Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream inside

When a triple threat comes together…

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

overhead image of chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on a white plate

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.

chocolate covered strawberry cupcake with a strawberry heart on top

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 chocolate cupcakes recipe if you’re interested. There’s a video too!

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

cutting out the center of a chocolate cupcake with a knife

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.

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

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 in a glass bowl

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.

chocolate covered strawberry cupcake

overhead image of chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes on a white plate

Let me know if you try this cupcake combination!

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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


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 (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!


  1. My two favorite ingredients EVER!!!!! 🙂

    1. Yay! I hope you love these!! 🙂

  2. I definitely wouldn’t mind eating all of these!

    1. Thanks, Mariya!!

  3. I have made these chocolate cupcakes and they are super yummy. I have made the strawberry buttercream and have been told it is delicious-I cannot eat it because I am allergic. I can only image a=how yummy these would be. I showed these to my husband who has had both the cupcake and buttercream and he said the addition of ganache would be the best addition. What a lovely valentine! 

    1. I am so happy to hear you love the chocolate cupcakes!

  4. These are absolutely beautiful!! I am making cake pops for Valentines Day and now you post these! All I can say is I’m going to have to freeze some of each.. Oh darn! 

    1. Such a tough decision! Sounds like you’ll get the best of both worlds 🙂 Happy baking!

  5. 3 in 1! Everything I love is here.
    Thank you.

  6. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Omg these are such an amazing idea.  Especially because your strawberry buttercream is ridiculously good!

    1. Thank you so much!

  7. Just a quick tip, for an easy way to pipe in the filling, if someone doesn’t have a piping bag/ coupler / tip (or just doesn’t want to deal with the mess and clean up). Fill a zip top bag with the filling, clip off one of the bottom corners, and pipe away.

    1. Such a great tip! 🙂

  8. What a gorgeous idea for Valentine’s day! Such pretty cupcakes ♥

    1. Thank you, Natalie!

  9. ashley @ thedelightfulbite says:

    Omg Sally. These look divine. I cannot wait to try them!! Making these ASAP.

    Thanks for sharing another amazing recipe!!!

    And that was my fav commercial too!! So funny!

    1. You are so welcome! I hope you love these 🙂

  10. These look delicious. But hands down, the best commercial was when the red m&m turned into Danny Davito. “Do you want to eat me?”  How priceless!

    1. Hahaha – yep, that one made me laugh too!

  11. These cupcakes are a triple threat! I love the flavor combination, this sounds wicked good! perfect for Valentines day for sure 🙂

    1. A triple threat indeed! Thank you!

  12. What a wonderful idea – and so pretty! If only strawberries were in season yet over here in europe – I find the imported ones don’t really taste as good. I think I’ll have to keep this in mind for early May when the first field-grown strawberries arrive! But a good chocolate cupcake on it’s own is always in season 🙂

    1. You are absolutely right! Chocolate cupcakes are always in season 🙂 Happy baking!

  13. Sally, I was on my  to catch a bus from Uni and lost my steps over these!! They look wonderful.

    1. Thank you so much Sofia!!

  14. Am I able to use regular strawberries for the buttercream instead of freeze dried?

    1. Hi Kirstie! For this particular buttercream, freeze-dried strawberries are a must. You can try a strawberry filling like I do here (instead of a buttercream) instead if you want. That uses real strawberries.

  15. YUM. Sally, these look amazing. Definitely making them this weekend!!! That chocolate cupcake recipe is my favorite ever. I always recommend it to people!

    1. Let me know how you like them! Happy baking 🙂

  16. These look amazing! I wish I was munching on some of these today!


    1. Thank you, Paige!

  17. I can’t wait to try these! They look wonderful! Thank you for putting in all the hard work so we can have perfect recipes to use!! 
    I agree with the Doritos commercial!!

    1. Thank you so much Abbey! I hope you love them!!

  18. My friend and I give up chocolate for Lent, so these will be our “Fat Tuesday” treat, before we abstain for the next 40 days.

    1. Love that idea! Happy baking 🙂

  19. I am Pinning these. They look delicious!

    1. Thank you so much!

  20. Ohhh, I usually don’t even bother with putting the piece back on top of the filling. Like you said, it all gets covered! I also usually use the round end of a big piping tip to pull the middle out. I have one that got a little banged up and dented, and it works perfectly.

    I’m nearly through my first trimester of pregnancy, and I didn’t know it was possible to be this tired. If I manage to scrape together any energy next week, I’ll give these a go.

    And you and I agree on the Super Bowl commercials! That one was great! The Tide ones were funny, too.

    1. Rest up, Liz! I had SO much more energy in the 2nd trimester. Congrats to you!

  21. 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.

  22. I am beyond excited to bake these for my wife and kids. I have loved everything I have tried on your website.

  23. SO making these for Valentine’s Day .   Oh How Yummish lol…..thanks!

  24. Hi sally for the chocolate cupcakes i don’t have unsweetened natural cocoa powder only dutch-processed can i use this substitution:
    Dutch-process option: Replace the unsweetened cocoa powder called for with an equal amount of Dutch-processed cocoa. Then, bump up the acidity in the recipe by adding 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar, white vinegar, or lemon juice for every 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder used.
    Would it work for the cupcakes? THANKS

    1. Sorry, I’m not sure. Let me know how it goes!

  25. Although I always try my hardest to have my finished products look like yours do… and fail, slightly.. the taste always makes up for it in the end!
    Your recipes are the best, Sally.

  26. Tori// says:

    Oh swoon! Sally, these look to-die-for!!!!

  27. Joanne | No Plate Like Home says:

    These cupcakes look amazing. They’d fit well with my Chocolate Covered Strawberries no churn ice cream I’m posting on my blog Monday! 
    I’d love these cupcakes…I mean ganache too? Wow!

  28. I am a working mom and I’m making these cupcakes for my sons class. I have to make these a couple days before his party. Would it be bad to go ahead and fill/ice and leave in refrigerator before he take a ten to school? I work 12 hour shifts and won’t have time.

    1. You can bake, fill, and frost these cupcakes ahead of time and refrigerate for a day or 2 before serving.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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