More Great Recipes: Cupcakes

Debbie Gordon's Chocolate Grand Marnier Cupcakes

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Member since 2022
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Serves 24 | Prep Time | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

Delicious cupcakes for any occasion

Ingredients You'll Need

For the cake:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup good cocoa powder (Debbie’s note: I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (Debbie’s note: I used ¾ cup of hot coffee, as I believe 1 cup is too much)

For the ganache:
5 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (Debbie's note: I used Valrhona, Grand Cru Dark Baking Chocolate Caraibe 66%)
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier

For the buttercream:
4 sticks (2 cups) of butter, softened
2 pounds confectioner's sugar, sifted
zest of one large orange (about 1 -2 Tablespoons)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 - 4 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 - 3 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1 drop orange gel dye (optional)


For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well ⅔ full.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer because I am obsessed with symmetry. (Debbie's note: I used a small pumpkin carving detail saw to cut the circles)

For the ganache:
Place chocolate in a large heat safe bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer.
Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes.
Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth and glossy.
Stir in the Grand Marnier.
Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Pipe or spoon the ganache into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.

For the buttercream:
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing until well blended.
Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thick, gradually add in milk until the desired
consistency is reached.
Add a tiny bit of orange gel dye to create a pale orange color.
Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with a chocolate curl or leftover ganache.

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