This recipe contains dairy and eggs, so make substitutions if you have food sensitivities. If you make the chocolate ganache frosting, these cupcakes are heavenly! They’re also good without frosting – more like a muffin.
24 cupcakes or 1 double layer 8” round cake
Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. In the bowl of the stand mixer, start beating the butter until it is creamy. Add the cake mix, the applesauce, the milk, the lemon juice, and the eggs. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides when necessary. Raise the speed to low-medium and let it run for another moment. Add the hot water and the vanilla extract. Run the mixer for one more minute, scraping down the sides.
Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the cupcakes. Allow them to cool in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and let them sit for another 20 minutes before eating.
For the frosting, combine the cream, coffee grounds, and vanilla extract in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Take it off the heat as soon as it boils. Allow it to steep for half an hour. Strain. Break the chocolate into pieces and put into a bowl. Be certain not to get a single drop of water in the bowl with the chocolate or else the ganache will be lumpy, not silky. Bring the cream back to a boil. Pour over the chocolate pieces. This will melt the chocolate. Stir until it is smooth. Lavish the cupcake as fully as you wish with the ganache. Oh darn, you'll have some ganache left over. You'll have to figure out something to do with that.
Adapted from a recipe by Shauna James Ahern.
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