Valentine’s Day calls for a special flavor combination – like with these chocolate strawberry cupcakes. Moist, easy to make chocolate cupcakes topped with a creamy strawberry buttercream frosting. Top with chocolate covered strawberries for a perfect garnish!
One of my favorite desserts in the world is a simple chocolate covered strawberry. I see one and I can’t resist. So is it any surprise that I would combine my favorite dessert flavor combination into a cupcake?
Chocolate + Strawberry = Perfect Valentine’s Day Cupcake.
These chocolate cupcakes are light and fluffy and rich in chocolate flavor. And then swirled on top is a strawberry buttercream frosting, made with a secret ingredient so it’s smooth, not runny or overly sweet like some berry buttercreams can be. All the wonderful strawberry flavor swirled high on top.
How To Make These Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
First things first. Prepare your pans and pre-heat that oven. My Favorite Go To Cupcake Liners Are These.
In a large bowl you need to combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) and simply whisk to combine.
In a second bowl you then add your wet ingredients- sour cream, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs. And whisk, whisk, whisk again.
To fill your cupcake pans, I find it easiest to pour the batter into a liquid measuring cup and pour then into my cupcake pans.
You want to fill these up about 3/4 of the way to leave a bit of room for them to rise and create that beautiful domed cupcake.
Tips For Making These Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Be sure to measure your flour accurately. For a full tutorial on how and why, read this post.
- Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder not dutch process. They are not the same. You can read about the differences here.
- When baking these, it’s best to rotate the pans halfway through their baking time. Every oven can have hot spots so they may not bake evenly. Give them a turn in the oven, so they all bake up pretty.
- Once they are baked, be sure to take them out of the pans and cool on a cooling rack. Leaving them in your pans means they will continue to bake and could end up dry.
How Far In Advance Can I Make These Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes?
You can make the chocolate strawberry cupcakes up to 2 days in advance, unfrosted. Just wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. You can also make the cupcakes and freeze for up to 2 months. Learn how to freeze your cupcakes here.
The frosting can be made up to a week in advance. Just store in your refrigerator for up to a week. You may need to place them back in your mixer and rewhip back to the same consistency.
If the cupcakes are frosted, it can stay fresh at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, according to Spruce Eats.
Can You Substitute Dutch Process For Regular Cocoa?
No unfortunately you can’t. You can read the differences between natural cocoa and dutch process cocoa.
So when it comes to swapping out these cocoa powder you will be upsetting that chemical balance that was originally achieved when the recipe was written. So save yourself the headache and use the cocoa powder called for.
How To Make This Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Tips For Making This Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Soften Your Butter: Make sure your butter is softened before you start. You can soften your butter quickly 3 different ways.
- Use Unsalted Butter: Be sure to use unsalted butter. Different brands have different amounts of salt. So it’s best to use unsalted butter then add a pinch of salt to your own tasting.
- Use A Towel: Wrap a towel around the top of your mixer so you don’t end up with powdered sugar blizzard everywhere. You can also use a damp paper towel.
- Use Freeze Dried Strawberries – In order to get a great consistency without too much liquid freeze dried strawberries are where it’s at. I was able to find mine at a grocery store, but you can also buy them on Amazon.
- Rewhip If Necessary. If you don’t use the buttercream right away and store the buttercream you will need to rewhip it again to the same fluffy consistency before using it on a cake.
How Many Cupcakes Or Cake Will This Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Cover?
- For Cupcakes – This recipe will generously frost 12 cupcakes. I like to pipe a pretty tall amount of frosting on each cupcake. So if you don’t use as much as I do as in the photos, then you might get more frosted (around 24 cupcakes). For help on decorating cupcakes, be sure to check out my The Ultimate Guide To Baking Cupcakes At Home and The Ultimate Guide To Making The Best Buttercream Icing.
- For Cake – This frosting will cover a 9 x 13 sheet cake or a 2 layer 8-inch or 9-inch cake.
Does This Strawberry Frosting Need To Be Refrigerated?
This frosting will be safe at room temperature for 2-3 days. Any longer than that and I recommend you refrigerate the buttercream frosting up to 5 days.
The strawberry buttercream frosting can also be frozen up to 3 months.
If you try these chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting, let me know and leave me a comment and star rating below!
For the Chocolate Covered Strawberries
I topped these cupcakes with some chocolate covered strawberries on top. I simply melted chocolate in the microwave and then dipped fresh (dry!) strawberries in the chocolate.
I let them dry on parchment paper and when the chocolate was hardened I placed one on top.
More Chocolate Cupcake Recipes
- Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
- Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
- Thin Mint Cupcakes
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
- Football Cupcakes (perfect for the Superbowl!)
More Cupcake Recipes To Try:
- My easy Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
- Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
- Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes (Small Batch)
- Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe
Tools Needed To Make These Chocolate Cupcakes
- Cupcake Pans (I love and highly recommend these Chicago Metallic pans)
- Cupcake Liners (I love using these greaseproof liners)
- Cooling Rack (Never let your cupcakes sit in the pans once you take them out of the oven or they will continue to bake! These racks are a must.
If you make these cupcakes, then be sure to leave me a comment below! 🙂 Happy baking!
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- ¾ cup (90 g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (42 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup (149 g) granulated white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
- ½ cup (114 g) sour cream
For the strawberry buttercream:
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- 2 ½ cups (284 g) confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1.2 ounces freeze dried strawberries
For chocolate covered strawberries (garnish, optional)
- 15 strawberries
- 4 ounces chocolate
To Make the cupcakes
- Preheat and prepare pan. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and sour cream.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Bake. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Keep remaining batter in the refrigerator as the first batch is baking. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Finish baking remaining batter. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
To make the buttercream
- Mix butter and sugar. In an mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine the butter and confectioners sugar. Mix on low speed at first, then increase the speed to medium until combined.
- Add the freeze dried strawberries to a food processor or blender to pulse into a fine powder. Add the strawberry powder to the frosting.
- Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Add in your heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt.
- Mix on medium to high speed for 7-8 minutes until light and creamy.
- If not using immediately, store in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use, mix again until light and fluffy.
To make chocolate covered strawberries
- Melt chocolate in the microwave and dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool. Top each cupcake with a chocolate covered strawberry.
- Make Ahead/Storage: These can be made one day in advance before frosting. Store leftover cupcakes, covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can also freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.