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Bittersweet Chocolate and Cardamom Cupcakes

Bittersweet Chocolate - Cardamom Cupcakes

Over the past couple of months I have been consumed by guilt. Even though I had tons of ideas and a couple of sleepless nights I did miss a couple of Sugar High Fridays. Guilty! It matters. It’s sugar. Allright, so "consumed" is a little strong. Upset that I could not work my schedule right to find an hour to make cupcakes is more realistic. When something I could have done starts bugging me, the smaller it is, the more it bugs me. I can easily forget there is an elephant in the room, but if a tiny little fly starts dancing in my head….It will keep dancing and buzzing until I do something about it. The elephant will still be in the room though.

I missed Fanny’s S.O.S for cupcakes but I surely was not going to miss Anita’s call for SHF spiced up sweets. So when C. and I started to plan her upcoming birtday party, the little fly in my head started to dance, loudly. Tap dancing even. Maybe I could combine both.
C: hmm, not sure what I want for dessert for my birthday…
Me: Cupcakes! You want cupcakes!
C: really?
Me: chocolate cupcakes with a hint of cardamom…
C: that’s very grown up for a cupcake
Me: Well, that’s settled then! Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes! Glad we had this discussion!

Allright, so that was the summed up version. I did give her some space to think and talk more than that, give me some credit here! I did however guided her towards the bittersweet chocolate cupcakes and the addition of cardamom in them which is a spice that she likes as much as I do. The frosting is a simple whipped ganache. Easy, rich and chocolatey to the bone. The combination seems classic and worked well as there were one left for her last night! Too bad I can only send a picture to Anita for this month SHF!!

Bittersweet Chocolate - Cardamom Cupcakes

Bittersweet Chocolate and Cardamom Cupcakes:

Makes 24 cupcakes.
Kitchen Notes: the whipped ganache needs to go on the cupcakes as soon as it is ready so have the cupcakes baked and completely cooled. Make sure the ganache is chilled well before whipping or it might separate.

Note: I noticed a bloop (sorry was typing late night-early morning) and in the ganache I gave the single measure of chocolate for a double measure of cream. My sincere apologies…and yes, I promise to stop typing this late ๐Ÿ™‚

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cardamom and salt and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until airy and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (scrape down the sides if necessary). Still on medium speed, add the chocolate and mixing until well incorporated. Add the flour,baking soda and salt alternating with the buttermilk . Make sure that all the ingredients are well incorporated but do not overbeat. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20โ€“25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Whipped Ganache Frosting:
12 ounces (360 gr) good quality bittersweet chocolate
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a medium size bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate together gently until the mass becomes smooth and shiny. Let cool and refrigerate until very cold. When ready to use, whip the ganache until it is holds its shape and spreads easily. Use as soon as it is made or it will be too stiff to pipe. If this happens, just reheat it on top of a double boiler to melt it again, and repeat the cooling and whipping process. If your chocolate is less than 72% bittersweet, add 2 more ounces before adding the hot cream.
We had a tad more than needed but with enough spoons digging into it, it was not a problem.

Bittersweet Chocolate - Cardamom Cupcakes

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limonana October 21, 2008 um 6:22 am

these look & sound positively divine! i might just have to give it a go…

Carina October 21, 2008 um 6:30 am

Am I missing something? The amount of cardamom isn’t listed. And do you grind up the whole pod? Toast first?

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 6:30 am

As always fab photos will made on the week end

Leacayoungart October 21, 2008 um 6:30 am

These look delish. I know mine would not look like this. I will have to try. thanks for sharing.

Meeta K. Wolff October 21, 2008 um 6:30 am

These are the most decadent cupcakes I have ever seen. But what strikes me as really cool is that we are playing around with the same flavor combination cardamom and chocolates! Helen – I love the pictures for these!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 6:32 am

Where is the cardamom in the recipe??????

Rosa's Yummy Yums October 21, 2008 um 6:35 am

That’s an interesting combo! Cardamom and chocolate pair wonderfully well! Those cupcakes look ever so pretty!



Anh October 21, 2008 um 6:51 am

Who doesn’t want these beautiful cupcakes???? Great job Helen, on both the cakes and your photos!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 6:56 am

Mmmmm! They look really beautiful (and delicious). I want to learn how to use cardamom and this is a great oportunity. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 7:00 am

Oh my! I can’t find the cardamom! Where do I have to add it?

Finla October 21, 2008 um 7:11 am

Wow yummy chocolate cupcakes and beautiful too.

Christy October 21, 2008 um 7:42 am

Your cupcake liners look so pretty! And so are your cupcakes, of course!! I’m glad you swotted that fly! Now I have to swot mine and really start baking and taking photos for the blog again…

Angelica October 21, 2008 um 8:29 am

I love chocolate and cardamom together! Well, I like anything with cardamom, period! Your cupcakes look so cute (not to mention delicious…)!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 8:59 am

Superbe !!

Botacook October 21, 2008 um 9:22 am

Mmmh, j’adore le mรฉlange chocolat-cardamome ๐Ÿ™‚
J’ai hรขte que ton livre sorte ๐Ÿ˜‰

Suzana October 21, 2008 um 9:23 am

Oh wow! Helen, when I grow up I want to be like you! Cardamon is so nice – I love it with my coffee. I’m sure it’s perfect with bittersweet chocolate.

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 9:47 am

Sorry, but where’s the cardamom?

Mรฉlanie October 21, 2008 um 10:15 am

Haven’t you changed the header of the blog? It looks very nice!

I showed your blog to my boss, she LOVES cardamom and chocolate, so these cupcakes are just perfect for her…

LizNoVeggieGirl October 21, 2008 um 10:59 am

Don’t feel guilty, Helen!!! Just enjoy yourself – and those cupcakes!! :0)

Aimรฉe October 21, 2008 um 11:18 am

You’re stealing the SHF show with these darling cupcakes. LOVE spices with chocolate. Thanks Helen!

Cannelle Et Vanille October 21, 2008 um 11:56 am

oh this is pure delicious decadence helen! i love these photos!

Cannelle Et Vanille October 21, 2008 um 11:56 am

oh yes, and if i start telling you about guilt, i won’t be able to stop…

RecipeGirl October 21, 2008 um 12:10 pm

I’m a fan of cardamom too… but I don’t see it in the ingreds. I’m impressed that you used WHOLE pods and ground them yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful cupcakes!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 12:31 pm

I love the idea of chocolate and cardamon, Helen. They are the most sophisticated yet playful cupcakes that I have ever seen. Your photos are just wonderful as well!

Bridget October 21, 2008 um 12:45 pm

Oh, those look so decadent! ๐Ÿ™‚ The cupcake wrappers with the ribbon are adorable!

Helene October 21, 2008 um 12:56 pm

Sorry folks, seems like the fly was still dancing in my head and ade me forget my third line. Cardamom added.

Cookie baker Lynn October 21, 2008 um 1:18 pm

What divine cupcakes! There should be a new word for something so elegant and grown up. Cupcake sounds too…childish and pedestrian. Petite cakes? And the photos are gorgeous!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 1:39 pm

These look fantastic. Do you whip the ganache with a mixer or by hand? Thanks.

Mumsy October 21, 2008 um 2:11 pm

Another one of your recipes to add to the long list of "To Make."

Looks marvelous!

The Italian Dish October 21, 2008 um 2:12 pm

Love the idea of the cardamom. These look outstanding!

Mallory Elise October 21, 2008 um 2:17 pm

very chouette cupcake wrappers, they look very elle ร  table ๐Ÿ™‚

Maria October 21, 2008 um 2:44 pm

Cute cupcake cups! I want to lick the frosting right now!!

mimi October 21, 2008 um 2:47 pm

love that discussion! you cupcakes look gorgeous, and the flavor combo just sounds amazing! wow, i could dive right in to that frosting!

Helene October 21, 2008 um 3:50 pm

Emma: it is better to whip the ganache in a mixer, hand held or stand.

Anita October 21, 2008 um 4:13 pm

Helen, thanks so much for participating – SHF just wouldn’t be the same without you contributing your gorgeous creations! They look like little soft serve cones! I’m looking forward to including you in the round-up. Thanks so much again sweetie!

cindy* October 21, 2008 um 4:35 pm

hmmm, i love the dark chocolate and cardamom together. yum! and pretty too.

Marija October 21, 2008 um 4:36 pm

That frosting is so chocolaty!

Ivy October 21, 2008 um 5:12 pm

How beautiful. Your piped frosting swirls are so crisp.

Patricia Scarpin October 21, 2008 um 5:13 pm

Look at how sinfully dark that frosting is, Helen! I’m drooling over here… *sigh*

Love these cupcakes. I haven’t taken part in food events regularly as I would like to, but my SHF post is almost ready. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Susan @ SGCC October 21, 2008 um 5:17 pm

Those cupcakes are drop dead gorgeous! I can only imagine how wonderful they taste!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 5:18 pm

Smashing idea and excellent presentation!

Unknown October 21, 2008 um 5:31 pm

OH what a divine recipe, Helen. Can’t wait to try out the recipe.

Mercotte October 21, 2008 um 5:42 pm

Comme toujours tu me fais craquer !! c’est splendide !

Irene October 21, 2008 um 6:14 pm

Ohhhhhh…….. PRETTY!!!

Erica October 21, 2008 um 6:27 pm

Where did you get those beautiful cupcake wrappers!?! These look fantastic, a must try.

Helene October 21, 2008 um 6:45 pm

Erica: the cupcake cups are plain white Wilton cups called Party Nut cups and I attached a piece of ribbon around with thin double sided tape I use for cardmaking or scrapbooking.

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 7:02 pm

those are very very dangerous cupcakes, dangerously addictive . Ouch !

Kelly-Jane October 21, 2008 um 7:05 pm

They look lovely. I haven’t been around for a while, how is your book coming along sweetie?

Lori October 21, 2008 um 7:16 pm

Man do those cookies ever say "eat me". YUM !

Banjo October 21, 2008 um 7:46 pm

Oh my goodness, love the presentation! Not to mention, I am sure they were divine… ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 8:33 pm

They are so lovely ! And I guess addictive with this bittersweet chocolate !

Mike of Mike's Table October 21, 2008 um 8:58 pm

This sounds like an awesome cupcake flavor (I don’t think cardamom + chocolate ever crossed my mind). I also really like that first photo up-close on the cupcake. Beautiful work, as always

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 8:58 pm

Absolutely gorgeous and they look divine! I really love how you tied the ribbon around the liners. What a lovely presentation!

Anonymous October 21, 2008 um 10:27 pm

Those are so beautiful. You take the best photographs, and make some really awesome desserts!

cookworm October 22, 2008 um 12:04 am

Yum, my two favorite flavors!

giz October 22, 2008 um 2:20 am

Gotta love your power of persuation – and the cupcakes are fabulous.

Pea and Pear October 22, 2008 um 2:40 am

Cardamon and chocolate.. hmmm I can taste it… and it tastes goooooood ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous October 22, 2008 um 3:06 am

I feel guilty too… I haven’t visited you in a while. No spanking please, it wasn’t my fault, just too busy for blogging. ๐Ÿ™‚

Those chocolate/cardamon cupcakes are the nicest welcome back. You rock!

jenniferhoiyin October 22, 2008 um 3:20 am

cardamom is my favorite! I wish it was my birthday…

That Girl October 22, 2008 um 3:28 am

I love interesting spices mixed with chocolate.

Anonymous October 22, 2008 um 4:11 am

Now that is one sophisticated (and beautiful) cupcake!

Mrs.French October 22, 2008 um 4:36 am

oh no…my weakness…not before bed!

anadelicias October 22, 2008 um 4:45 am

These cupcakes are amazing!!! I love chocolate and the pictures are wonderful!!


La Cuisine d'Helene October 22, 2008 um 5:14 am

This would be perfect for my chocolate cravings. Beautiful!

Shaheen October 22, 2008 um 5:52 am

Very delicious looking cupcakes and splendid photography as always. Absolutely lovvee the liners.

Peabody October 22, 2008 um 6:06 am

Ah man, I almost forgot about SHF. Thanks for the reminder and the good looking cupcake.

cindy October 22, 2008 um 7:07 am

Moi qui adore les cupcakes me voilร  conquise, ils sont magnifiques !

Vera October 22, 2008 um 7:50 am

I’m so in love with cardamom! These cupcakes must taste fantastic!

Inne October 22, 2008 um 11:07 am

Oooh, yum! I love chocolate and cardamom together. I so meant to participate in this month’s SHF, but with our house still completely upside down, and our sofa temporarily being stored on its side in our rather small kitchen (and did I mention my parents are arriving this weekend and will need somewhere to sleep as well) not much chance I’ll make it. Shame, but I’ll have a virtual bite of your gorgeous cupcakes instead.

Anonymous October 22, 2008 um 12:18 pm

Cupcakes!!! Looks so adorable with that polka dot ribbon. Oh are those the wilton cupcake liners? They changed from the original ones which I liked the looks of better. But it seems these ones are have better non-stick coatings.
Love the pics of bailey in the previous post…Your pup sure knows how to pose for the camera.

Sara October 22, 2008 um 1:02 pm

These look delicious, and I just bought a new bag of cardamom pods.

Bonbon Oiseau October 22, 2008 um 1:10 pm

mmmmm..very adult cupcakes helen! i love it!

Emily Rose October 22, 2008 um 1:15 pm

what a wonderful idea! sounds like a great way to make a more adult version of the adorable cupcake!

HES October 22, 2008 um 1:40 pm

Another comment about the beautiful presentation–if you have a moment, what are and where did you get those cupcake papers??

Thanks for your blog!

redmenace October 22, 2008 um 2:07 pm

Mmmmmmm…. I love cardamom! A fabulous flavor that isn’t used enough. Thanks! I love this blog. Any tips on what tools I would need to start making lovely pastries like you?

My Sweet & Saucy October 22, 2008 um 4:25 pm

Delicious, decadent, gorgeous…there are so many words I could use to describe these!

Sandy Smith October 22, 2008 um 5:05 pm

These are so beautiful! And now the weather is finally cool enough to attempt whipped ganache! I can’t tell you how much I wish I had one of these little beauties in front of me right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Deborah October 22, 2008 um 5:38 pm

Not only are these gorgeous, but they sound delicious as well!!

Mollie October 22, 2008 um 6:21 pm

SO pretty! Love these.

Um… I’m also a really bad foodie because I’m really not sure I really know what cardamom tastes like. So bad. I need to get me some…

Parisbreakfasts October 22, 2008 um 8:14 pm

I’ll have mine with a bit of curry on top if you don’t mine…ahem
Cardomum indeed!

Alexa October 22, 2008 um 9:39 pm

I love cardamom and chocolate together. These cupcakes look so tartelettish… Perfection!

Haley October 22, 2008 um 10:04 pm

I can’t believe I am just now finding your blog! I’m obsessed with these cupcakes! I’ll definitely be back.

chililime October 22, 2008 um 10:39 pm

Mmm. Those look so good.

Unknown October 23, 2008 um 12:25 am

Absolutely stunning cake I have come across.Ur frosting is superb and never tried cardamom infused cake.

Mary Ann October 23, 2008 um 1:30 am

To die for! Oh, cardamom- I love you!

Jesse October 23, 2008 um 2:01 am

That sounds magical! Yum!
And speaking of guilt… I’m supposed to be testing recipes for a cookbook, and I’m too busy feeling bad about not recipe testing to recipe test. Go figure ๐Ÿ™‚

homeladychef October 23, 2008 um 3:04 am

This is so nice! I am gonna try your recipe again. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

MizMerryMac October 23, 2008 um 3:16 am

Oh! Blessings on your chocolatey goodness…Cardamon has got to be one of my favourite spices and I never thought of pairing it with chocolate. I’ll have to try out this recipe!

Tag! You’re "it"!
creatrix omnificant procrastinaticus

Cakebrain October 23, 2008 um 4:27 am

Wow! Gorgeous photos! Your cupcakes look fantastic.

Nic October 23, 2008 um 9:08 am

Oh my, that frosting alone is enough to make me happy!

Clumbsy Cookie October 23, 2008 um 9:47 am

Helen, beautiful and elegant as allways. I also have to start spicing up something to send Anita! Cardamon is wonderful, I usually have it with white chocolate, but I’m sure it is as great with bittersweet. Whipped ganache is much more delicious than buttercream to top cupcakes!

Manuela ยฉ October 23, 2008 um 10:34 am

I loved your cupcake wrappers. So classy ๐Ÿ™‚

anudivya October 23, 2008 um 4:49 pm

Those looks sinfully delicious! Lovely pics as well. First time here, and loving it. Off to exlore the rest.

Anonymous October 23, 2008 um 8:29 pm

These are two of my absolute favorites! I’ve been sipping cardamom tea with a side of dark chocolate – I can only imagine how decadent these cupcakes are! I can’t wait to try them!

La cuisine des 3 soeurs October 23, 2008 um 11:59 pm

Cette recette lร , il faut que je rรฉussisse ร  la traduire correctement !

Amber October 24, 2008 um 12:44 am

I love reading all the comments. You continue to amaze me, you have such an eye with the camera and can take a simple (well not simple) chocolate cupcake and some ribbon and create art.

shanna October 24, 2008 um 1:07 am

Wow. I spent a few minutes this afternoon looking through your site, and it is BEAUTIFUL! All the pictures make me want everything you’ve made, and your creations are so professional and inspiring.

BTW: I have a dog named Bailey, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous October 24, 2008 um 1:36 am


These sounds wonderful & I need to make cupcakes for a party tomorrow … hmmmm! By the way where do you find these cupcake papers, I have looked high & low and never can find???

Camille October 24, 2008 um 2:25 am

Is there any cake under that decadent frosting? If there wasn’t it would be ok with me! Just adorable wrappers.

Kitchen M October 24, 2008 um 4:01 am

Those cups are so cute!
I love cardamom and chocolate.
I will definitely try it! Thanks for the recipe.

Stef October 25, 2008 um 3:33 am

Those look so lovely and I can only imagine that they taste just as good!

Anonymous October 25, 2008 um 6:30 am

Nice. Loving the combo of dark chocolate and cardamom. I went with heat in my chocolate entry, and now that I think of it, cardamom would have been a terrific addition. Cute cups, too. I still can’t find those paper things around here. I should look harder, huh?

Leonor de Sousa Bastos October 27, 2008 um 3:52 pm

How could I’ve missed this recipe!?

I love cardamom… And the pairing with chocolate must be fantastic!

Your cupcakes are beautiful… I love the paper cups and the chocolate topping!


Unknown October 30, 2008 um 1:30 am

HI…I am wondering how you can take such wonderful pics…what is the technic here?? And all the wonderful recipes…

Would you teach me how to make mille feuille??

Thanks – Sri

Anonymous October 30, 2008 um 12:16 pm

These are so wonderfully decadent, Helen! I love them! And thank-you for the whipped ganache recipe and technique—I’m hoping to make some cupcakes on Saturday and was wondering how best to whip the ganache and make it more interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous November 3, 2008 um 12:37 am

these are SO CUTE!!!
i love the ribbon on the cups!

Skippy November 4, 2008 um 10:48 pm

These look beautiful–but just wondering, are these full size cupcakes or minis? I’m guessing they are full size, but they look so cute and petite in the photo…

Anonymous November 9, 2008 um 1:45 am

Oh my, these look wicked.

Anonymous February 14, 2009 um 3:58 am

hi.i love love love your site. can i make this in a cakepan instead of cupcakes?

Helene February 14, 2009 um 4:35 am

Anonymous: yes.

marion May 31, 2009 um 8:07 pm

I baked these cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, and they were soooooooo delicious !
Thank you !!!!!!

Audiosampa November 5, 2009 um 6:27 pm

Hi, you have a great blog, it is a pleasure to look at.

I was wondering if you could tell me where I can get those cupcake liners. I live in Brazil and haven't been able to find them here or on the internet.

Thanks very much!

Helene November 5, 2009 um 7:58 pm

Richard: these liners are from the brand Wilton. They are called "nut cups" or something like that and not cupcake liners. If you do a google search for Wilton nut cups or Wilton liners, I think you can find which store could deliver to Brazil. Maybe or

Audiosampa November 5, 2009 um 9:24 pm

Helen, thank you! I found them on Amazon and a couple of other places but none deliver overseas. Fortunately I have a long-suffering mother who comes down often and is always loaded with things for me.

I plan on making your cupcakes tomorrow, as soon as the buttermilk is ready. Thanks again for your help.


Becky@ Daily On My Way To Heaven January 9, 2010 um 10:14 pm

Congratulations, your blog is beautiful!

I live in Mexico, an here I can't find buttermilk. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

Anonymous March 15, 2010 um 4:03 pm

Very late to the game, but I made these cupcakes over the weekend and they are truly excellent. The cardamom blends perfectly with the chocolate, and the buttermilk makes the cupcakes wonderfully tender. I'm not usually a cupcake fan, but I can tell that I'll be making these again.

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