Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

These chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes bring 3 of our top-rated recipes together. It starts with our very best chocolate cupcakes. Fill the baked and cooled cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting and top with chocolate ganache. The ganache doesn’t need any additional ingredients beyond chocolate and heavy cream, but you must let it thicken so it’s spreadable on a cupcake. (If desired, you can read more in this in-depth chocolate ganache tutorial.)

chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream inside

Tell Me About these Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Texture: You’ll love the combination of textures here! We have creamy frosting sitting inside a fluffy sponge-like cupcake. The chocolate ganache is thick, smooth, and fudge-like.
  • Flavor: If you love chocolate and strawberries, there’s no better cupcake for you. Chocolate cupcake and rich ganache seals the pure strawberry flavor inside. The buttercream is made from freeze-dried strawberries, the same way we make the frosting for our strawberry cake. (And actually these festive Cupid Cupcakes too!)
  • Ease: Filling the cupcakes is certainly an extra step, but the way we do it here is pretty simple. The chocolate ganache takes a bit of time, but most of it is hands off as you let the ganache thicken and cool. 

By the way, if you’re making these chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes for Valentine’s Day dessert, you can kick them up a notch by using red wine chocolate ganache as the topping instead. Let it cool and thicken just as you do with the regular chocolate ganache.

overhead image of chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on a white plate

Details On Each Part of the Recipe

  1. Let’s start with chocolate cupcakes. You certainly don’t have to use our recipe for chocolate cupcakes – use your own or a box mix if you prefer it. My team and I love these homemade cupcakes because they’re exceptionally moist with plenty of chocolate flavor to satisfy. You need about 12-14 cupcakes.
  2. Ganache. Two ingredients here: chocolate and heavy cream/heavy whipping cream/double cream. To make the ganache, heat heavy cream until warm and pour over chopped chocolate. Use quality chocolate. You know the 4-ounce bars you buy in the baking aisle? We use and recommend Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Nestle Toll House, or Lindt baking bars. 
  3. Strawberry buttercream filling. Freeze-dried strawberries are the secret to strawberry buttercream. We always find them in the regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans and Giant carries them, as well as Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Target. Keep your eyes peeled because freeze-dried strawberries are more commonly found than you think. If you can’t find them, use the whipped cream from these strawberry shortcake cupcakes as the filling instead.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes Success Tips

  • Filling cupcakes: Take a small knife and carve a 1 inch deep hole into the cupcake, spoon or pipe the filling inside, then place the carved piece back on top. The cupcakes are about 1 and ½ inches tall, so you’ll want to carve out a section of cupcake that is 1-inch deep. This can be an estimate– a little less than 1 inch 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. You certainly don’t have to use a piping tip + bag to fill the cupcakes – spooning the frosting in works too. But we find a piping tip makes things a little neater.
  • Save time with the ganache: The ganache has to cool down and thicken up before spreading on the cupcakes. To save time, we suggest making the ganache right after the cupcakes come out of the oven. This way the ganache can cool as the cupcakes cool.

cutting out the center of a chocolate cupcake with a knife

chocolate cupcake with the center cut out

filling a chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream

hands pressing the chocolate cupcake center on top of the strawberry buttercream

chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

chocolate covered strawberry cupcake

More Valentine’s Day Treats

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chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream inside

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

Description

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


Ingredients

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (about 12-13g) 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*

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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 (affiliate links): 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!

45 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    These look amazing! Could I also change it up and use freeze-dried raspberries as chocolate and raspberry is my favorite combo! Thanks.

    1. Absolutely! Any freeze-dried fruit works well in the buttercream.

  2. Hi Sally for the cupcakes
    Could I use duckhed prossed coca powder instead of natural if I added baking powder and missed out the baking soda or the other way around
    Would it work?

    1. Hi Kat, I don’t suggest straying from this recipe. If you try them with dutched cocoa and only baking powder, let me know how they turn out.

  3. Your thoughts on doing these as mini cupcakes? I’m going to try them tonight! 

    1. They’ll be great! About 11-12 mins bake time.

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

  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).

    1. Hi Jenelle! This filling doesn’t yield quite as much as the strawberry buttercream recipe. Use 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries. Ground down, this should yield about 1/4 cup powder.

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

    1. Just for something a little different and because they’re filled with strawberry buttercream. Feel free to decorate with chocolate buttercream 🙂

  7. Lauren Rose Smith says:

    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!

    1. Hi Julie! You can definitely turn these cupcakes into a chocolate cake. I recommend using this triple chocolate layer cake recipe. This amount of strawberry buttercream and ganache is plenty.

      1. Sally, I need to bake a chocolate cake with strawberry filling for a birthday. Would you put ganache on the top and leave the sides naked, showing the strawberry filling between layers?

      2. Yes, Anne that would be a beautiful cake!

  9. Kristin Bell says:

    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!

  10. 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.

  11. Stephanie Scaturchio says:

    Excellent. A favorite by all!!

  12. Great recipe for gender reveal cupcakes! We did half strawberry filling and half blueberry filling.

    Baking is all about precision, and I really enjoyed Sally’s tips that she included in the recipe. She’s definitely a pro who offers refined best practices.

    Overall, the recipe itself was good. I did my best to follow her instructions explicitly. I found the taste of the chocolate cupcake to be a bit bitter, and a little dry at keeping the batter in the even for 20 mins (1 min under Sally’s recommendation.) If your oven runs hot like ours, I recommend checking the doneness at 18-19 mins to ensure that “moist” texture. Master bakers will say the key to perfect baked goods is to not open the oven until the timer goes off at max time, but for this recipe it’s necessary to check before completely done to achieve Sally’s perfect texture.

    Another tip that wasn’t mentioned for the frosting: because the powered strawberry adds dryness to the mix, the texture will be on the dry side. To solve this, add 1 extra tablespoon of heavy cream, or a few to your desired thickness. Definitely agree with another poster that freeze dried strawberries are tart, so you’ll want to add some sweetness with either jam, or using less than the recommended ¹/4 cup with a little more confectioners sugar.

    Looking forward to trying Sally’s other creations.

  13. Could I frost these if I made extra strawberry buttercream and then dip in the ganache before it’s cooled? I’m thinking frost the cupcake – stick in freezer to firm up the buttercream and then dip? Not sure if my buttercream would fall off or melt though lol

    1. YUM! You can certainly try, Sadie. I definitely recommend freezing the frosting on the cupcakes first and then trying to dip one. If it doesn’t work you can always drizzle the ganache over the rest of them. You can also see how I make a chocolate shell covering on my Ultimate Birthday Cupcakess and my Peanut Butter Hi Hat Cupcakes.

  14. These definitely did not disappoint! Sooo good. I’ll definitely be making them again, and I’ll try making a cake sometime.

  15. These are amazing! They are beautiful and taste delicious. Perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day.
    Also, if Trader Joe’s is not near your home and you don’t want to wait on Amazon, the best place to find freeze dried strawberries is at Walmart. I think they are only 3 or 4 dollars each for a 4oz bag!

  16. I whipped these up really quick. They tasted amazing! I could have hand 5! Amazing job Sally!

  17. Could these be made with raspberry filling instead of strawberry? My husband not so fond of chocolate and strawberry but LOVES anything chocolate and raspberry. Not sure if freeze dried raspberries are sold. Maybe that would be the issue.

    1. Hi Mary! Yes, freeze-dried raspberries are available and actually quite common these days. My regular grocery store sells them. You can use those instead of freeze-dried strawberries.

  18. These did not come out well for me. The strawberry frosting came out like paste. I know I didn’t make a mistake with that part. I wonder if the freeze-dried strawberries were in my cabinet too long or if my mini food processor mixed it too long.

    The ganache was part my fault. I had two issues texture and taste. By accident, the cream came to a rapid boil at a low-sodium for a few seconds before I noticed. I wonder if that was the reason why the texture was so dense after chilling. It was also fuzzy like some cheap frosting. I couldn’t frost the cupcakes with an offset spatula after chilling for 3 hours. I used semisweet Baker’s chocolate so I have no idea what happened. The chocolate ganache had the flavor of Trader Joe’s truffles which I hated. It was too rich tasting and bitter too. Not sure what was wrong. It was disappointing.

  19. I made these cupcakes and brought them to the staff lounge at school. They were well received by all. I used your strawberry cream cheese frosting with a touch of strawberry extract. What a great idea to put the frosting INSIDE the cupcake. And the ganache was an excellent choice for an icing. Delicious recipe!

  20. This was so so awesome to make with my mom and they were so so good!!! :3

  21. Karina Gomez says:

    I have made these about 5 times and my family/husband love them! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  22. These cupcakes are absolutely perfect!! If you didn’t get good results.. it means you did something wrong!
    I didn’t even need the ganache, I just put the frosting on the choc cupcakes and they were so good!! Thank you for this recipe

  23. Hi Sally! I cannot wait to make these, I just added freeze dried strawberries to my grocery list. Is there any reason why you didn’t use your whipped ganache frosting?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, whipped ganache would be wonderful on top of these cupcakes. Happy baking!

  24. Hi Sally i have made and fulled these the night before, are they going to be ok? Will the filling taste bad or make the cake soggy?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Glenda, that will work just fine — the cupcakes stay well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Enjoy!

  25. this is an amazing cupcake recipe, i have loved every recipe i have tried from you page. only thing we did not totaly like was the frosting for filling the cupcake it was not good i tried a few of my tricks to help the flavor and ended up throwing it out and making a strawberry pie filling and using that to fill the cupcakes with. other then those freeze dried strawberries they were soooo yummy.

  26. I am confused- the strawberry filling calls for 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries but in instruction states process in food process and set aside the 1/4 cup, is this a typo?

    1. Hi Lori, 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries should blend down into about 1/4 cup of powder. Use the powder in the frosting recipe. Sorry for any confusion!

  27. Alicia wilson says:

    Maybe these for my sister’s birthday.. I also did pb cream filled, and white cream filled! Very good but super sweet! I’d do less cream inside and a light ganache on top next time. But mmmmmmmm!!!!

  28. Ridah Tufail says:

    Hi Sally, I made these cupcakes and they turned out yum! But one thing happened, I was not able to cut the cupcakes easily so couldn’t fill with the frosting in the whole cupcake. Any easy way to cut the cupcakes from the centre?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ridha, make sure your knife is very sharp and feel free to use a spoon if needed to help remove some of the center. If you let your cupcakes cool a bit, that should also help make it easier to cut / less crumbly. Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try!

  29. Great recipe. I went with the raspberry buttercream option. To save on time , swirled the raspberry buttercream on top of the chocolate ganache rather than core into the cupcake. Looked and tasted awesome. Even if I say so myself!
    You said the batter could be a 6 inch cake – could I divide the batter in two for a double layer cake?
    Thanks Sally for another winner.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi JJ, yours sounds delicious! The batter from the chocolate cupcakes we use here is the perfect amount for 3, 6 inch layers. If you only want two, you could make the two and then use the leftover batter for a few cupcakes. Follow our six inch cakes post for baking time and directions.

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