Chocolate strawberry cupcakes are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat! Moist chocolate cupcakes swirled with strawberry buttercream frosting and topped with a chocolate covered strawberry. These chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes are an irresistible cupcake recipe for your recipe box!
Ingredients for Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Dark cocoa powder – I love using Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder.
- Chocolate chips – Dark or semisweet chocolate chips.
- Boiling water – To boil water, I use a glass liquid measuring cup that is microwave safe. The water boils in about 90 seconds.
- All-purpose flour – Be sure to level your measuring cups!
- Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
- Baking soda – Leavening agent to help the cupcakes rise.
- Salt – Salt enhances the flavor of the cupcakes.
- Eggs – Room temperature.
- Vegetable oil – You could also use canola oil or another neutral baking oil.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract also enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
Strawberry buttercream frosting
- Unsalted butter – Room temperature, softened butter for easy creaming. You could also use half salted butter and half unsalted butter, just omit any additional salt.
- Powdered sugar – No need to sift unless there are lumps.
- Strawberry reduction – Fresh or frozen strawberries cooked down and blended to create a concentrated strawberry puree. Check out my blog post on How to Make Strawberry Reduction to see how it is made!
- Vanilla extract – A bit of pure vanilla extract adds great flavor to the buttercream.
- Salt – A bit of salt enhances the flavor of the buttercream.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream helps the buttercream become smooth, light, and fluffy.
Chocolate covered strawberries
- Strawberries – Small to medium sized strawberries will work best. Select strawberries that are shiny, red, and with nice leaves. But then again, if you live in Buffalo, New York and it is January, you do the best you can!
- Dark chocolate coating wafers – I love using Merckens dark chocolate wafers to coat the strawberries. This chocolate does not need to be tempered to firm up and become shiny. If you use regular chocolate chips or a chocolate bar, you will need to temper the chocolate.
How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- Combine dark cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and boiling water. Mix and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Add in vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Portion the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the cupcakes bounce back when gently touched or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How to Make Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
To make strawberry buttercream frosting, I recommend using a stand mixer for the best results. You can use a paddle attachment or a whisk attachment based on your personal preference. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Whip the room temperature butter for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is combined with the butter. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add the room temperature or chilled strawberry reduction and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt and continue to mix on low until combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after this step to ensure everything is well mixed.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip the buttercream for about 3-5 minutes.
How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Wash and dry strawberries. The strawberries should be completely dry to prevent the chocolate from falling off.
- Pull the leaves of the strawberry up gently so they are not dipped in the chocolate. The leaves will serve as a little handle for dipping.
- Melt the chocolate wafers. This can be done in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or over a double-boiler. If microwaving, heat in 30 second intervals, mixing in between until the chocolate is melted. If using a double boiler, stir the chocolate frequently until melted.
- Dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate by gently holding the leaves in your fingers.
- Very gently shake off the excess chocolate and place the strawberries onto parchment paper to firm up.
- If desired, use a piping bag and additional melted chocolate to drizzle onto the strawberries.
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Bake perfect cupcakes
Check out my baking tips blog post on 10 Tips for Baking Perfect Cupcakes where I share some of my favorite tips and tricks for baking the best cupcakes!
Frosting the cupcakes
For these cupcakes, I used a French piping tip, which is an open star piping tip with a lot of teeth. Use any type of piping tip you prefer! A word of caution, when making the strawberry buttercream, the strawberry reduction should be completely smooth. If there are chunks of strawberries in the buttercream, it can clog the piping tip. Pipe a swirl of strawberry frosting and top with a chocolate covered strawberry.
Chocolate coating wafers
As I mentioned above, I love using Merckens chocolate melting wafers to dip the strawberries, as it is a compound chocolate that does not need to be tempered. You can absolutely use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar, however, you will need to temper the chocolate, so it becomes shiny and snaps. Sugar Geek Show has an excellent blog post dedicated to tempering chocolate.
Storing and serving
The cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. If kept longer, the strawberries will start to release juice and can make the cupcakes soggy. These cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature. Remove them from the refrigerator about an hour before serving.
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup strawberry reduction see blog post
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- ½-¾ cup chocolate melting wafers Merckens chocolate highly recommended
- 12 strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl or a glass liquid measuring cup, stir together chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and boiling water until the cocoa powder is dissolved and the chocolate chips are melted.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until just combined.
- Add vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined and smooth.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back slightly when touched.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, add in room temperature unsalted butter. Whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides occasionally. The butter will be light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add one half of the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed setting until fully combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix on low until incorporated.
- Add in strawberry reduction and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and mix on low until combined.
- Increase speed to medium on the mixer and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure the frosting is well mixed.
- Turn the speed on the mixer to high and whip for an additional 3-5 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Wash and dry 12 strawberries. Pull up on the leaves so they are away from the strawberry.
- Melt chocolate wafers. This can be done with a double-boiler on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- If using a microwave, pour the chocolate wafers into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, mixing in between until the chocolate is completely melted.
- If using a double boiler, pour the chocolate wafers into the top portion of the double-boiler. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted.
- Hold a strawberry by the leaves and dip into the chocolate, coating about ¾ of the strawberry.
- Gently shake off additional chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper to dry and firm up.
- (Optional) Use a piping bag with additional melted chocolate to drizzle over the strawberries.
Assembling the Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Swirl strawberry buttercream onto the top of the cooled cupcakes. For these cupcakes, I used a large French piping tip.
- Place a chocolate covered strawberry on top of the strawberry buttercream frosting.