Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grand Marnier Cupcakes

My mom's birthday was on Thursday.  We had a huge power outage all over Southern California that day so she had a candlelit birthday party.  She was having another joint birthday party on Saturday night so I thought i would bring her some cupcakes.  It was also my aunts birthday a few weeks ago too and she has been bugging me to make her a cake.  So i figured i would let me mom choose what type of cupcakes she wanted.  She is by far my harshest critic so if she likes something then you know it is good.   I showed up to her house with only 12 cupcakes and realized there was about 40 people at her house.  Needless to say people where fighting over these cupcakes.  My mom said they were my best cupcakes yet, so that is saying a lot.  The cupcake is a perfect moist chocolate cake, then they were filled with dark chocolate ganache with Grand Marnier, and the orange buttercream on top was amazing.   This is a rich and dreamy cupcake on every level... the end!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Grand Marnier Cupcakes - Adapted from Three Many Cooks
Yield: 24 Cupcakes or about 75 Mini Cupcakes
1 3/4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cups Cocoa Powder, best quality possible
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk, shaken
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs, at room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Cup Freshly Brewed Hot Coffee

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Batter will be very liquidity.
  3. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  4. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake.  I use an apple corer.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
12 ounces or 1 1/2 Cups Dark Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier

  1. Place chocolate in a large heat safe bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes. 
  3. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth and glossy. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  4. Pipe or spoon the ganache into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.

Orange Buttercream
4 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Pounds Powdered sugar, sifted
Zest of One Large Orange
Pinch of Fine Grain Sea Salt
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
1-3 Tablespoons Milk

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
  2. Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thick, gradually add in milk until the desired consistency is reached. 
  3. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with leftover ganache if you want.
These cupcakes are best served the day they are made; however, they will keep covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature for 45-60 minutes before serving.


  1. The cake part looks incredible intense and moist...and then the topping looks so light that I could dive in!!! YUM!

  2. hope your mom had a great birthday I know these should have made her day what a wonderful treat come see me at

  3. Those cupcakes look amazing! They are loaded with the works!

  4. I bet those cupcakes really made your mother smile.

  5. Yummy! Thanks for linking your cupcakes up at Muffin Monday!

  6. These look amazing! I kind of became addicted to making cupcakes, but took a little break because of the summer heat. Now that the weather is cooler, these might be just the cupcakes to start me up again!