Whiskey Maple Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Whiskey Maple Buttercream Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
Whiskey Maple Buttercream Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

If I only could eat one cupcake for the rest of my life, it would be this one. The combination of the boozy maple frosting with the rich ganache filling of the chocolate cupcake is truly a decadent treat! If you need a chocolate cupcake that will put all other cupcakes to shame, this Whiskey Maple Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes recipe is the one!

The Ganache-Filled Chocolate Cupcake

This chocolate ganache-filled cupcake was adapted from a recipe from Cooks Illustrated from the June 2010 issue titled The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake with Ganache Filling. And the original recipe truly lives up to its name on its own. It has a malt chocolate frosting and is everything you’d expect it to be!

We have been making this particular recipe for several years now, and tweaked it as time went by, finally landing on the chocolate ganache filled cupcake taste and texture that we preferred, which is in our recipe below.

Some of the tweaks we made to the original recipe include swapping out the coffee for espresso powder along with the addition of milk instead of the hot coffee. And an extra egg yolk was added to achieve a more moist and less dry and crumbly cake.

Overall, you are left with an irresistibly decadent and rich chocolate cupcake that is perfect for a variety of frostings, but the Whiskey Maple Buttercream Frosting is so perfect with these chocolate ganache cupcakes.

Tips for the Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Whiskey Maple Buttercream Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
A little drizzle of maple syrup over the Whiskey Maple Buttercream frosting!
  1. Use bread flour
    There are a few things about the original recipe that shouldn’t be messed with, like the bread flour. We’ve made these with all purpose flour when we didn’t have bread flour before. Although, still delicious, you likely will have some issues with the ganache sinking to the bottom. The bread flour is higher in protein and allows for more gluten development, therefore, the result is cake that is a bit more dense. Because the cake is more dense, the ganache filling does not sink to the bottom as easily.
  2. Make sure the ganache is not too cold
    Another thing to make sure you pay attention to is how cold your ganache gets. A colder ganache will sink to the bottom, so follow the instructions closely to only refrigerate your ganache for 20 minutes then remove to the counter at room temperature until ready to use. You want to get the ganache solid enough to scoop but not too cold.
  3. Wait until the cupcakes have completely cooled before frosting:
    The last thing you want is for the frosting to melt away. Remember, it is made of butter! So, don’t get hasty and frost too early. Allow the cupcakes 10-15 minutes to cool in the tray, then remove to a rack and let them cool completely (about an hour) before even thinking about frosting these.

The Whiskey Maple Buttercream Frosting

This frosting is our favorite to make during Fall, but honestly, who doesn’t love maple any time of the year?? This must be my Canadian roots showing!

This buttercream frosting is so good, in fact, we’ve used it in a variety of desserts, including a filling in a Fall macaron with a vanilla cardamom shell (will post the recipe soon), as a topping for cinnamon rolls, as well as the infamous Whiskey Maple Filled Brioche Donuts. Needless to say, make extra frosting and put it in and on everything!

Whiskey Maple Buttercream Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
We know you will love these Whiskey Maple Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes as much as we do!


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Whiskey Maple Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.

If you loved this recipe, check out some of our other popular desserts for Fall below:

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Whiskey Maple Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

4 from 14 votes
Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • Ganache Filling
  • 2 ounces 2  bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (see note)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 heavy cream

  • 1 tbsp 1 confectioners’ sugar

  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3 ounces 3 bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (see note)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa

  • 2 tsp 2 espresso powder

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 milk

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 baking soda

  • 6 tbsp 6 vegetable oil

  • 2 tsp 2 white vinegar

  • 2 2 large eggs

  • 1 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract

  • Frosting
  • 8 oz 8 unsalted butter, room temp

  • 1 cup 1 powdered sugar

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp 2 Whiskey

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 salt


  • Ganache Filling
  • Add heavy cream, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, and confectioner’s sugar to a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave at 1/2 power in 30 second intervals, stirring between. Continue until chocolate has just melted and whisk until fully melted and smooth. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes ONLY, then remove to the counter. If the ganache is too cold, this may cause your cupcakes to sink and form holes in the center.
  • Cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a standard cupcake or muffin tin, place liners and set aside
  • Combine finely chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and espresso powder in a large bowl. Heat milk in a saucepan until just warm (alternatively, you can microwave the milk at 1/2 power in 30 second intervals until warm), then pour milk over the top of the chocolate mixture and let it sit for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth and place in the fridge to cool and prepare your remaining ingredients.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  • Remove chocolate espresso mixture from the fridge and add your oil, vinegar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Whisk to fully combine. Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time, and whisk to incorporate completely.
  • Pour your batter into your cupcake liners. Add about 1 tsp of the ganache to the center of each cup on top of the batter. The ganache will sink into the batter as the cupcakes bake.
  • Bake cupcakes for 16-18 minutes on the center rack. You want to bake these until just firm. Once done, remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10-15 minutes in the tray before removing the cupcakes, then allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them. As the cupcakes cool, the dome on top will flatten out, this is normal.
  • Frosting
  • In a stand mixer, add butter and mix on high until fluffy.
  • Slowly add confectioners sugar and mix until combined.
  • Slowly drizzle syrup in a little at a time and allow it to incorporate completely before adding more. Next add the whiskey and continue to mix to incorporate.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and desired consistency. Add more confectioners sugar for a thicker consistency as needed.
  • Add filling to a piping bag and evenly pipe onto cupcakes. Drizzle with extra maple syrup if desired.


  • If your ganache was too cold and your cupcakes end up with a hole in the middle, you can always add additional ganache to the hole, then the frosting can cover the hole.

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