Rating: 4.73 stars
73 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 59
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

These cupcakes are a little labor-intensive, but the end product is definitely worth the effort! Even though they don't have a liqueur incorporated with the cake, I call them zuccotto cupcakes because of the whipped cream filling and ganache topping. I made them for my own wedding, and have had to give out the recipe as well as make them for others' special events many times since!

Recipe Summary

prep:
45 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
2 hrs
total:
3 hrs
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 dozen cupcakes
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For Cupcakes:
For Filling:
For Ganache:
For Frosting:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

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  • Combine the cake mix, oil, egg whites, and water in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the chopped bittersweet chocolate and scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them two-thirds full.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

  • Beat 1 cup cold whipping cream on medium-high speed until the cream has thickened, about 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir in the frozen raspberries, toffee bits, and chopped toasted hazelnuts.

  • Remove the centers of the cupcakes using an apple corer or paring knife, cutting out the middles in a funnel shape by holding the knife at a 45-degree angle. Spoon or pipe the filling into the cupcakes. Refrigerate the cupcakes while you prepare the ganache.

  • Place the semisweet chocolate pieces in a heat-safe bowl. Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate; cover the bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream until well combined; allow the ganache to cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency, about 1 hour. Spread a spoonful of ganache evenly over each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes while you prepare the frosting.

  • Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl by heating for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Allow the white chocolate to cool until almost room temperature but still fluid. Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Blend in the melted white chocolate, vanilla extract, and food coloring (if using). Spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Cook's Notes

If toasted hazelnuts aren't available at your local grocery or health food store, simply roast raw hazelnuts in a 350 degree F oven (175 degrees C) until the skins crack, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove skins by rubbing vigorously in a clean kitchen towel.

You can use fresh raspberries instead of frozen. If you're using frozen raspberries, don't thaw them first: thawed raspberries will fall apart and weep into the whipped cream mixture. You may also use all bittersweet or semisweet chocolate instead of both types.

Nutrition Facts

487 calories; protein 5.3g; carbohydrates 37.9g; fat 36.2g; cholesterol 66.3mg; sodium 241.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (61)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
03/15/2011
These were amazing! I used a regular home-made muffin dough (for 12 muffins: 2.5 cups flour 1.5 cups white sugar 5 eggs 3/4 cups 2 tblsp margerine 2 tblsp vanilla sugar 2 tblsp baking powder) melted the chocholate and added some cocoa powder just to make the color more even. As I didn't have any toffee bits at hand and don't like nuts I simply used the triple amount of raspberries. Oh yeah and I replaced the butter in the frosting by sour cream just to soothe my conscience about all the fatty calories:) Chocolaty heaven! Read More
(44)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/05/2014
Well I must say I was disappointed. I also follow a recipe exactly the first time before I start tweaking. For some reason I didn't think the flavors came together well and seemed to lack a focal point. Overall a good recipe but there was no punch--maybe because there were so many flavors nothing seemed to stand out. All the fine chopping for the bittersweet chocolate in the cupcakes was totally lost in any flavor--looked pretty but you couldn't taste the chocolate bits. Filling was okay would add a lot more of the toffee bits to step it up a notch. The ganache was the easiest I ever made but wasn't a standout. And last the frosting...didn't do it for me either. It seems each section (the cupcake filling ganache and frosting) were good on their own it just didn't come together well. Although there were a ton of flavors the cupcake seemed boring. Was not worth the cost of ingredients or time. Was fun to make but will keep searching for an amazing cupcake. Read More
(3)
73 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 59
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
03/15/2011
These were amazing! I used a regular home-made muffin dough (for 12 muffins: 2.5 cups flour 1.5 cups white sugar 5 eggs 3/4 cups 2 tblsp margerine 2 tblsp vanilla sugar 2 tblsp baking powder) melted the chocholate and added some cocoa powder just to make the color more even. As I didn't have any toffee bits at hand and don't like nuts I simply used the triple amount of raspberries. Oh yeah and I replaced the butter in the frosting by sour cream just to soothe my conscience about all the fatty calories:) Chocolaty heaven! Read More
(44)
Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2011
I was looking for a cupcake recipe that would be challenging, fun to do and unique. I found it! My boyfriend and his family absolutely loved them. And this was on the heels of them receiving a batch of professional cupcakes the week prior for a birthday. I highly recommend giving this one a shot. For you creative types, you will discover the versatility of this recipe and all kinds of ways you can make them your own by switching up ingredients. Have fun with this and be ready to wow your consumers! Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2011
I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it. I am new at cooking and so for the exception of putting the filling in the middle this was pretty easy. The filling thing I need to practice. Read More
(25)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2011
My wife and I made these cupcakes and it was our very first time making any cupcakes. Dont let it scare you away. ITS WORTH IT!! We followed the recipe except we didnt mix the raspberries in with the filling instead we filled the hole about a 1/3 of the way with some of the filling put a raspberry inside and then topped it off with more filling. I love white chocolate she loves raspberries. It coudlnt have been any better for the two of us. They where so good i actually helped clean the dishes. Thats a first!:-) Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
05/01/2012
These were delicious. It does take a little bit of time but nothing as intimidating as it sounds. We used a boxed chocolate cake mix with pudding so we didn't add the 6 oz. of chopped chocolate. We didn't use toffee bits or hazelnuts so we added a bit more powdered sugar to the filling. We used a melon baller to core out the middle. We used a reviewer's suggestion of the food processor to mix the ganache - we did so while the cupcakes were baking & cooling so it was perfect texture by the time we filled the middle. Lastly splurge a little on piping bags & tips (our grovery store sold 4 tips & 20 bags in a set for 3.99) - it makes the process much faster. PS - we used the "left overs" (like the middle of the cupcakes) to make a torte (layer chunks of cupcakes with raspberry cream - alternate & top off with ganache and/or frosting) Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
08/29/2011
Every person who tried these fell over him/herself to tell me how amazing they were. One friend requested them for her birthday another said I should open a bakery another said they were the best thing she had ever tasted in her life. Needless to say I think these were a win. For compliments like that it was totally worth the 3 hours they took to make! Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/23/2011
These cupcakes are amazing. I followed the recipe exactly (well almost exactly - I didn't use the hazelnuts because I forgot to put them on the grocery list)..I LOVE cupcakes and these have shot to the top of my cupcake list! Make them - you will NOT be disappointed! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
07/17/2011
This recipe is not a quick one, but it's worth it. I made it three ways - cupcakes, mini cupcakes and I baked a 9" round that I split and filled with the whipped cream. I wouldn't recommend doing the cake unless you slice it before you chill the frosting too much. Both layers of frosting get very firm when chilled, which will make them really easy to transport without a lot of damage. The minis came out nicely, and they're rich enough that it's a good bite. I'd probably just do those next time. For the minis though, I'd recommend slicing up fresh raspberries so that it's easier to pipe the cream into them. Makes a really impressive little dessert - thank you! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
08/27/2011
I haven't even finished them yet and I already love them... I've just tried the filling with a chunk of a cupcake that I cute out. Soooo good! Followed the recipe exactly:) Read More
(11)
Rating: 3 stars
02/05/2014
Well I must say I was disappointed. I also follow a recipe exactly the first time before I start tweaking. For some reason I didn't think the flavors came together well and seemed to lack a focal point. Overall a good recipe but there was no punch--maybe because there were so many flavors nothing seemed to stand out. All the fine chopping for the bittersweet chocolate in the cupcakes was totally lost in any flavor--looked pretty but you couldn't taste the chocolate bits. Filling was okay would add a lot more of the toffee bits to step it up a notch. The ganache was the easiest I ever made but wasn't a standout. And last the frosting...didn't do it for me either. It seems each section (the cupcake filling ganache and frosting) were good on their own it just didn't come together well. Although there were a ton of flavors the cupcake seemed boring. Was not worth the cost of ingredients or time. Was fun to make but will keep searching for an amazing cupcake. Read More
(3)