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


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


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*


  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. 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!

    1. A Vitamix is super powerful, so that could be it! But if the frosting still worked then it’s all good 🙂

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

    1. Thanks for reporting back about the cupcakes, Darcy!

  3. 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.

      1. Ok, thanks!

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

      1. JoElla Armstrong says:

        I wanted to ask you if it’s possible to use the filling from your strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe in this recipe? I want a filling using fresh….I’m also thinking of incorporating cream to that filling in some way…..any suggestions? TIA….also….I love love love all of your recipes!

      2. Hi JoElla! You can definitely use the strawberry filling from these strawberry shortcake cupcakes here. So good!

  9. Pamela Schuyler says:

    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).

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. Stephanie Scaturchio says:

    Excellent. A favorite by all!!

  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?

    1. Hi Tayla! Sorry for the confusion. I meant that you can replace the strawberry buttercream filling with strawberry whipped cream– the topping I use for these strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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!

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

  20. 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.

      1. Oh awesome! I’ll see what I can find. Thanks

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

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

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Abbie!

  24. Karina Gomez says:

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

  25. Laurie Lehman says:

    Can you use white chocolate instead for the ganache?

  26. 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

  27. Hi! I’m wondering if I did something wrong because we couldn’t really taste the strawberry over the chocolate cupcake and ganache. I made sure to put 1/4 cup of the strawberry powder (1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries processed down to 1/4 cup powder). Can/should I add more??

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

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