When I asked my brother what I could make for his birthday cake, he said “anything chocolate”.  Thanks to Pinterest, I came across this recipe – and happened to have leftover buttermilk at home from my Easter scones.  The recipe was for a huge layer cake, so I cut it in thirds and substituted applesauce for the majority of the oil. 

Before we talk about the cupcakes, it’s time for the weekly WIAW party! 

Breakfast, part 1, 6:15 am: Half of a cherry almond scone

Breakfast, part 2, 8:30 am: Tall dark roast with sugar free vanilla & soy, and Passionfruit Chobani <3

Lunch, 12:14 pm: Leftovers from my fajitas, turned in to a salad – nice and filling!


Snacks: Popcorners with spinach dip, and HALF PRICE EASTER CANDY!

Whopper Eggs are only available once a year, and at less than $2 a bag, I had to stock up.  I don’t know how the cookies & cream Hershey’s eggs got there, but I’m glad they did! ;) Oh, and toothpaste for good measure.

Dinner, 7:30 pm: Photos can tell the story here (just a hint – I didn’t eat any of the filet ;) ) Tablescape courtesy of mom & Adam, dinner courtesy of Dad.

There was birthday cake, leftover Easter carrot cake, and my cupcakes.

Birthday Worthy Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes With Ganache

by Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 – 20 minutes

Keywords: dessert chocolate


Ingredients (11 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder with a whisk until well combined.

3. Add applesauce, oil, buttermilk, and egg. Mix until the batter is smooth. Add hot coffee in a thin stream, pouring down the side of the bowl. Stir in vanilla.

4. Using a 1/3 cup scoop, divide batter in to cupcake liners, filling 3/4 of the way full (the batter doesn’t puff up too much). I only got 11 cupcakes, but this may very depending on the size of your muffin tin.

5. Bake 18-22 minutes, until tops are no longer wet and spring back lightly when touched (they will have a shiny appearance).

6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely before topping with ganache.

For the Ganache

1. You can use a double boiler, but I simply microwaved the cream and chocolate chips for 35 seconds, let sit for 30 seconds, and then stirred until smooth.

2. Let ganache cool for 10 minutes.

3. Spread 2 tsp of ganache on each cupcake in an even layer. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then add a second layer if desired.

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You have to be a fan of rich, dark chocolate to appreciate these.  If you want a sweeter frosting, skip the ganache all together or use milk chocolate.  There is a lot of sugar in the recipe, but the cake is hardly sweet at all thanks to do the dark cocoa powder.  If you want to really go over the top, you could add some chocolate chips to the batter before baking.
I had extra ganache after frosting them twice, so I made a few other treats. 
JR got some amazing gifts, including a travel voucher from our uncle and ton of CMU apparrel.  We couldn’t miss out either, but Bella seems mad that they didn’t make a dog t-shirt.
I don’t know why we look totally smushed in the photo, but you get the idea. :)
One more look at the chocolatey goodnesss…
I’d say the birthday was a success.

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