Any time we have people over, whether it’s for a play date or friends over for lunch or coffee, my kids get super excited. They know that when we have company Mom is going to make dessert.
Last Friday we were celebrating my son’s nameday so it was his turn to pick our
source of calories sweet treat.
“I want chocolate, and I want Smarties, and I want cupcakes!”
And just like that, I set off to work. The concept was a no-brainer. Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting topped with smarties. But what else could I do to make it more exciting and impressive for the kids?
I love filling cupcakes with anything from cream cheese to Nutella. So why not fill them with Smarties?
And fill them with Smarties I did!
The kids loved the surprise and my son later told me this was the best cupcake he’s ever had. And he’s had more than his share of cupcakes!
The color of the candy was so bright and festive against the rich brown of the chocolate cupcake! But they didn’t just look the part, they tasted just as good as they looked!
The basic recipe for the chocolate cupcake is a favorite of mine because it uses real chocolate in the batter, and not just the cocoa powder. Actually, to be fair I combine both the bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder for that extra rich chocolaty flavor. The cocoa powder balances out the creaminess of the melted chocolate.
Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Then add the vanilla.
Did I mention that I love putting yogurt in my desserts? Almost always. If it’s not buttermilk, it’s yogurt, almost by default. It just makes the cake so moist! You may use plain yogurt. I always use Greek because, you know, I’m Greek. Whether you go with plain or Greek is entirely up to you.
Add half of the dry ingredients to your butter, sugar, and egg batter. Mix well. Add half a cup yogurt, mix, and add the remainder of the dry ingredients.
Mix until combined and add the chocolate. Mix until blended by take care not to overmix!
Spoon batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners, about half way. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan before filling and frosting.
To fill the cupcakes I used a melon baller to dig out a small hole in the center. Don’t make it too deep or else you’ll scrape the bottom of the cupcake. You should ideally aim for halfway. Reserve the part you cut out because you’ll be using the top part as a cork to keep the filling intact.
Note! My kid asked for Smarties because he loves Smarties. Ideally, if you’re making the cupcakes well ahead of the party, go for M&Ms baking bits or something similar. That’s because Smarties don’t do well with moisture and their color tends to change very quickly from a beautiful vibrant hue to something that resembles dull gray. And Smarties definitely don’t do well in the fridge either in the cupcake or on the frosting. Thankfully, these cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container frosted overnight at room temperature without any problems!
Frost your cupcakes once they’re cooled, add a few more pieces of candy on top (or sprinkles) and your Rainbow Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes are ready for their grand debut!
Ps. Ever thought about making cupcakes way way way ahead? Make a batch of the basic chocolate cupcakes and freeze them without the filling or frosting. You can even make the frosting ahead and freeze that too! They keep really great in the freezer and all you have to do is pop out as many as needed, thaw, frost, and serve!
Rainbow Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
10gr cocoa powder
85ml boiling water
60gr bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
85gr unsalted butter at room temperature
169gr granulated sugar (about 3/4 cups)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125 gr all-purpose flour (1 cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt
6tbs butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
375gr confectioners’s sugar (about 3 cups)
30gr cocoa powder (3/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare 12 cupcake liners.
In a small saucepan combine the cocoa powder with the boiling water and whisk until combined. Add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine the butter and the sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until each is fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Empty half the bowl into your butter mixture. Beat until combined. Add the yogurt and mix until combined. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add the chocolate and mix just until blended.
Fill cupcake liners half way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack before filling and frosting.
To make frosting– cream butter and vanilla together, then add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated. Slowly add the milk until you get the desired consistency for your frosting.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely using a melon baller to create a small hole just enough to fit 5 or 6 candies in the center of the cupcake. Reserve the cake from the cupcake center, pour in the candy, and reseal the hole with the reserved cake.
Frost the cupcakes and decorate with some more colored candy if desired.