Naga Cupcakes (Pumpkin Curry Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache & Coconut)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

These cupcakes were inspired by the Vosges Chocolates Naga chocolate bar. After trying it, I was inspired to try and make a cupcake version. This one really hit the mark. I decided to utilize a pumpkin cake, because damn, I lurvs me some pumpkin curry. It seriously rocks my socks.

The cake itself is just sweet enough to and makes for a shibby dessert. But after you bite into it, a moment later the spice hits, and intrigues you enough to take another. The curry warms your mouth and creates an exotic and slightly spicy cupcake. The chocolate ganache adds some extra sweetness and another layer of flavor, enforcing the Indian theme that defines this cupcake. The coconut helps cool down the spice and a bit and adds a slightly fruity taste to it all.

I used half semisweet chocolate and half milk chocolate since that is what I had. I think a semisweet and bittersweet mix would have been great too. It's really all a matter of taste. Spice wise, make sure you keep tasting as you go and adjust to fit your style. I know I added a little extra black pepper and whatnot to meet my taste. I also picked up a cheap little pastry bag as well! I wish I had a few more choices for tips, but ah well. At least I'm finally getting some practice in with one of these things.

Sweet, spicy, and bold is the Naga cupcake. It's good karma all around.

Naga Cupcakes
Heavily adapted from Martha
Makes about 24 cupcakes / 350 Degree Cupcakes

What You'll Need...
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder
pinch of cayanne
1/2 cup of packed borwn sugar
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cool
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
15 ounces pumpkin puree

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3) Whisk together the sugars, butter, and eggs. The add the dry ingredients and whisk them in. Whish in pumpkin puree. Taste and adjust spices.

4) Put into cupcakes papers about halfway. Bake until they spring back to touch and a cake tester comes out clean. About 18-22 minutes. Rotate pan after 15 minutes if your oven is sketchy for even baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

NOTE: Curry powder consists of nutmeg, coriander, cayenne, black pepper, tumeric, cloves, and ginger So you can make your own. The spice in this cake is all really to taste; I added a bit more nutmeg, tumeric, black pepper, and cayenne to fit my particular taste since I really wanted a more pronounced spice and heat.

Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop

What You'll Need...
14 ounces of chocolate (use your discretion and taste as to what kind)
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
unsweetend coconut

What You'll Do...
1) Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.

2) Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.

3) Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.

4) Add butter to the chocolate (make sure its soft and at room temp) and stir until combined.

5) Whisk together sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla in another bowl until combined.

6) Pour the sugar mixture onto the chocolate mixture, then stir until combined and smooth.

7) Let sit at room temperature until thickened. (I popped it in the freezer with a towel over it since it was late. Don't worry if it looks too runny.)

8) Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes and sprinkle on coconut.

NOTE: This makes a LOT of ganache. If you have any fresh fruit of waffles around, then you know what to do with the rest.


  1. Someone left a huge pumpkin on my doorstep and was wondering what in the hell to do with it...we already had pumpkin pie.

    I don't like I guess I could leave it out and these would still be tasty?

  2. WOW! Now these cupcakes sound really yummy and "interesting" too with the types of spices in them!

    All I need now is the impetus to do some cupcake baking.

    Keep those calorie puppies coming on your site - love the ideas you come up with there!

  3. I can usually 'taste' a recipe just by reading it... but I must say this one sounds so unusual I just might have to make it!

  4. Melly, Maybe you could use finely chopped almonds instead or just omit the coconut altogether.
    For anyone else that does like coconut (like me), its even better toasted before you garnish the cupcakes with it. Just brown it in a skillet over low heat. :)

  5. Oh my word. I'm not a fan of curry but this is something I would be willing to try! You totally have become Gourmet Cupcake Chef!

    Have you seen 52 Cupcakes blog? She makes tons of great gourmet cupcakes too! :)

  6. I'm curious about the "whatnot" you put in these cupcakes...ginger, anise? I can't wait to experiment with my own.

  7. Jeni - They are very interesting, and get the impetus! It's hard to stop when it starts.

    Janelle - It is interesting. It's very unique and worth a try.

    Cakegrrl- OMG! I never even thought to toast the coconut! Genius! I also suggest you go with bittersweet chocolate, i used mostly milk chocolate and i want something more bitter.

    Jennifer - I know of it but not really spent any time there. I'll do that now.

    Sher - Not really, I just get lucky often.

    Prissycook - The whatnot are just the spices that make up curry powder. Just balance them out to your liking.

  8. Ooh, I have some pumpkin puree leftover. Can't wait to try this! Give Eat Beast a *swak* for me ;-)

  9. They sound delightful! I love Vosges Chocolate's! I just made brownies with the Red Fire Chips last month!!

  10. Naga in my Indian dialect means Naked....just FYI. but those cupcakes are bitchin'.

  11. Think it would have been good to actaully use the naga bar as the chocolate in the frosting?

  12. Stef - For sure, but the bars are wildly expensive.

  13. I made these cupcakes today and they are delicious, but I can't seem to get the frosting to thicken up. Any suggestions?


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