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Chocolate Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Filling



The passion fruit filling breaks and compliments the richness of the chocolate. Passion fruit and chocolate is a very well known - and happy - combination of flavors in Brazilian desserts.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vinegar

Ingredients for filling:

  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 oz passion fruit pulp, frozen*

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup whipping cream


Make dough: In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar. Mix it until very well incorporated, scraping the sides of bowl with a spatula with using an electric mixer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup-standard muffin pan with paper cupcake cups. Place dough into cups, filling each ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

If using a convection oven, bake at 300 degrees F until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make filling: In a blender add condensed milk and passion fruit pulp. Blend until incorporated. Set aside.

Make frosting: Add butter to an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and whipping cream. Keep beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Assemblage: Carve a small hole on the center of each cupcake (I used a small knife and a small spoon.) Cut off ¾ of the cake that has been removed and save only the top (see pictures below.) Discard the unused cake or save it to make cake pops. Fill the “hole” with 1 to 2 tablespoons of passion fruit filling and close it with the cake top. Spread icing on top and serve.


After placing the passion fruit filling in the cupcake, close it with the "lid" and top it with the frosting.



*Frozen passion fruit pulp can be found at Latin or international grocery stores. The brand Goya has a great option.

Baking is like math: very precise. I admit that I enjoy way more the results of baking then the process itself. When I thought of the idea of creating a chocolate cupcake with a passion fruit filling I had to find a dough recipe that not only had been tested before but also was very easy, since my patience with exact measurements is kind of short. So my Mom’s friend passed this recipe down to me and the results were great. She has also used it as a layer cake – just adjust baking time accordingly.

I have decided to serve these cupcakes at my 2-years-old birthday party and the kids loved the frosting and the cake; not so much the passion fruit filling! Passion fruit is tart and it is an agent that will break the richness and sweetness of chocolate, even when mixed with sweetened condensed milk. It was kind of funny (and sad) to watch the little ones eating around the filling and leaving that entire delicious mouse on their small plates. I don’t know what I was thinking when I served that to kids, but the adults loved it!

At the same party I served a coconut cupcake filled with “Beijinho” a delicious coconut ball that is traditionally served at birthday parties in Brazil. If you want to try that idea, click here for the filling recipe and use a vanilla cake and vanilla frosting recipe of your choice. Use the same technique described above to assemble the cupcakes.



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