Dark Chocolate Dipped POM-Orange Cocoa Cupcakes

Before I lose you in a sea of melted chocolate and pomegranate juice… I need your help!  I entered these cupcakes in the POM Wonderful Valentine Cupcake Contest.  To vote for my recipe, all you need to do is click this link and “like” my cupcakes. 


Updated: You can now vote daily!  Woohoo!  



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There’s nothing like an intense cupcake to start off the week, right?!


One reason I love making cupcakes is how much easier they are than a cake – bake time is shorter, and decorating is easy as pie (cake?) with the help of a pastry bag.  But to me, the easier prep means I need to up the creativity factor – both in flavor and presentation. 


After giving some thought to which flavors would pair best with POM juice, I decided on orange and dark chocolate.  The combination of flavors yields a dense cake with hints of tang and tart in each bite (yum!).


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Now, if I’d been able to get my hands on some pomegranate arils (we’re out for the season here in NY), I’d have added them into the cupcake batter and atop the frosted cupcakes.  However, the lack of pomegranate at the grocery store did have one positive outcome…


Since I couldn’t seem to remember the last time dipping anything in melted chocolate was a bad idea, I decided to dip my frosted cupcakes into melted dark chocolate!  


In case you’re not sure, this reinforced my thought that dipping anything in melted chocolate is a good idea. Winking smile

Dark Chocolate Dipped POM-Orange Cocoa Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes


Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. ground coffee
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pure Pomegranate Juice
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place 20 cupcake liners in muffin tins.

In medium mixing bowl, stir flour, cocoa, coffee, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined; set aside. 

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.  Add POM juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; beat until smooth.  

Gradually add flour mixture and beat on medium speed about 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. 

Spread batter into 20 prepared muffin tins.  Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. POM Wonderful 100% Pure Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/8 tsp. red food color
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until fluffy.  Add POM juice, orange juice, and red food color; continue to beat until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat on medium-high speed about 5 minutes. 

Use a pastry bag or knife to spread frosting onto cupcakes.  Refrigerate cupcakes at least 15 minutes before dipping into chocolate.

Chocolate Dip

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil

In small mixing bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil.  Microwave on half power about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and smooth. 


Immediately dip cupcake tops into melted chocolate.  Garnish with pomegranate arils (if in season), or with festive sprinkles.  Allow to chocolate to set before eating.

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