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At our town’s weekend festival, we sampled amazing chowders and an unbelievable lava cake. My family threw down the oven mitt, aka gauntlet. I need to make a cupcake version. I think the festival’s cakes had a chocolate pudding filling, not even a stepped-up mousse. But I’m on a ganache kick, and what screams chocolate decadence more than ganache? It was also a chance to try out my Mexican vanilla. I used Devo Olive Oil’s Blood Orange EVOO; I suppose you could zest an orange and add to EVOO or other cooking oil, but why bother? Just buy a bottle and try it. You’ll be hooked.

I doctored up a Pillsbury chocolate cake mix. Adding instant pudding increases flavor and, along with the extra egg, helps the batter to hold its form. In this case, the chocolate pudding added more chocolate flavor to the cake base and then the chocolate ganache. There was seriously not enough chocolate in this cupcake. And if you happen to exhibit any self control, reheat leftovers in microwave about 15 seconds.

orange chocolate lava cupcakeOrange Chocolate Lava Cupcake

What you need:




  • Powdered sugar
  • I added some salted caramel hot cocoa mix for additional flavor.

What you do:

Make the ganache first.


  • In saucepan bring cream to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and add chocolate.
  • Rest mixture for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk mixture until smooth.
  • Add balsamic (or vanilla).


  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Add water, EVOO and eggs.
  • Mix until well combined.
  • Fill each well 3/4 full.
  • Make a small well in batter.
  • Add about 1 tbs ganache to center of batter (about 1/2 tsp for mini cupcakes)
  • Grease and flour cupcake/muffin pan. Combine cake mix, pudding, water, oil and eggs in
  • Bake about 18 min for reg size; 10 for mini; top should spring back when touched. (Be careful – ganache is extremely HOT.)
  • Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. (I used mini tongs for ease)
  • Place cupcakes on baking sheet.
  • Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar mixture.