Snu Magoo’s Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate “Ganache” (Vegan)


A 24-hour stretch without chocolate at Casa Curls and Carrots? Indeed, it would be a sad day in our desert oasis if no chocolate was in sight. Fortunately – as you have surmised from previous chocolate-covered posts – this has yet to occur.


Yesterday, my sweet daughter (sweet because of her impressive dark chocolate consumption!) implored that we make fudgy chocolate cupcakes.

DSC_1773For those of you who “know” Snu Magoo, you would not be shocked to find that this is not the first time she has requested chocolate cupcakes. It is a weekly plea.


When Snu Magoo was about one year old, a friend sent a big bag of artisan, dark chocolate. Some of the bars were 85-90% percent cocoa content: too bitter for most to eat on their own but lovely for baking. Miniscule, one-year-old Snu Magoo happily ate all of the almost sugar-less bars of cocoa delight. Happily.


Chocolate DNA test passed. Snu Magoo is certainly her mother’s daughter.


In accordance to the wishes of the Snu, we baked rich, decadent, deep chocolate cupcakes. Pumpkin, Autumn’s most prized flavor, was not forgotten.


These cupcakes are free of eggs, dairy, butter and oil: the focus is solely on the chocolate – and slightly on the pumpkin. We are a bit pumpkin crazed! The steps of this recipe echo The Littlest Guy’s favorite pumpkin-chocolate brownies.


The real question: do these cupcakes pass the chocolate-covered faces test? Snu Magoo and her lovely little friend each devoured a cupcake at a playdate – and emerged from their snack with brown lips and noses. Verdict: A+ for the pastry!


The smooth, rich, velvety cocoa bites are as straightforward to make as they are to munch! It’s time to step into the kitchen and bake away the day’s woes!

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Preheat the oven, mix the batter and scoop into tins.

Coat the dark chocolate chips with the dry ingredients – before incorporating the wet ingredients – to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. The chocolate remains exquisitely suspended amongst more cocoa batter goodness.

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When the cupcakes are baked, remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.


While the cupcakes are cooking, melt the chocolate and coffee for the “ganache.” Coffee is tasteless in the recipe – and enhances the chocolate flavor.


When the ganache is cooled, it can be placed in a piping bag to begin decorating!

Alternatively, place the chocolate in a plastic bag, and cut a small corner off.

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Garnish the cupcakes with fruity, orange dried apricot slices.

They’re visually appealing and reinforce the color – and sweetness – of pumpkin.


Enjoy! Thank you for visiting our family at Casa Curls and Carrots.

Be well, friends! – Shanna



Snu Magoo’s Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate “Ganache” (Dairy-Free)

A fun and fast cupcake that utilizes the flavors of Autumn


1, approximately 18.3 ounce package dark chocolate fudge brownie mix (choose a vegan variety, if desired)

1, 15 ounce can organic pumpkin puree

1/4 cup high quality cocoa powder

1/3 cup 60-70% cocoa dark chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. strong coffee, cooled, divided

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1, 3.5 ounce bar 72% dark chocolate, chopped

9 large, dried apricots, sliced in third


1 Muffin tin

12 muffin liners

Piping bag

Ice cream scoop


  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 177°C.
  • Line a muffin tin with twelve liners.
  • Mix the dry ingredients, through the chocolate chips, in a large bowl.
  • Stir in 1 Tbsp. of coffee and the vanilla until well-combined.
  • Using a standard ice cream scoop, place one scoop of batter into each of the twelve muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes, just until set. Do not over bake. Cool on wire racks.
  • Melt the chopped, dark chocolate and remaining 1 Tbsp. of coffee. Use a double boiler or microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir often. Cool.
  • Using a piping bag, pipe the cooled, melted chocolate onto the cupcakes. Garnish each cupcake with three apricot slices.
  • Enjoy!


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


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27 thoughts on “Snu Magoo’s Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate “Ganache” (Vegan)

    1. Hi, Chef Janet. Thank you for your encouraging words and your happy “visit” to Curls and Carrots. You are one of our favorite “guests!” And, Mrs. W – that always makes me laugh. Have a wonderful day! Warmly, Shanna

  1. Shanna!!!!great pics!!
    Say hi to the rest of the familly-Snu Magoo looks like a sweatheart!
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi, Melissa. I am having a little afternoon chocolate nosh as I write. 🙂 These are quite fudgy and you can really taste the pumpkin in this batch. 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet comment and the generous words. I appreciate your encouragement! Have a lovely weekend – and take good care. Warmly, Shanna

    1. Chava – Thank you for your kind words! The rainbow designed muffin liners were a gift from a sweet friend. My daughter loves the bright colors – and so do I. I am glad that you stopped by. Oh, and I am loving your blog’s new, spiffy and crisp layout design. Have a great weekend! Warmly, Shanna

    1. Oh, Ada. No way, no how! Chocolate 24-7, madame.
      ;-)These are so delicious. Try them – you have exquisite piping bags. I had one after lunch – with a spot of tea – and all was right in the world. Plus, they are pretty nutritious – and will satisfy your chocolate craving for the entire day. Stamped, sealed and guaranteed! I so appreciate your reading of the prose and recipe – and your kind note. Take good care, California friend! Cheers, Shanna

    1. Hi, Kiyo. Thank you for “stopping by” to visit Curls and Carrots from your Hawaiian paradise! I appreciate your generous comment – and mutual adoration for chocolate. Oh, I adored your recent lactose-free post and am “on my way” to Maui to leave a comment! 🙂 Be well! Warmly, Shanna

  2. also for me 24 hours without chocolate is not possible!! Snu Magoo is just .. adorable!! We’ll go well together, Always eating chocolate together.. aah.. i’ll print the recipe for when i need a “injection” of choco 100% 🙂 have a good day my dear

    1. Hi, Cris. Yes, this cupcake is a chocolate IV injection! It will relieve any chocolate craving for at least 24-hours – but no more, HA! 😉 Thank you for your warm and sweet comments. I hope that you give this easy recipe a try the next time you need a cocoa boost. Have a great weekend! Best wishes, Shanna

    1. Lidia,
      Oh, thank you for this awesome and inspiring comment. 🙂 I do hope you make these. They are so addicting and scrumptious – plus fun to decorate. If you have some pink sea salt laying around, it would look pretty on top of the “ganache.” I used organic pumpkin and was surprised by how much the pumpkin flavor shined in this batch – so definitely get the organic if it is readily available and affordable in your region.
      Have a great day!

  3. These look lovely Shanna! If I were around, your daughter would be lucky because I’m not into dark chocolate… More for her! Though I couldn’t resist trying these as they look fantastic!

    1. Hi, Sofia,
      Thank you for stopping by. I hear you – you don’t like dark chocolate! All palettes are different, without question – and you have a great one. You could certainly substitute some of your succulent, delectable European milk or white chocolate in all parts of the recipe calling for dark chocolate.
      Have a nice night.

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