pour the frosting into a bowl and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes to allow it to thicken before frosting the cupcakes.

To frost the cupcakes, simply use a tablespoon to scoop frosting onto the tops and smooth over the entire top with the back of the spoon.