Jamie’s Grand Marnier Cupcakes

3MC-Cupcakes-2Jamie from My Baking Addiction hardly needs an introduction; her blog (like cream) has quickly risen to the top. I have admired Jamie’s blog since before we started our own and I first connected with her when she tweeted a call for “the best” brownie recipes. I replied with Mom’s Fudgey Chewy Cakey Brownie recipe which she made and later blogged about. This started an on-line friendship which quickly became an in-real-life friendship at BlogHer Food in October. In my opinion, Jamie has the best baking blog on the web. Her recipes are flawless, her photos are drool-worthy and I know I can always click onto her site to find the perfect sweet treat. This week we are excited to have Jamie guest posting on our site. The girl knows us well – boozy Grand Marnier Cupcakes! Swoon. Here’s Jamie…

I am a long time lover of  all things Three Many Cooks…especially the three lovely ladies behind this beautifully written blog, so I am thrilled be exchanging guest posts today.

I met Maggy, Pam and Sharon at BlogHer Food in San Francisco last October. I can honestly say that hanging out with the 3MCs was one of the highlights of my trip. They’re each unique, but blend so well as mother, daughter, sister – family – that you can’t help but feel like you’re part of that bond almost instantly.

As Maggy and I tossed around ideas for each other’s guest posts, I knew I just had to make a booze infused cupcake. I’m not much of a drinker (I admit it, I can’t hold my liquor and I pretty much end up a hot mess), but it’s clear that the Anderson clan loves a good drink. I also happen to have an obsession with collecting tiny bottles of liquor you can find at the liquor store and on planes. These random bottles of liqueurs have made their way into a variety of desserts on My Baking Addiction, so I thought I would put one to use for my guest post on Three Many Cooks.

Spring is around the corner, and citrus is a major player in Spring’s flavor profile, as far as I’m concerned. That’s how the idea of these Grand Marnier Cupcakes were born. The rich, moist chocolate cupcake is filled with Grand Marnier infused ganache and topped with a Grand Marnier Buttercream. Finish with a chocolate curl for both mouth and eye candy!

Jamie's Grand Marnier Cupcakes
Cake recipe adapted from Ina Garten
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 5 ounces heavy cream
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Zest of one large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 drop orange gel dye (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well ⅔ full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  4. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer because I am anal and obsessed with symmetry.
  1. Place chocolate in a large heat safe bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth and glossy. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  3. Pipe or spoon the ganache into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
  2. Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thick, gradually add in milk until the desired consistency is reached. Add a tiny bit of orange gel dye to create a pale orange color. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with a chocolate curl or leftover ganache.
- If you do not want to hassle with the chocolate curls, you can finish these Grand Marnier Cupcakes with a drizzle of leftover ganache.
- These cupcakes are best served the day they are made; however, they will keep covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature for 45-60 minutes before serving.

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  1. Maggy says

    My mouth is watering just looking at these! Must. make. ASAP. Love that there’s a little boozy kick in there too – you know us too well :) Thanks for guest posting, Jamie!

  2. says

    Here’s where I’m going to get flamed. As beautiful as those cupcakes are, I am SO anti-chocolate and orange together! But James adores the flavor combo, so I’m probably going to get talked into making these for him, and will substitute some raspberry vodka or something if I make them for myself. :)

  3. says

    I also am not a big drinker but in a recipe, the grand marnier or other alcoholic drinks can be a wonderful added flavor. Using a butter cream along with the ganache is also great to balance out the chocolate flavor. Thanks for the inspiration:)

    Adriana V. Lima
    Website Information Publisher
    pineapple upside down cake

  4. says

    These are so beautiful! And decadent! And I am sure amazingly delicious! Thank you for highlighting such a fantastic and creative baker!

  5. says

    Beautifully made and photographed-as always, Jamie. I can’t wait to try it. I love Grand Marnier and chocolate paired. Throw the two in a cupcake and I’m pretty much ready to elbow and beg way for a bite!

  6. says

    Oh baby, I’m all over these. The cupcake looks so dark and rich, and the Grand Marnier addition just makes it scream. Love them, Jamie!

  7. says

    I love how dramatic these cupcakes look!!

    And helloooo…who WOULDN’T love tiny bottles of alcohol? They’re tiny, which means cute, and full of ALCOHOL!! Sounds like you have good taste in collectables, Jamie!!

  8. Kelly says

    Yummy these look and sound delicious but I have a quick question. I have read many recipes that sound delicious but they contain coffee and I hate coffee. Is there a way to substitute the coffee but keep the moisture or should I just find a different recipe and mix the cupcake of one with the icing and such of the other?

    • Pam says

      Hey Kelly,

      I’d hate to say for sure without trying it, but I think you could probably substitute water for the coffee. Since water is less acidic than coffee I think I’d increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons and reduce the baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons, but that’s just an educated guess.

  9. Ashley says

    This is the first time in my many years baking, I have found a frosting recipe so horrible I wanted to through it away. Lucky for me these are for a party I am catering tomorrow and I’m stuck with them. It is WAY to sweet, WAY to much butter, and has zero orange flavor . I have a sweet, flavorless greasy mess.
    As far as the cake recipe, I make Ina’s ALL the time. It’s wonderful, however with the adaption you made, you do need the extra large eggs!
    Your pictures are really pretty though, and I love this site so much! Just really irritated at this frosting right now :(

  10. Vicky says

    Your cupcakes are gorgeous! I’ve never been really good at piping frosting neatly … Can the vegetable oil in the cupcake recipe be substituted for butter? I was also wondering how you made the chocolate curls.


  11. says


    You can substitute 1/2 of the butter for vegetable shortening; however, I would not recommend substituting more than that as it will change both the flavor and texture of the frosting. You can view a short cupcake piping tutorial here: http://vimeo.com/13653195 and learn to make the chocolate curls here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/06/how-tomake-chocolate-curls/ I hope this helps. Happy Holidays!

  12. Alecia says

    This is such a great recipe! I love it. I am wondering if I can substitute some of the butter for cream cheese (like the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting recipe). It looks like the only difference in the two is the Grand Marnier (and salt). Do you think the cream cheese and GM will be a good combo?

    Thanks so much for your help! I’m very excited :)

  13. Trish says

    I always plan on writing reviews on any delicious recipes I make successfully, but rarely make the time. However, this time, such a thing was not an option because I have to share how supreme these are! They came together so beautifully for me and I didn’t experience the ‘wet bottom’ I’ve seen others post about.
    Regretfully I had to make some changes based on what I had available and I ended up with a fairly moist but solid cupcake; I used 1 cup milk mixed with 1 TBSP vinegar in place of the buttermilk – I let it stand for 5-10 minutes then whisked it and added it to the mix. Also, since I only had table salt, I used a 1/2 tsp in place of the Kosher salt.
    One thing that surprised me was the ganache though, I’m not sure if it was the chocolate brand I used (Lindt 70% dark) or maybe because I had to heat it a few seconds in the microwave to melt it a bit more – but it was harder than ganache I’ve made in the past. Was it because of use of the microwave? Either way, it still tasted sooooo good! I made these Saturday and they are already gone!!!

    Thanks you for this recipe!

  14. Helen says

    I’m from the UK and would love to make these – any chances of the ingredients in measurements we Brits can understand ?

    • says

      Hi Helen. We understand your need to convert the recipe. Here’s a site that might help. If it doesn’t, there are so other similar sites. http://www.jsward.com/cooking/conversion.shtml. Good luck!

  15. Amber says

    I made these last night and they are fabulous!!!! Awesome recipe!!!!!! Buttercream is spot on! The favors blend well and just the right amount of grand marnier!

  16. Lynette says

    Just made the cake part of these as I plan a different filling and frosting. The cake part is the best chocolate cake I have made!

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