Spiced and spiked! These sweet little chocolate cupcakes are made with toasty spices and red wine, and then topped with rich chocolate orange ganache frosting. It's a crazy delicious flavor combination you've got to try.
I'm not sure if I can really call these cupcakes "mulled," because technically, there's no actual mulling, assuming mulling is the whole process where wine and spices are simmered together, which I'm not actually sure about.
Now that we've established what I don't quite know about my own recipe, let's talk about what I do know! These cupcakes have wine and spices, but no simmering, but that's a good thing because it makes bit easier. They've also got orange and chocolate. Lots of flavors going on, and while you might initially think it sounds like a bit much, consider how well any two of the flavors here go together. Chocolate + orange = yum. Red wine + spices = delish. You can figure the rest out, but basically we've got four predominant flavors, all of which are awesome and work well together. It's a flavor parallelogram.
And yes, it all worked out beautifully and these little cupcakes were just as tasty in practice as they are in theory.
They were so good. I did a dance. My husband shouted happy expletives that I won't quote on a family friendly blog. "Exquisite!" I'm okay with quoting that part.
Whatever you do, don't give these to trick-or-treaters. I don't think parents will appreciate the whole wine thing, even if it cooks off. Make these for yourself, or just save the recipe for the holidays. Maybe it's a bit early for that, but I wanted to post this before the end of the month, as I'm entering this recipe in The Great Denby Cake Off of 2015 and only have a couple of days left! Wish me luck!
Mulled Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Chocolate Ganache Frosting
For the Mulled Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. orange zest
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup red wine
- ⅓ cup canola oil, or your favorite neutral flavored baking oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Orange Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 2 to 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup coconut cream*
- 3 tbsp. orange juice
- 1 tsp. orange zest
Make the Mulled Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9 cups of a muffin tin with papers.
In small bowl, whisk flax seeds and water together. Allow to sit while you prepare your dry ingredients.
In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange zest and salt. Add flax mixture, red wine, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, for 2 minutes. Divide mixture among muffin cups.
Bake until tops spring back when touched lightly with finger, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
Make the Orange Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer, starting with 2 cups of powdered sugar and adding up to an additional ½ cup as needed, until thick and creamy.
Frost the Cupcakes
Top cupcakes with orange chocolate ganache frosting when they're completely cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
*To get coconut cream, chill a can of coconut milk overnight. The cream (white solids) will separate out from the coconut water. Straight coconut cream is available at Trader Joe's. Coconut cream is not to be confused with cream of coconut, which is a sweetened product used for cocktails.