“Is it a boy or a girl?”

A couple weeks ago, a friend approached me about making some cupcakes for her. She’s expecting her second child early next year and Tuesday afternoon she had an ultrasound to hopefully find out what she was having. She asked if I could make pink or blue-filled cupcakes, if she found out for sure. As it meant that I’d get to find out before anyone else and surprise the rest of our department, I agreed. That, and I didn’t require as much notice as one of the other bakeries in town.

She decided she wanted Halloween cupcakes, to sort of throw everyone off. As long as the cake part itself was chocolate, she was fine with that. The frosting on top had to be orange, to cover up what would be inside.

And there had to be sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything more fun.

To make the filling, I just scooped out some of the cupcake, using a grapefruit spoon of all things, then filled it with the correctly-colored frosting. I didn’t replace the cupcake “divet” because I was feeling lazy. That, and I figured the top frosting would hide the ugliness. It was time-consuming, but not as hard as I was expecting.

Yield: 24-28

Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C canola or extra-light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
  • 1 1/4 C boiling water
  • 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 batch of buttercream frosting


Combine the instant coffee with the boiling water, and let cool for 10 minutes or to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to aerate.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee, in three additions of the flour, and two of the coffee, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the lined pans, filling about 2/3 full. Alternately, to ensure there are chocolate chips in each cupcake, you can also scoop the batter into the liners, making sure you scrape the bowl from the bottom, as the chips will sink. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.

To fill the cooled cupcakes, scoop out some of the cake from the middle, being careful not to go all the way to the bottom of the cake. An apple corer, grapefruit spoon, or melon-baller works fine to do this, although there are specially-designed gadgets for this exact purpose. Fill the hole with about a teaspoon of buttercream. Frost the top of the cupcake as desired.

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I will say that this was a lot of fun to do, although I don’t foresee a lot of filled cupcakes in my future…Not unless I can teach the bambino how to help me out! And as for what my friend’s having?


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6 Replies to ““Is it a boy or a girl?””

    • Another one of our coworkers suggested the idea–The bakery my friend contacted wanted 2-3 days’ notice, so she asked if I would do them. It was kind of fun watching the rest of our area bite into the cupcakes, after guessing whether my friend’s having a boy or a girl. :)

    • Out of the group I watched (I think there were 4), half were wrong. :) I had to explain to my boss how they worked–He thought he was just eating a regular Halloween cupcake!

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