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.)
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.
Details On Each Part of the Recipe
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
More Valentine’s Day Treats
- Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
- Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies
- Cupid Cupcakes
- Chocolate Truffles
Deliciously indulgent and fudgy chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache.
- 1 batch of chocolate cupcakes
- 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
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- one 4-ounce (113g) semi-sweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped*
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls | Small Icing Spatula | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Icing Bags | #12 Round Icing Tip | KitchenAid Food Processor | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Freeze Dried Strawberries
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!