These Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes start with a moist chocolate cupcake with a rich chocolate ganache filling and topped with a salted caramel buttercream and crushed pecans. It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet in a cupcake.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups(285g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup(118 ml) light sour cream
- 2 cups(280g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (55 g) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder (optional)
- 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
- 1 ¼ cup (355 ml) brewed coffee
For the ganache filling:
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) (177ml) heavy whipping cream
For the frosting:
- ¾ cup (172g) Danish Creamery Sea Salt Butter, cold
- ¾ cup (172g) Danish Creamery Unsalted butter, cold
- 5 ½ cups (716g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (59ml) salted caramel sauce
- 1–2 tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy whipping cream
- Pecans for garnish
- Caramel sauce for garnish
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color.
- Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then add half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
- Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining coffee and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.
- For the ganache: Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 60-90 seconds.
- Allow it to sit for about 1 minute before stirring and then stir until it’s completely smooth.
- To fill the cupcakes with the ganache, remove the centers using a cupcake corer, a melon baller or a knife. Fill each one with about 2 teaspoons of ganache. Place a piece of the cupcake you removed back on top of the ganache.
- For the frosting: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
- Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and the caramel sauce and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar along with the heavy cream. Beat on low until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Use a large open star tip to frost these cupcakes.
- Garnish with a caramel drizzled, crushed and whole pecans.