Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

Cupcakes are such a great idea. After all, they are simply a single portion of cake, which are made to look pretty. And who doesn’t love cake? Me, unfortunately. Ok, that’s a lie, I love cakes, but the commercial or store-bought cupcakes have never floated my boat. The store-bought cakes are usually dry, rubbery or tasteless, and the frosting is tooth-achingly sweet and full of nasty ingredients. Ugh…

These cupcakes are light, moist, tender and delicious. They are topped with a wonderful dark chocolate ganache, which complements the cake perfectly. It truly is the “icing” on the cake!

The trick to light and moist cupcakes is to sift the flour 2-3 times, and to not overwork the batter. A few light flour patches are fine, but no big flour pockets.

In the following recipe I have also included vegan options.


Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

  • 185 g (1 ¼ c) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 85 g (5 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons) unsalted butter* at room temperature
  • 175 g (¾ c and 2 tablespoons) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 large egg* at room temperature, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 170 ml (⅔ c and 2 teaspoons) milk*

For the dark chocolate ganache

  • 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (at least 70 %), broken into chunks
  • 165 ml (5.6 fl. oz.) coconut milk (small can/tin), well shaken
  • 50 g (¼ c) unrefined cane (turbinado) sugar, ground in a food processor until fine
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 small pinch salt

* To veganize these cupcakes, replace:

  • egg with 1 tablespoon ground linseed (flaxseed meal), whisked with 3 tablespoons water until thick
  • butter with a dairy-free fat, such as coconut oil or vegan margarine
  • milk with milk alternative, such as soy/nut


1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Line one (12) muffin tray (pan) with paper cases (liners).

2. To make the cupcakes, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Repeat once or twice, then set aside.

3. In either a stand mixer or using a big bowl and a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the egg gradually, beating well. Stir in the vanilla and milk.

5. Gently fold in half of the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in the remaining flour mixture. Do not over-mix or beat.

6. Divide the batter equally into the tray (pan) and bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cakes.

7. Transfer the whole tray (pan) to a wire rack to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove each cake from the tray (pan) and let cool fully.

8. Meanwhile, make the ganache: melt chocolate in the microwave, about 45-60 seconds. Stir until smooth, then beat in the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Let sit for about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.

9. If your cupcakes have a domed top, carve this off using a serrated knife and spread 1/12th of the ganache onto each cupcake. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

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