Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ganache-Filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Ganache-Dipped Strawberries

First things first, I want to give a shout out to Stephanie at Wasabimon for the inspiration for these cupcakes. Stephanie is a fabulous food blogger with gorgeous photography and tons of great recipes, many gluten-free. I know plenty of people out there have gluten allergies, including my sister, so it's nice to have resources like Wasabimon out there.

No beating about the bush with this post, we're going to get right to it. The title is a mouthful as are the cupcakes. And OH, what a mouthful they are. Here's how to make your own.

The Recipes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
reproduced with permission from Rachel Rappaport, Coconut & Lime
Thanks, Rachel!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut length-wise
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


In a small saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean together until the milk just boils. Remove from heat and let cool for about 1 hour. Then remove the vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the milk. Discard the remaining bean pod. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Alternately add the flour and milk mixture until well combined. Divide batter into about 20 lined or greased cupcake wells. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the middle cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and then ice.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 lb. confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 tbsp. milk
Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla, seeds from vanilla bean and milk until smooth. If necessary add more milk until frosting is spreading/piping consistency.

Ganache (feel free to halve!)
adapted from Alton Brown, Food Network

  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 6 ounces heavy cream
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Put chopped chocolate in heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature before using.

Bring it all together

After the cupcakes and ganache have cooled, fill a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip with the ganache. Push the tip all the way into the cupcake and gently squeeze the bag until the top of the cupcake rises and the ganache starts to push back. It will pop out of the top a bit. No problem. You'll be covering that up with the buttercream. Speaking of...

After filling all of the cakes, clean out the pastry bag and tip and fill with the buttercream. Pipe as you see in the photos, or in your preferred style.

Clean and dry your strawberries. Gently reheat your ganache in the microwave until it's just thin enough to allow for dipping. You don't want it too thin or warm, just just a few seconds should do it.

Take the berries by the tops, dip and swirl in the ganache. Let most of the extra to fall back into the bowl, then gently place the berry on top of the cupcake, pushing part way into the buttercream. The little bit of extra ganache will puddle on top of the frosting.

Pop in the fridge if not eating immediately. Remove from fridge at least 20 minutes prior to serving so that they're not cold.

Trust me. These are as good as they look. The cupcake recipe is so easy and oh-my-goodness delicious. It would be great with just about any frosting/flavor combo you can dream up. The ganache filling and dipped strawberries really put these over the top.


  1. I'd be fine with a vanilla cupcake or a chocolate strawberry but you're giving me both? Yum!!

    Chew on That

  2. Not only are these super elegant looking but talk about an explosion of lovely flavors!!

  3. They may very well be the most beautiful cupcakes that I have ever seen.

  4. Oh, yum. Your cupcakes look gorgeous. I'm envious of your decorating skills.

  5. Thanks for all of the compliments! *blush*
    I loved making these. Oh, yeah - and eating them, too. Hee.

  6. Hi! These cupcakes look fab! Where do you purchase vanilla bean??

  7. Hi! These look fab! Where do you get vanilla bean??

  8. Hi! These look fab! Where do you get vanilla bean??

  9. Parislover32 - I got the beans at ebay, believe it or not! They were crazy cheap. About $18 WITH shipping for at least 40 beans!

  10. I made this recipe using the pre-mixed, gluten-free flour. I would NOT recommend it. I don't know how this recipe would have/should have tasted with regular flour, but I would say it was a failure as a gluten-free cupcake. The cupcakes came out very dense and heavy and left a very weird aftertaste. The people at my office said they were delicious, but I also filled the center with chocolate ganache (which makes everything delicious). So, for those who are trying to go gluten free, this is not the cupcake recipe for you.

  11. Kirsten - Bummer that they didn't translate well as GF, but that's good to know. Thanks for the heads up! I got the idea for this cupcake from and her recipe IS a GF one, so you might want to give that a whirl! :)

  12. Hey there! Me and my friend made these cupcakes today. The icing was to die for, though we had to add a bit more milk to get the right consistency. The only problem we ran into was filling. The filling went in fine, but it didn't seem to be enough. We thought next time we might try two injection sights, so you get ganache throughout?
    The only other comment I would have is that the cake itself tasted almost like a corn muffin?! We followed the recipe exactly...did anyone else find that? It was delicious, but not as much of a vanilla taste as I had expected.
    On another note, we decided to make half the batch with the ganache filling, and another half with a raspberry sauce. For those we used a dollop of ganache and a raspberry to garnish. This combination was AMAZING. But, both were fantastic! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Marie! I like the idea of more filling. I agree that more is better! As far as the cake goes, I hadn't yet found my "go-to" cake recipe, so I'd probably have used it instead. It's the 1-2-3-4 Cake listed in my recipe archive. It would be perfect for these, if you want to give them another go.

      The raspberry sauce sounds incredible. I love a choco-raspberry combo. Awesome idea!!

  13. Alison (Austrralia)June 2, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Hi, I was searching for a decadent cupcake and these came up...

    So I made these beautiful cupcakes yesterday....haven't tasted them yet. Just wondering though, the mixture was particularly dough like (checked and double checked the measurements) it this the way it supposed to look/feel - like bread mixture? The look fab, the taste will happen tonight with my family.

    thanks for a great website, one that I will return to

    1. Alison (Austrralia)June 6, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      well after contemplating for days, late the other night in bed it came to me why my cupcakes didn't work out - I didn't do the math properly - I used a 1/2 cup measurement and put 8 x 1/2 cups of flour in which made 4 cups of flour instead of 2 - what an eejit....just made a fresh batch and they feel and look wonderful....taste test tomorrow.

    2. I'm so sorry I didn't get back with you, but glad you figured it out! I've made plenty of measuring mistakes in my day!! Thanks for letting me know how it went.


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