These Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes have a rich, moist homemade chocolate cupcake with a tall swirl of strawberry frosting that's made with fresh strawberries and topped with a chocolate covered strawberry. It's the perfect cupcake recipe for Valentine's Day or just to celebrate spring!
I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes more of a spring dessert that works for Valentine's Day. But how can you lighten such a decadent dessert without it losing that rich, chocolatey flavor? Switch the frosting, of course!
Making chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting is a great way to make rich cupcakes into a lighter, spring or summer dessert and the pair are a classic combination.
I absolutely love strawberry as I'm sure you've noticed if you're a fan of my recipes. If you haven't, you need to check out these Candied Strawberries, Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries, Fresh Strawberry Cake, or these Strawberry Brownies.
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcake Ingredients
You may look at this recipe and think that there are kind of a lot of ingredients. However, they are all necessary and play an important role in making fantastic cupcakes.
Here is a quick look at what you will need to make my chocolate strawberry cupcakes
- Butter- Butter is needed for both the chocolate cupcakes and the strawberry frosting. Use unsalted butter to make sure the cupcakes aren’t too salty.
- Vegetable Oil- I use both butter and vegetable oil in my cupcake recipe. Oil helps make the cupcakes super moist and tender.
- Cocoa Powder- Unsweetened cocoa powder is responsible for that rich, chocolate taste.
- Buttermilk- Buttermilk helps make the cupcakes moist and also adds a nice tangy flavor.
- Sour Cream- Sour cream makes the chocolate cupcakes dense and a little bit tart.
- Vanilla Extract- A little vanilla always adds a flavor boost. It enhances the taste of the cupcakes and makes them really taste homemade.
- Eggs- Eggs bind the cupcake ingredients together.
- Cake Flour- Cake flour is light and fluffy. It has less gluten which helps the texture of the cupcakes stay light rather than being dense and chewy.
- Sugar- Sugar adds a great sweet flavor. You need sugar in cupcakes!
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder- Baking soda and baking powder help the cake batter rise as it bakes. This makes your cupcakes fluffy rather than har as rocks
- Salt- Salt is a natural flavor enhancer. It makes the taste of the cupcakes really pop.
- Strawberries- Fresh strawberries add a sweet, juicy taste. They also blend into the frosting much better than frozen berries. Fresh berries is what makes these cupcakes really taste like spring!
- Powdered Sugar- Powdered sugar is used to make the frosting sweet and fluffy. Powdered sugar dissolves right into the frosting so it has no gritty texture. Just pure goodness!
Grab all these ingredients at the grocery store and then get ready to make fantastic chocolate strawberry cupcakes.
How to make Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
My chocolate strawberry cupcakes are made in two steps. First, you make and bake the chocolate cupcakes, then you make the strawberry frosting. When you look at the recipe in two separate parts, it is pretty simple to tackle!
Take a quick look at how to make chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting and you will see that it is pretty simple.
- Whisk the melted butter, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder together in a large bowl
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Add all of the dry ingredients for the cupcake batter and whisk again. Make sure the batter is smooth and has no lumps.
- Scoop the batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake wrappers. Fill each wrapper ½ full. The cupcakes will rise as they bake so you don’t want the muffin tin to be overflowing.
- Bake the cupcakes until they spring back to the touch. Let them cool while you make the frosting.
- Puree the strawberries until smooth. Add the puree to a small pot and simmer until the puree is only about ½ cup. Stir often so the puree doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the puree from the stove and set aside to cool.
- Add the butter and powdered sugar to a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients until very smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often to make sure all the butter is well blended. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
- Slowly add the strawberry puree and mix until completely incorporated. The frosting will be a pretty shade of pink!
- Scoop the strawberry frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe it onto the cooled chocolate cupcakes.
- Prepare the chocolate covered strawberries and pop one in the middle of each swirl of frosting.
TIP: Make the strawberry puree before you start the cupcake batter. This gives the puree plenty of time to cool. Less waiting time is better since you are going to want one of these cupcakes right away!
How to Store Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
Once your chocolate strawberry cupcakes are baked and iced, they can sit out at room temperature for up to 4 hours. This is best to keep the frosting nice and soft on top of the cake.
Cover the cupcakes and place them in the fridge to keep them overnight or longer. They do need to go in the fridge since the fresh strawberry puree can’t sit out too long. It is so moist and delicious that it needs to be in the fridge to stay fresh.
The cupcakes will last for about a week in the fridge. However, they always disappear long before then.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This is a great idea. Extra strawberries in the cupcakes is always a good idea. If you want to add more strawberry taste, use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcakes. Scoop a little strawberry jam into the hole. Then, pipe the strawberry frosting right on top, covering up the hole in the center of the cupcake and hiding the jam. It will be a great strawberry surprise!
Yes! You can freeze strawberry cupcakes. However, I recommend freezing the cupcakes without the strawberry frosting. The fresh strawberries can turn brown in the freezer and make the pretty pink frosting a weird, tanish color.
Make the chocolate cupcakes completely and let them cool. Place the baked cupcakes in a large, zippered freezer bag and seal. Freeze the chocolate cupcakes for up to three months.
When you are ready to make the cupcakes, let the frozen chocolate cupcakes thaw at room temperature for about 4 hours. Make the strawberry frosting in the meantime. Ice the cupcakes as directed in the recipe and then enjoy! They will taste fresh, delicious and springlike!
Chocolate cupcakes are good any time of year. Adding strawberry frosting definitely makes them a perfect spring dessert. Of course, everyone would also be happy to eat these cupcakes in the fall, winter, or summer. The chocolate-strawberry combination is simply great anytime. Enjoy!
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, add in the melted butter, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth.
- Add in the buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla. Continue to whisk until the sour cream is incorporated.
- Whisk in the eggs until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until blended.
- Pour the cocoa mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk until everything is combined and most of the lumps have disappeared.
- Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18 - 23 minutes until done. Insert a toothpick or skewer in the center of the cupcakes in the middle of the cupcake pan, if they come out clean or with moist crumbs, they're done.
- Let the cupcakes cool for about 15 minutes and then turn onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Add the 3 cups of strawberries to a food processor or blender. Pulse until the strawberries are pureed. You should have about 1 ½ cups or just a little more strawberry puree.
- Add the puree into a medium saucepan over medium heat and let it cook down to roughly ½ cup of puree. Mine actually measured out to be ½ cup plus ½ tablespoon. If you have more than that, pop it back into the saucepan and continue to cook it until it's reduced to ½ cup. The time may vary, but it took 22 - 24 minutes for me. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the butter, vanilla extract, and 4 cups of powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on low until most of the powdered sugar is incorporated.
- Add in half of the strawberry puree and continue to beat until incorporated.
- Beat in the remaining powdered sugar into the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the remaining strawberry puree to the frosting and beat until incorporated.
- Spread the frosting on top of cupcakes, cakes, etc. It can be piped into a shell border or rose swirl using the Wilton 1M tip.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)