Darker Than Your Soul Chocolate Cupcakes

Darker Than Your Soul Chocolate Cupcakes- Dark chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate ganache centre, dark chocolate icing, and a dark chocolate covered coffee bean on top.

Mood: For when you just want to curl up in a ball, cry, and shove a ton of chocolate into your face because you’re having a rough time and your soul feels lifeless and dead.
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Ah yes. The cupcake that started it all, the original inspiration for the “Eat My Feelings” line of cupcakes (see explanation here). A super rich dark chocolate cupcake for a depressed, glum, my life sucks kinda mood. This was the first mood inspired cupcake I came up with, and so obviously it had to be one of the first ones I whipped up!

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I was inspired to create this cupcake because, quite frankly, the last few months of my life have kinda sucky. Let’s just say graduating university, breaking up with boyfriend of over a year, being unemployed, and looking for a job for months kind of make for a not so fun time. And in some of my darker moments I could have used a cupcake like this! Don’t worry though, now I’m in a much better place :). Doesn’t mean I can’t make a mean cupcake though!

With dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate icing that is dyed black, a chocolate filled centre, and a chocolate coated coffee bean to give it some umpf, how can you go wrong? I don’t know about you, but when I am down in the dumps, I need an inordinate amount of chocolate to cheer me up, and I think these cupcakes do just the trick! Next time life throws you a curve ball, drown your sorrows in this dark, delectable ball of dark chocolate bliss.


So let’s start at the beginning, shall we? (Note: The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but the pictures are of a half batch. That is why there are only six cupcakes. All ingredient amounts are for a full batch of 12.)

Make the ganache. Take the 1/4 cup of heavy cream and bring it to a boil on the stove. As soon as it starts boiling, pour it over your 3/8 cup of chocolate chips. You can use semi-sweet or dark, whatever your fancy. To be true to the cupcake’s mood, it probably should be dark chocolate, but if you want a bit sweeter filling made with semi-sweet chips then that’s up to you! Wait a minute, then stir until smooth. Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350. For the cupcakes, melt 2 oz. of dark chocolate with 1/2 cup of butter. I find chopping the chocolate up in pieces helps it melt faster- just nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it’s melted. If that scares you, you can also do it over a stove top or a double boiler- just use low heat.

Get out two bowls. In the smaller one, combine 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 t. baking soda, 3/4 t. baking powder, and 1/4 t. salt. Mix well. In the larger bowl combine the 2 egg,s 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 t. vanilla extract (when I did it this time I accidentally added the sugar to the dry ingredients. Oops. Still came out ok.)

Now add it all together- alternate between adding the dry mix and 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with 1/2 T. of vinegar as a substitute), starting and ending with the dry mix.

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Tell me that batter doesn’t look like liquidy chocolate heaven. Yum!

Divide between the 12 lined muffin cups and pop them in the oven for 18 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.

Ideally I would have black cupcake liners to go with the cupcake mood, but alas, my local Zehrs does not in fact carry black cupcake liners. I suppose most people don’t want black, depressing cupcake papers, they’d rather have that pastel crap. All the more reason the world needs my cupcakes! These look pretty cool though.

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Aren’t they pretty? I’m such a sucker for black and white.

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Party in the oven!

Next, take them out and let them cool.

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While they’re cooling, mix up the frosting. Take 6 T. of room temperature butter and whip it up with a mixer until light and fluffy. Then take the 2 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 2/3 cup of cocoa powder and sift it to get rid of lumps. I don’t usually sift my stuff, but today I felt fancy. If you don’t the world will not end.

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This is my “sifting station.” I should have used a bigger bowl. I made quite a mess.

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Look at all that sifted goodness! No lumps here.

Then slowly add the heavy cream, vanilla, and dry mix to the butter, alternating wet and dry. Voila, delicious chocolate icing! Then, to make it black, mix in some food colouring. I started out with a bunch of blue, then added some green and pink to make it turn black.

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Yeaaa it’s definitely dark grey. But we can pretend it’s black.

Well, a really dark grey- it’s hard to make something pitch black. Maybe someday I’ll get my hands on black food colouring. Until then dark grey will do. Use gel food colouring, not liquid, because it’s more concentrated and won’t alter the consistency as much.

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These are the food colourings I use, little colour pots I got in a cake decorating kit. Yes, they are incredibly messy.

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Yes, I am the messiest human alive. Do not make these the day before a job interview unless you want to explain the blue splotches on your hand.

If all you have is liquid, just add it and then add more sugar to make up for the extra liquid until it reaches the right consistency. Hopefully the taste won’t be altered too much.

Once the cupcakes are cool, fill them with ganache using the cone method (if you need help, check out my instructions in the Going Bananas recipe.) Then pipe the black icing on top.

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Almost done! Yes, I do realize that the black icing applied with the round tip looks a bit like a pile of poo, but that’s because life can be shitty. Deeper meanings people.

For a finishing touch, plop a little dark chocolate covered coffee bean on top. And you’re done! Time to indulge 🙂

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So good. Just. So good.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

Cake batter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup regular milk + 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar)


  • 2 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/8 cup (3 oz) dark chocolate

12 dark chocolate coated coffee beans for garnish (optional)

Brief Instructions: 

First make the ganache by boiling the 6 T. heavy cream. When boiled, pour over the 3/8 cup of dark chocolate, let sit for a minute, and then stir. Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350. Melt 1/2 cup of butter with 2 ounces of dark chocolate, mix together. Set aside.

Get out 2 bowls. Mix the dry ingredients in the smaller bowl- 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 t. baking soda, 3/4 t. baking powder, and 1/4 t. salt. In the other bowl, combine 2 eggs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Then mix all together, alternating between adding dry mix and 1/2 cup of buttermilk until all combined. Pour into muffin cups, and bake for 18 minutes/until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the icing- whip up the 6 T. butter. Sift the 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar and 2/3 cocoa powder, then add slowly to the butter, alternating with 6 T heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Once well combined, add some blue, green, and red gel food colouring until you achieve a dark grey/black colour.

Once cupcakes are cool, cut out a cone from the center and fill the hole with ganache. Replace the cone on the cupcake and pipe on icing. Add a coffee bean for garnish. And you’re doneskis!

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.