Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting

It’s funny to think about the things people turn to when it comes to stress-baking. Some people bake brownies, some make chocolate chip cookies, breads, you name it. My go-to is cupcakes. I don’t really know why–It’s not like I made them constantly as a kid (yep, I’ve been baking for about 30 years now, believe it or not). For awhile, if I wanted to bake, I usually made brownies. We almost always had unsweetened cocoa and butter on hand, and brownies aren’t that difficult. Unless you’re me, and you have issues with fudgey brownies (except for this recipe). But that’s all beside the point. I didn’t have a stressful week, but I was itching to get into the kitchen this weekend and bake. I got myself a new set of piping tips a few weeks ago that I haven’t had a chance to use yet, so this afternoon, I made some Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting - TramplingroseOkay, my “stress” this week was not so much stress as it was excess energy, upon having heard the news that The Replacements are doing a show in St. Paul, Minnesota, this September. I kid you not, when the news broke on Wednesday, I could barely contain myself at work (which, as you can imagine, was a little difficult, given that I work in a bank). I was practically bouncing off the walls all day long. It’s going to be even worse this week….I’m hoping to take part in Wednesday’s pre-sale, and I’ll probably want to jump off a cliff or punch a wall if I can’t get tickets. I already told Jay that we’re going, and I even have a babysitter lined up for the bambino. I feel like it’s meant to be. For one, the concert’s on a Saturday. Perfect–No need to burn vacation time. The ‘Mats fell apart right around the time I started high school and I missed seeing them on their final tour. When I was a freshman in college, I managed to win tickets to see Paul Westerberg on his 14 Songs tour off the radio (the only time I’ve ever won anything off the radio). I’ve also seen Tommy Stinson back when he was in Bash & Pop. Lame, yes, but at the time, I figured that was the closest I was ever going to get to seeing the Replacements live. Now, it’s like a long-fuzzy dream coming into focus because it’s true (and I’m not going to quibble about it not being a real Replacements reunion, since Chris Mars and Slim Dunlap aren’t taking part–If you’re going to argue that, you might as well forget it, since Bob Stinson was kicked out and is also dead, so the original lineup will never be together again anyway).

So, these cupcakes. Dark Chocolate. I waffled between making some almond ones with an espresso-mascarpone frosting, and plain chocolate with amaretto frosting, but I got it in my head I wanted chocolate. And mascarpone. And almonds. All together, in some format, in the same cupcake. So Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting it was!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting - TramplingroseOh, these are RICH! The cake is moist, and the frosting is just decadent! Slightly sweet mascarpone, cream cheese, and whipped cream. It’s light, but combined with the cupcake, is heavenly.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting - TramplingroseI’m going to admit that I’m glad I made these just as a blog project…I don’t want to share them at all (aside from with Jay and the bambino, of course)!

Yield: 20-24

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 C unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C strong-brewed coffee

For the Frosting:

  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 C heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

On low speed, alternately add the flour-cocoa mixture with the hot coffee, beginning and ending with the flour.

Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, add the batter to the prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of several of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pans before placing on wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and mascarpone in a mixing bowl, and beat until well-combined. Mix in the almond extract and the powdered sugar.

In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Frost as desired.

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I’ll have to think of some other treat to bring to work next week!

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8 Replies to “Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Mascarpone Frosting”

    • I seriously think it’s my new favorite frosting. I make cupcakes all the time (I do ’em for friends/family/coworkers)…In fact, I’ll be doing 10 doz. over the next week! :)

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