Chocolate Tarragon Cupcakes with Tarragon Cream Cheese Frosting17

Posted by chockylit in Cheese,Chocolate,Herbs & Flowers (Sunday October 23, 2005 at 2:48 pm)

Tarragon tastes sort of like anise and pairs well with chocolate. I was eager to try the two together in a cupcake. I decided to use a basic chocolate cupcake base (I used the Magnolia devil’s food recipe because I wanted to try it) and added fresh tarragon to that. I guessed at a tablespoon of the chopped herb, but the taste was very subtle. Hence I decided to get tarragon in the frosting as well. All-in-all, I still couldn’t taste enough of the tarragon for my liking. I would have topped each with a fresh tarragon leaf if I had any handy.

A side note: The frosting calls for a tarragon infused simple syrup; this is the first time I have made some. I must say that it is extremely tasty and I could see it being a great addition to herbal ice teas, vodka based drinks, and homemade ice cream… same as the lavender simple syrup. Yum.

Lastly, the devil’s food recipe was fine, but a little drier than I expected. Baking is temperamental though, so it might work out better for others (or next time, in my case).

Cupcakes adapted from Magnolia’s devil’s food recipe
48 mini-cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated and at room temp
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups milk
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

1. sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, set aside
2. in a separate small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored, about 2 minutes
3. in the bowl of the electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes
4. add egg yolks, beating until well combined
5. add the melted chocolate, mix until combined
6. add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beating after each addition until smooth
7. in another bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form
8. fold the egg whites into the batter gently, fold in the fresh tarragon
9. pipe into lined mini-cupcake tins with a pastry bag
10. bake at 350 degree oven (325 convection) for ~12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

filling mini cupcake tins

Tarragon-Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2-3 bunches of tarragon
12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. heat sugar and water over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved
2. add tarragon bunches, stir in and let boil until syrupy, about 3 minutes
3. set aside and let cool, then strain out tarragon
4. bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
5. sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
6. beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
7. add half of the sugar and beat until combined
8. drizzle in tarragon simple syrup at low speed
9. gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

fresh tarragon


1. pipe a dollop of frosting on to each of the cooled cupcakes
2. [optional] top with a fresh tarragon leaf

17 comments for Chocolate Tarragon Cupcakes with Tarragon Cream Cheese Frosting »

  1. These sound interesting. Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Anonymous — October 24, 2005 @ 5:08 am

  2. Sorry that was me!

    Comment by mel — October 24, 2005 @ 5:11 am

  3. I’ve been reading your blog. So many recipes, so many good photos. Congratulations!(The problema is: everytime I’ll read your blog, I’ll need a cupcake)

    Comment by catarina m. — October 24, 2005 @ 6:40 am

  4. And that’s a problem? (I guess it can be…)

    Comment by chockylit — October 25, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

  5. Never tried to a cupcake with herbs. What a lucky hubby u have !


    Comment by foodcrazee — October 27, 2005 @ 5:36 am

  6. Mm..all your cupcakes sound (and look) so delicious…will have to try a recipe soon. I was wondering where you got the red cupcake liners, and if you know where one can find dark brown ones? Thanks!

    Comment by Carol — October 27, 2005 @ 3:09 pm

  7. yumyumyumyumyum. your cupcakes are beautiful.

    Comment by aria — October 30, 2005 @ 10:30 am

  8. Waiting with baited breath for the next recipe!! Hopefully you are inspired soon!

    Comment by Chloe — November 18, 2005 @ 10:15 am

  9. Oh, I am inspired! Just so busy with a new job and a big party I am throwing this weekend :( I am planning my next cupcake, though, that’s for sure.

    Comment by chockylit — November 18, 2005 @ 10:19 am

  10. Do you know where I can get a good cupcake wrapper? All the ones in the grocery store are really tiny.

    Comment by Goldsmith Family — January 22, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  11. I mostly use the regular size papers that you get at the grocery store. I don’t use jumbo size papers, but I think that I saw them at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

    I do use Pleated Portion Paper Cups which are somewhat bigger then regular papers. I got them here. This is the only place I know that sells a single 500 pack, most places only sell them by the case of 5000! The shipping at this site is very high though…

    I googled jumbo cupcake papers and found these.

    Comment by chockylit — January 23, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

  12. Dear cupcake lovers,
    I am a huge fan of the chockylit cupcake site, I check in regularly to browse through the recipes. My boyfriend loves it too because he gets to taste all of my experimental cupcakes.
    I was wondering if someone knows where I could buy those sweet white cups in which you bake the cakes. I have searched all shops in The Netherlands (that’s where I ‘m from) but I don’t think they sell them here. I have made it my personal mission to search the world to find them so I can impress my dutch friends with my cool cups. I really hope someone can help me!!!
    Y. Mers, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Comment by Yvette — January 24, 2006 @ 3:00 am

  13. These look really good. Where did you find the awesome red liners? I have been looking all over for them.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 24, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  14. hello, i need some advise. all my cupcakes bake fine in the oven, but as soon as i take them out they collapse in the middle. what am i doing wrong? ive tried different recipes, but no success.

    please help :)

    Comment by Anonymous — January 30, 2006 @ 12:00 am

  15. As far as the collapsing goes… A cause could be not allowing the cupcakes to bake all the way. Do you check them with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean? Also, using an oven thermometer can help ensure the correct baking temperature. Let me know if that works…

    I got the little red cups – which are actually candy cups and not cupcake cups – at a cake supply store in Daly City, CA called Sugar N Spice. But I know Sugarcraft has them and probably other online stores, too.

    Comment by chockylit — January 30, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  16. i order chockylit’s cupcakes for ALL my social events. they are a dream come true!

    Comment by julia — March 30, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  17. Hello. I really love your blog, your cupcakes really look delicious. By the way, I need some advice. I’ll make some apple cupcake with cream cheese frosting for charity. I’m just afraid that the cream cheese frosting melt. Do you have any idea to prevent this?

    Can I use whipped heavy cream on my cream cheese frosting instead of using a half stick of butter?

    Comment by fairies — January 25, 2008 @ 6:00 am

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