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Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

November 6, 2013

Are you sick of pumpkin everything yet? Well, have I got the recipe for you!

This recipe has been in the works for a while, but I wanted to get it just right before I shared it with you.

Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Ginger, orange and dark chocolate is not a combination I would have come up with on my own. I like those things in pairs – ginger + chocolate, orange + chocolate – but all mixed together? Never would have occurred to me. Then I was introduced to Divine’s 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar and everything changed. The flavors in that bar are so perfect I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. In fact, I might be a little obsessed. I even put the Ginger & Orange bar in my pumpkin bread, for Pete’s sake. (Who’s Pete? I don’t know, but I’m certain he would love the chocolate bar and this recipe.)

My first attempt at ginger cupcakes was a little meh. The ginger flavor was very pronounced, but by the second or third bite it was maybe a little TOO burny. In the words of my husband / taste tester, “Whoa.” They were also a little too sweet and a little too flat. Fortunately it just took a few tweaks to fix that right up. I used coconut oil to keep them moist, but kept some butter for flavor. The orange zest is subtle, but a sweet background note to the spicy ginger. The cupcakes have a pleasing soft texture without being crumbly, too. I’m very happy with how the final cupcakes turned out!

Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

But wait. We need to get serious a minute about this frosting, though. Oh. Em. Gee.

It’s thick and smooth and super chocolate-y – like a ganache, but not quite as fussy or firm. The texture reminded me of the stuff you buy in jars at the grocery store, but the flavor was so much better. Best of all, it stays pretty soft at room temp. The outside will harden a bit so that it’s not a gooey, sticky mess, but when you bite into the cupcake the frosting will still give easily without crushing the cake. I was afraid such an intensely chocolate frosting would overwhelm the ginger cupcakes, but I found it was the perfect balance between creamy frosting and spicy sweet cupcakes.

These Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting will definitely cure your post-October Pumpkin Overload Blues!

Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Full Disclosure: Divine Chocolate generously provided me with the chocolate used in this recipe, but in no way influenced the recipe or anything I said about them. All opinions are my own. I am legitimately a BIG fan of their delicious chocolate and their fair-trade/farmer-owned business.

Triple Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Coconut oil is a solid fat sold in jars, like crisco. You can find it in my health food stores. I used refined coconut oil in this recipe because it’s flavor is very neutral with no coconut taste. Measure the coconut oil solid for this recipe – no need to melt it. If you can’t find coconut oil, an equal amount of butter should be a fine substitute.


1/2 cup milk
1/2 to 3/4 ounce peeled, fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature (solid)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
zest of 1 large orange
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Tablespoon orange juice

1 batch of Chocolate Fudge Frosting (below)
candied ginger, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine chopped fresh ginger and milk in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, and heat on High for 30 seconds in microwave, or until warm. (Do not to boil!) Set aside to steep for 10 minutes. Pour milk through a fine mesh sieve, pushing on ginger pieces to extract maximum ginger flavor.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Stir in chopped candied ginger.

With an electric mixer, beat together coconut oil, butter, sugar, and zest until light and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla, and orange juice. With the mixer on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and steeped milk until all combined.

Divide batter evenly in prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes, or until cake springs back and toothpick comes out clean (edges may brown slightly).

Cool completely on a wire wrack. When cool, frost with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Store covered at room temperature.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Adapted from Bon Apetit
Frosts 12 cupcakes

I’m not kidding when I say you need to sift the powdered sugar. If you remain stubborn and decide not to (like me), your frosting will be lumpy & grainy. If you immediately regret that decision and want smoother frosting (like me), don’t toss it. A quick whir in the blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender (what I used) should do the trick. Blend for a few seconds, then stir thoroughly. Repeat until smooth, but don’t overblend or your frosting may break. If it does, add a splash of cold heavy cream and stir thoroughly, repeating until it’s smooth again.

The original recipe says this should take an hour or more to cool and thicken, but mine did not take more than 15 minutes or so. Be sure to plan ahead, just in case.


6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons milk or cream
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3.5 ounces bittersweet (85%) dark chocolate, chopped (1 whole bar)
1.5 ounces bittersweet (70%) dark chocolate, chopped (about 9-10 squares of a bar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, *sifted*
orange zest (optional)


Heat butter, sugar, cream, milk and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, until it simmers. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate to pan and whisk briskly until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in vanilla and powdered sugar. Cool until thick enough to spread.

  1. November 6, 2013 9:46 pm

    Yum! Is the ginger very spicy/hot?

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      November 6, 2013 9:52 pm

      You can definitely taste it and the candied ginger has a little bite to it, but it’s not overwhelming. Or as my husband put it, “Not enough to scare anyone away, but enough to let them know it’s there” :)

  2. November 6, 2013 11:24 pm


  3. November 6, 2013 11:42 pm

    Ooh these sound good!!

  4. November 7, 2013 1:48 am

    Sound yummy! Nice photography.

  5. November 7, 2013 3:41 am

    I love that combination… and it looks so delicious

  6. huntfortheverybest permalink
    November 7, 2013 8:15 pm

    this is very creative! it sounds delish!

  7. gypsybrat permalink
    November 8, 2013 6:21 am

    Looks totally del !! will try this soon.. :)

  8. November 8, 2013 8:29 am

    That icing looks so tempting… oh my.

  9. November 11, 2013 9:59 am

    I love love love ginger, but don’t care for candied ginger which is usually what is called for when baking. So I love that this has fresh ginger in the batter. Baking recipes are hard to come by with fresh so I will be trying this one for sure!

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      November 11, 2013 10:02 am

      In your case, you can try altering the recipe by omitting the candied ginger and stirring the milk-steeped fresh ginger into the cupcake batter. It will be spicy, but it sounds like that’s what you like! :)

  10. November 13, 2013 8:41 am

    Ooooh these look great! Going to make some for my Dad I think…Ginger and chocolate is his fave combination!

  11. November 13, 2013 11:38 am

    Looks delicioussss

  12. November 13, 2013 6:25 pm

    These sound and look delicious! I love orange and chocolate together so I’m sure the ginger makes it even better!

  13. November 17, 2013 9:42 pm

    Yum! I NEED to try these!!

  14. memo2munch permalink
    November 19, 2013 5:16 pm

    First off, your header image is gorgeous! Also this flavor combo sounds heavenly and your frosting is a kind I would actually eat;) I’ve always been a fan of chocolate frosting–not so much the just plain sugary stuff. Nice adding in the oil for moisture but keeping some butter for flavor, love that!

  15. November 27, 2013 4:53 am

    Yummy! Just discovered your blog, and will now be happily following…. It’s beautiful!

  16. January 14, 2014 1:44 am

    I just discovered your blog and im so happy about it! This looks SOOO yummy! Cant wait to try it out :)
    Love the photography too!

    I too write on food! Infact on travel, fashion, films as well :) check it out! xx

  17. January 17, 2014 9:23 am

    Yum!!!! Need to try this out very very soon!
    I have a food blog as well. Follows welcome :)

  18. hoytapeo permalink
    February 21, 2014 4:11 am

    Congratulations for your blog.

    I am reading you from Spain :)

  19. June 26, 2014 9:07 am

    These sound yummy! xx

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