Plain cupcakes are sweet and innocent, but filled cupcakes are down-right sinful.
They’re decadent, indulgent, and just a bit naughty. But it’s the kind of naughty you like to have a taste of every now and then. No matter who you are, doing something bad feels good sometimes. These cupcakes will give you that rebellious thrill, followed up by a pleasureful sugar rush.
Even the sweetest cupcakes have a taste of sin.
Allow me to introduce you to these naughty yet nice Dulce de Leche-Filled Cupcakes. They look innocent enough, but when you bite in, you’ll find they’re hiding a delicious little secret: smooth, creamy dulce de leche tucked away inside like liquid gold waiting to be uncovered. Everyone loves surprises, and a filled cupcake is no exception. There’s nothing quite as elating as tearing into a cupcake to find it’s filled with a sweet surprise.
It’s like Christmas morning!
My favorite moist and tender chocolate cake recipe is the perfect cradle for the velvety dulce de leche. I’ve tried many chocolate cake recipes in my years, and this is by far the best I’ve had. I’ve never seen such a perfect texture, or such a beautiful crumb. And the flavor is so delicious, intensely chocolatey with just the right amount of sweetness. You will not find anything better.
We’ve got to make these cupcakes one step more sinful, and the best way to do that is with a fluffy mountain of frosting. I’ve got not one, but two options for you today, both of which are incredible. The first is my favorite Fudge Frosting: rich, decadent, and oh-so fudgy. If you’re a chocolate lover, this is the stuff for you. Secondly, I have a fluffy Dulce de Leche Frosting which compliments the filling. It’s sweet and creamy, so divine I could eat it with a spoon (and I did).
Both frostings are pure, unadulterated bliss. Choose whichever you like, or make both. The crowd favorite at the office was the dulce de leche, but I found both to be delectable paired with the cupcakes.
My boss declared these “the best cupcakes ever.” If that doesn’t entice you to try them, I don’t know what will. Don’t fear the filling. Doing so is super easy. Just check out my quick how-to video if you don’t believe me. You’ve got no excuse not to partake in these indulgent little devils. Go ahead, be bad for a little.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Check out my video to see how easy it is to stuff a cupcake.
- Think of all the filling possibilities: chocolate mousse, whipped cream, peanut butter, raspberry jam, the list goes on and on!
- To make the frosting pretty, pipe it on using a ziplock bag. You can check out my French Toast Cupcakes video to see how to make a ziplock piping bag.
- The cupcakes are less messy to carve after refrigeration.
- I cut the original recipe in half and got about 2 dozen cupcakes. Feel free to double it if you need a lot.
Dulce de Leche-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate cake recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 1 cups water
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup regular cocoa powder
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 16-oz. jar of dulce de leche (or make your own)
- 1 batch Dulce de Leche Frosting, recipe follows
- 1 batch Fudge Frosting, recipe follows
- Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill two cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter, water, and oil until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cocoa powders, and flour. Whisk in the butter mixture until completely smooth. Then whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the buttermilk. Finally, whisk in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
- Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of crumb. Let cupcakes cool in tins for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make your frosting of choice (see recipes below).
- To fill the cupcakes: Angle a thin serrated knife and carve a cone-shaped piece from the center of each completely cooled cupcake, making sure not to cut through to the bottom and leaving a 1/2-inch radius around the sides. Your cut-out should be circular at the top and narrow at the bottom like a cone. As long as you tilt the knife while carving the circle of out the top, you’ll get your cone. You can dig out more with a spoon if you need, but do not scrape away the bottom or edges.
- Fill the hole with a spoonful of ducle de leche. Cut off the narrow tip of the cone and place it back on top of the hole. Frost each cupcake once filled. You may do so with a knife or pastry bag. To make a ziplock pastry bag: Fill bag with frosting & work the frosting to the bottom of one corner. Twist off the top like you’re cutting off its circulation and cut off the corner of the bag, making the hole bigger or smaller based on how thick you want the piping to be. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Store in air-tight containers. If it is warm, store in the fridge and let come to room temperature before eating.
Adapted from Epicurious
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup half and half or cream
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Combine butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and the half and half in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers. Remove from heat. Add both chocolates; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture into large bowl. Sift in powdered sugar; whisk to blend. Press plastic onto surface of frosting. Chill just until firm enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Don’t over chill, or you won’t be able to spread it!
Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Food Network
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche (you should have enough left from the 16-oz. jar to fill the cupcakes)
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, cream butter until fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time, mixing on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla, dulce de leche, and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream or powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency.