Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on

When a triple threat comes together…

… our self control’s in serious trouble. And bonus: there’s strawberry hearts on top. Little cuties!

Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on

Here’s a cupcake I’ve been dreaming about since last Valentine’s Day when I showed you how I make strawberry frosting. Never really got around to making them, so I saved them for Vday 2018. And strawberry is fresh on our minds right now because helloooo fresh strawberry cake.

We’re taking my favorite chocolate cupcakes, filling with creamy strawberry buttercream, and topping with smooth chocolate ganache. All pretty straightforward recipes grouped together to create a new cupcake masterpiece. Unwrap the decadence.

Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on

Let’s start with chocolate cupcakes. You certainly don’t have to use my recipe for chocolate cupcakes– use your own or a box mix if you prefer it. But can I suggest you try my recipe if you haven’t yet? They’re exceptionally moist with plenty of chocolate flavor to satisfy. I won’t go into detail about how to make them today, but you can visit the recipe if you’re interested. There’s a video too!

Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, let’s prepare them for the filling.

How to fill cupcakes on

I’ve showed you how I fill cupcakes before, but a little refresher is nice.

  • Take a small knife
  • Carve a hole into the cupcake
  • Spoon or pipe the filling inside
  • Place the carved piece back on top

The cupcakes are about 1.5 inches tall, so you’ll want to carve a 1 inch deep section of cupcake out. This can be roughly 1 inch, a little less is perfectly fine. The section of cupcake you remove will be the shape of a cone (see below). I slice off a little of the narrow end of the cone because it won’t fit back on top with all the strawberry buttercream inside. Does this all make sense? Let me show you.

How to fill cupcakes on

How to fill cupcakes on

How to fill cupcakes on

You certainly don’t have to use a piping tip + bag to fill the cupcakes– spooning the frosting in works too. I find a piping tip makes things a little more neat. Place the carved out piece on top. You’ll cover it all up with ganache, don’t worry.


Two ingredients here: pure chocolate and heavy cream/heavy whipping cream/double cream. To make the ganache, you’ll heat the heavy cream until warm and pour over the chopped chocolate. Use pure chocolate. You know the 4 ounce bars you buy in the baking aisle? I like Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Nestle Toll House, or Lindt baking bars. Chop the chocolate into super tiny pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker and easier they’ll melt to create the ganache.

If needed, see my chocolate ganache page for more help. 🙂

The ganache has to cool down and thicken up before spreading on the cupcakes. So I suggest making the ganache right after the cupcakes come out of the oven. This way the ganache can cool as the cupcakes cool.

Chocolate ganache on

Want to take your chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes to the next level? Top with red wine chocolate ganache instead of plain ganache. Best Valentine’s Day ever.

Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on

Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on

Let me know if you try this cupcake combination!


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache.


Strawberry Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (5-6g) freeze-dried strawberries*
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • one 4-ounce (113g) semi-sweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped*


  1. Bake the chocolate cupcakes. As the cupcakes cool, I suggest you make the chocolate ganache in step 2. This way the ganache can cool down and thicken as the cupcakes cool down. Saves you time!
  2. Make the ganache as the cupcakes cool: Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Then stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. Cover and refrigerate until it’s thick and a spreadable consistency, about 1-2 hours. You don’t want it runny. The longer it’s chilled, the thicker it will be.
  3. Make the frosting: Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/4 cup. Set aside. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Set aside.
  4. Fill the cupcakes: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle/hole into the center of the cooled cupcakes to create a little pocket about 1 inch deep. The piece you removed will be the shape of a cone. Spoon or pipe frosting inside each carved out cupcake– use however much frosting will fit. (I use Wilton piping tip #12 to fill cupcakes.) Slice off the pointy end of the “cone” piece of cupcake you removed so that it can fit on top of the filling. Place on top of the filling.
  5. Frost each cupcake with thickened chocolate ganache. I use my small icing spatula. If you’d rather pipe the ganache on top, let the ganache chill in the refrigerator for several more hours, so it will be the thicker consistency to pipe.
  6. Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and fill/frost the day of serving. Strawberry frosting and chocolate ganache can be prepared the day before too. Cover each and refrigerate overnight. The ganache will be nice and thick! Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting, filling, and serving.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Small Icing Spatula | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Icing Bags | #12 Round Icing TipKitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Freeze Dried Strawberries
  3. Strawberry Buttercream: Here is the separate post on how to make the strawberry buttercream. You can read all the details about the frosting in that blog post. The freeze-dried strawberries are the secret. Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? I always find them in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans and Giant carries them, as well as Trader Joe’s and Target. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think! If you can’t find freeze-dried strawberries, try strawberry whipped cream instead.
  4. Chocolate: Use real, quality chocolate. You can find the 4 ounce baking bars in the baking aisle. I like using Ghirardelli or Baker’s brand. You can use 4 ounces (heaping 2/3 cup) of quality chocolate chips instead, but the ganache won’t be as smooth.
  5. Top with Strawberry Heart Slices! Super simple. Watch this video for how to cut strawberries into hearts. I rounded off the top of the heart and cut each into thin slices to top the cupcakes.
  6. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!


  1. Made these cupcakes tonight! I did use box chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes and doctored them up a bit. I didn’t have semi sweet chocolate square so I substituted with Ghirardelli chocolate chips….only used 1/2 cup which was a perfect amount. I think 2/3 c would have been too sweet. When I blended my dried strawberries they became more like a paste than a powder. Could be because I used a Vitamix. Wonderful recipe!! Thank you for sharing it. Happy Valentine’s day!

  2. Hi Sally,
    I also just made these for my loves today-wow! My cupcakes came out a bit more brownie-like but very delicious. I subbed sour cream for buttermilk, likely the culprit. The buttercream was delicious, I ate way more with the spoon than I should have. I found my freeze dried strawberries very tart and not as strong tasting in the buttercream, so I added 2T of strawberry preserves. That pushed it over the edge to divine! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Karen! The cupcakes were a little more dense because of the sour cream/buttermilk switch. Liquid (buttermilk) produces a lighter cake. I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Great idea with the strawberry preserves!

  3. Made these for Valentine’s Day and they were DIVINE! Making a second batch today. Thank you for sharing this glorious recipe.

  4. Would this icing be good with normal frozen strawberries?? I know you say to use freeze dried, but we have lots of frozen strawberries and I’m trying to find something to do with them.

    1. Hi Ellie! Frozen strawberries will not grind up into a powder. You need freeze-dried, with moisture removed, for the powder.

  5. Hi Sally,

    I notice in the buttercream recipe it calls for 1/2 cup of the strawberry powder, but your directions say that you’ll end up with 1/4 cup. Can you clarify which of these measurements is the correct one? I usually need twice as much (by weight) to achieve that measurement (by volume).

  6. Hi! Any particular reason you chose ganache instead of the chocolate buttercream frosting? Do you think it would be too rich? TIA!

  7. I think these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made! So delicious and pretty!! I’m excited to share these special treats at work tomorrow. Thank you, Sally!

  8. Can I make this as a cake? with the strawberry buttercream in the middle of the two layers and ganache on top? Any recommendations if the icing/ganache amounts will be different? I see a cake recipe with the cupcakes. Thanks!

  9. Hello! I only have fresh strawberries on hand and would like to make these ASAP, could I dehydrate them in the oven use them in the butter cream?

    1. Personally, I have never been able to dehydrate strawberries in the oven to the point where they are 100% dry. If you can do it and they turn into a fine powder when you grind them up then you use them!

  10. I am super excited to try these and I am getting ready to premake the ganache and realized that I have 60% bittersweet baking bar not semi sweet. Can I use that or should I use semi sweet chocolate chips?? Thanks.

    1. Hi Pamela, you can use the 60% bar! It might be slightly less sweet than semi sweet but that’s ok! I don’t recommend chocolate chips as they have stabilizers in them which helps them to maintain their shape (thus making them more difficult to melt down evenly).

  11. Thanks for all your dedication and testing…my current baking project is mastering chocolate cupcakes to my families taste, ha ha you say, yes a daunting task. Chocolate always seems to be a bit on the dry side no matter how wonderful the recipe but I think all chocolate should be like brownies. I just experimented with a cake recipe that I think might just be the bomb, maybe a little denser than regular cupcakes but that’s what we like, soft and moist, now just have to bump up the chocolate flavour a bit, but thanks to you I can do that with natural cocoa powder, by the way the recipe is for “Swiss chocolate squares”, makes almost 24 cupcakes, and I baked at 375 for 10 min then reduced heat to 350 for last 10 min, almost perfect!

  12. Made these and 2 of your other cupcake recipes for co-workers and my husband’s game night buddies and they were devoured and much loved by everyone! I had a heck of a time tracking down freeze-dried strawberries for some reason and had to pick them out of a box of Special K Red Berries but hey it worked!

  13. Hi Sally,
    I want to make these for an event but I won’t have time except for about a week or so ahead. Have you ever tried making and freezing these? Did they thaw alright if so? Any thoughts on this? Would I be best off just freezing the cupcake and filling and then topping with ganache before the event?

    1. Hi Ginger! The best way to make these cupcakes ahead of time is to bake and cool the cupcakes, then freeze them. Thaw them in the refrigerator or on the counter, then add the ganache close to serving.

  14. Hi, there. Sorry if this is a silly question, but I just want to make sure I’m on the right track. In the notes where you say that we can use strawberry whipped cream instead of freeze-dried strawberries, do you mean we replace the strawberry frosting/buttercream entirely with the strawberry whipped cream? Or does the strawberry whipped cream become part of the strawberry frosting/buttercream?

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally