Twix Cupcakes

I really like turning chocolate bars into desserts, it’s so fun to me. So today I made Twix cupcakes.

I’ve made quite a few Twix desserts before, I’ve done a Twix cake, a Twix cheesecake and also Twix brownies. Fun fact I actually don’t even like Twix.

I lied, of course I like Twix. In fact I love it, that’s why I’ve made so many desserts inspired by it.

1 Twix cupcake, on top of a wooden chopping board.

Video Tutorial

What makes this Twix cupcakes?

Whenever I make something inspired by a chocolate bar, I like to take the elements of the chocolate bar and add them into my dessert. Instead of just chopping up the chocolate bar and adding it to the dessert.

A Twix bar is made up of 3 elements, it has the biscuit, the caramel and the milk chocolate.

So for these cupcakes, I added a shortbread base, to represent the biscuit.

Then I made chocolate flavoured cupcakes and filled these with a dulce de leche, to represent the caramel part. I’ll talk about why I used dulce de leche instead of a regular caramel sauce in the next section.

Then I finished the cupcakes off with a whipped milk chocolate ganache, for the chocolate part!

The top of 9 of the Twix cupcakes.

Dulce de leche or caramel sauce?

I ended up filling these cupcakes with dulce de leche instead of a caramel sauce.

I don’t know if this is just a personal problem, but every time I fill cupcakes with a caramel sauce, the caramel disappears. I have no idea where it goes, but it goes.

I’ve filled cupcakes, specifically chocolate cupcakes, with caramel sauce a few times. But whenever I cut into the cupcake, the caramel is no where to be found. The taste is still there, but I can’t see it.

My theory is that because caramel sauce is on the thinner side, the cake soaks up the caramel. That’s why the taste is still there, but I just can’t see it.

I don’t really like this, I have trust issues, I don’t like being surprised. I like to see what I’m eating.

Therefore, when I need to fill cupcakes with caramel, I like to use dulce de leche instead.

Dulce de leche is much thicker, so it stays in place. AND in my personal opinion, dulce de leche tastes better too.

With all that being said, you can use whatever you want. I prefer dulce de leche, but that’s just me. A caramel sauce works too, so it’s up to you.

The cross section of one of the cupcakes.

Making the dulce de leche

I made the dulce de leche, but you can just buy it. 

Making dulce de leche is very easy, but it’s a long process, so honestly it you can find it, I say just buy it. It will save a lot of time.

But if you are making it, here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill a tall pot with water. Place this onto high heat and let this come to a boil.
  2. Get 2 cans of condensed milk and remove the paper wrapping. My cans didn’t have paper wrapping, the label was printed onto the can, but if yours has paper wrapping, make sure to remove it.
  3. Place these into the boiling water. Make sure that the cans are fully submerged in the water. If they’re not, add more water.
  4. Lower the heat slightly, so that the water starts simmering, instead of aggressively boiling. Then let the cans cook in this simmering water for 2-3 hours. 2 hours will give you a lighter dulce de leche, 3 hours will give you a darker one. I prefer to leave them for 3 hours.
  5. After they’re done, take the tins out. Let them cool completely before opening them.

WARNING !!!!! During the whole cooking process, you need to make sure to keep adding more water into the pot. We don’t want the cans to be exposed, they need to be fully covered with water the whole time. If not, there is a risk of them exploding.

So you are not doing much to make the dulce de leche, but you don’t want to leave it and forget about it. Every 20 minutes or so, add some more water to the pot.

If you are making this, i recommend doing this the day before making the cupcakes. Just so that there isn’t as much to do on the day you are making the cupcakes.

2 cans of condensed milk, inside a pot of simmering water.

The whipped milk chocolate ganache

The next thing we are going to make is the chocolate ganache. Or if you are buying the dulce de leche, this is the first thing you are going to make.

We’re making this before making the cupcakes, just because it needs some time to set up in the fridge. So it’s better to make it first.

To make this, all you need is:

  • Milk chocolate 
  • Double cream/heavy cream
  • Unsalted butter 

You just heat these together, until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache. Then you leave this to set.

This can take about 1-2 hours in the fridge. You’re just looking for it to be much thicker. It will be liquid at first, but you want it to become thick and spreadable.

Side note, if you are making the dulce de leche the day before. You can also just make this the day before too. But leave it to set at room temperature overnight, instead of the fridge. 

Whipping the ganache

After the ganache has set, I like to whip it. 

This just make it nice and fluffy, which I think tastes better. But also it’s more pipeable when it’s fluffy.

To whip it, you can use a whisk, but if you have an electric mixer it will make things a lot easier.

Just whip the set ganache until it lightens in colour and looks fluffier. This won’t take long at all.

Try not to over whip this though. As soon as it looks fluffy, stop whipping.

The ingredients for the ganache.
The ganache before being left to set.

The cupcakes

Ok it is finally time to make the cupcakes.

We’re going to make a shortbread base first. For this you just need to mix together crushed shortbread biscuits and melted butter together.

You can use whatever biscuits/cookies you want for these. But I used shortbread because Twix has shortbread in it.

Here are the ingredients you will need for the cupcake batter:

  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
  • Hot water mixed with instant coffee – the water is going to hydrate the cocoa powder, which will intensify the chocolate flavour. The coffee is also going to intensity the chocolate flavour.
  • Oil – for moisture. I use vegetable oil, but any flavourless oil works.
  • Buttermilk – for moisture.
  • Eggs 
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Sugar – I used a mixture of both white and brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add extra moisture as well as some flavour.
  • Baking soda – to make the cupcakes rise.
  • White vinegar – this is going to react with the baking soda, which will give the cupcakes an extra lift as they bake, making them fluffier.
The shortbread base inside of the cupcake cases.
The cupcake batter inside of the cupcake cases, before being baked.

Ingredient substitutions for the cupcake batter

There are a few ingredients that I used in the cupcake batter, that I typically get asked questions about.

So let’s talk about them.

The coffee

A lot of chocolate cake batters has coffee added to them.

All this coffee does is intensify the chocolate flavour. It doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee, so don’t worry about this.

But if you wanted to leave it out, you could. Make sure to still add the hot water though, just don’t mix the coffee into this.

The buttermilk

I added buttermilk to this cupcake batter, mainly for moisture. But also the acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda as the cupcakes bake. This helps them become more fluffy.

If you didn’t have buttermilk, plain natural yoghurt is the best substitute. Most of the time I just use yoghurt, I never have buttermilk in my fridge.

Or instead you can make a buttermilk substitute by mixing together 120ml of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it is ready to use.

However, buttermilk or plain yoghurt are the best two ingredients to use.

The vinegar

The last step in making the cupcake batter is to mix together some baking soda and vinegar. Then you add this into the batter.

This is something that is usually done in red velvet cake. Essentially, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda. So as the cake bakes, this reaction gives the cake an extra lift, which gives the cake a fluffy velvety texture. 

I wanted my chocolate cakes and cupcakes to have this same texture, so I use vinegar in my chocolate cake batter too.

I use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar also works great.

If you didn’t have either, lemon juice can be used.

The top of the plain cupcakes, after being baked.

Decorating the cupcakes

Once everyhting has been made, the ganache has set and the cupcakes have cooled, you can decorate.

You want to fill the cupcakes with the dulce de leche, then decorate however you want.

I just piped the ganache on top of the cupcakes, I used a large star tip for this.

I got a random set of star tips from amazon years ago, they don’t have numbers on  them I’m sorry, but any star tip works.

Then I sprinkled some more crushed shortbread biscuits on top.

Again, you can decorate these however you want!

Here are some more cupcake recipes I think you will also like:

Twix Cupcakes

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Ingredients
Makes: 12-15 Cupcakes

  • For the ganache:
  • 500g milk chocolate, chopped

  • 350ml double cream

  • 50g unsalted butter

  • For the shortbread base:
  • 300g shortbread biscuits

  • 100g unsalted butter, melted

  • For the cupcake batter:
  • 50g cocoa powder

  • 80ml hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee

  • 200ml vegetable oil

  • 120g buttermilk

  • 4 eggs

  • 200g plain flour

  • 125g granulated sugar

  • 125g brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

  • Extras:
  • 400g dulce de leche (you can either buy or make this. I've talked about how to make this above, in this blog post. Or you can use a regular caramel sauce instead.)

  • Plus some extra shortbread biscuits, crushed (to sprinkle on top)

Directions

  • Making the ganache:
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the ganache. Heat this in your microwave for 1 minute, then take it out and give it a stir.
  • Place it back into the microwave and heat for 15 seconds this time, take it out and stir again. Keep repeating this until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache. At this point I like to sieve it, to get out any lumps.
  • Cover and leave this in your fridge until it has thickened and set up. This could take a few hours. You could also just leave it to set at room temperature overnight.
  • Making the shortbread base:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also add your cupcake cases into your cupcake tin.
  • Crush your shortbread biscuits until you get fine crumbs, you can either do this in a food processor or just add them into a food bag and hit with a rolling pin.
  • Mix the crushed shortbread biscuits with the melted butter.
  • Add this into your cupcake cases and press it down. I added about 2 tablespoons into each cupcake case.
  • Making the cupcake batter:
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water/coffee. Now add the oil, buttermilk and eggs, whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour and both sugars into this, whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • In a small, separate bowl, add the baking soda and then pour the vinegar over it. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix then pour it into your cupcake batter straight away. Whisk until incorporated.
  • Pour this batter into your cupcake cases, until they're around 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave these to cool completely.
  • Assembling the cupcakes:
  • Once your ganache has set up, and the cupcakes have baked and cooled, you can put everything together.
  • Start by whipping your ganache, just until it lightens in colour and becomes fluffier.
  • Fill your cupcakes with the dulce de leche. You can either do this by cutting a hole in the top of the cupcakes and then fill this with the dulce de leche. Or you can put the dulce de leche into a piping bag fitted with round tip, stab this into the cupcakes, and pipe the dulce de leche into them.
  • Now pipe your ganache on top, using a large star tip, then sprinkle some crushed shortbread biscuits over the ganache. Then they are done, enjoy!
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