Today’s Dalmatian Cupcakes brought back a childhood memory … When I was three, my dad brought home a dog from the pound. A large male Dalmatian named King. When I ran up to give him a big hug, not understanding that you don’t approach a strange dog quickly, he didn’t react well.
Before I knew it my dad had snatched me up and set me on top of a tall chest of drawers. The dog was jumping up and barking beneath my feet. I thought it was funny and was kicking my legs – I liked being up so high. My dad took King back to the pound where I’m sure he found a better family for him without little children.
We had dogs my entire life and I adore them. I still stop when I see dogs on the street to get my “puppy fix” for a few minutes but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized why Dalmatians weren’t my favorites. I thought they were pretty but wasn’t enamored. Then one day I put the memory together with my feelings and had my answer.
So these cupcakes are my favorite kind of Dalmatian, LOL. Every bite is packed with mini chocolate chips giving us chocolate in every bite. They are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting and the ganache drizzle adds a fun pop.
I bumped up the amount of vanilla in the cupcakes to be sure it balances against the chocolate chips. Since it is the only flavoring in the batter, use more than you are used to. And if you use vanilla paste you will get beautiful little vanilla dots throughout that burst with flavor.
If you want plain vanilla cupcakes – maybe served with a chocolate frosting – just leave out the chocolate chips. This batter is flavorful enough to easily stand on its own!
I hope you love these fun Dalmatian Cupcakes. They make a statement at any party! Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Be sure you use mini chocolate chips so they are evenly distributed throughout the batter and you get a little bit in every bite.
Using a gluten-free flour blend is a simple swap for regular cake flour. Because of the higher starch content in GF blends, there is no need to convert it to a cake flour substitute. Just add a touch of xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder to help avoid crumbling and to keep them fresher a little longer.
- 2 cups (240 g) cake flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum or 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder, only if you are using a gluten-free flour blend
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or pure extract
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1-1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or pure extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream or as needed
- 1/4 lb (114 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 18 to 20 muffin cups with paper wrappers.
- Prepare the Cupcakes: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients, mix in, then add the milk, again beating in. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix just until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the muffin pans for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Slowly add and beat in the sugar until fully incorporated. Add more sugar if needed to get a good piping consistency.
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe the frosting onto each cooled cupcake. Set aside to firm up.
- Make the Ganache: Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes to soften. Whisk together until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool a bit.
- Pour into a piping bag or resealable plastic bag. Press into the tip or one corner and twist the open end closed. Turn it upright and snip off a small piece off the point with scissors.
- Drizzle the ganache over the tops of the cupcakes in a zig-zag pattern. Set the cupcakes aside to let the ganache firm up before serving.
- Yield: 18 to 20 cupcakes
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