Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

These homemade chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting will remind you of an indulgent raspberry truffle. We start with super moist chocolate cupcakes which are made from simple everyday ingredients and pack a TON of chocolate flavor. Though chocolate buttercream is our usual go-to topping for these cupcakes, you’ll especially love them with this extra creamy frosting made with fruity raspberry preserves.

chocolate cupcakes topped with raspberry frosting, sprinkles, and raspberries on a white plate

Welcome to our favorite chocolate cupcakes on the planet, a base recipe we enjoy topping with everything from chocolate ganache to peanut butter frosting. They’re moist, super soft, fluffy, sponge-like, and fudge-like all at the same time. This recipe is an example of how often I mix and match recipes to create new ones. And I encourage you to do the same! How about spreading this Nutella frosting on our homemade brownies? Or the swirled frosting from these marble cupcakes on our red velvet cupcakes? You can even find today’s exact raspberry frosting recipe on these raspberry lemon cupcakes, too.


Tell Me About These Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

  • Flavor: These cupcakes are wonderfully chocolate-y and get all their flavor from natural unsweetened cocoa powder. This rich chocolate flavor pairs beautifully with the fresh tartness of raspberry frosting. If you love raspberries and chocolate together, you’ll enjoy how we decorated this flourless chocolate cake. Yum!
  • Texture: The combination of oil, brown sugar, and buttermilk makes these the moistest chocolate cupcakes we’ve ever made. The batter is thinner than you would expect and it helps create their spongey, yet rich texture.
  • Ease: For the cupcakes you need 2 bowls, 1 whisk, and 1 spatula. That’s it! Since we aren’t creaming butter, you won’t need to break out your mixer – though you absolutely can (you will need it for the frosting). The frosting starts a similar way to this vanilla buttercream. Use your favorite raspberry preserves to add delicious fruity flavor– we use and recommend Bonne Maman brand.

By the way, this recipe transfers beautifully into cake pans to make a 6 inch cake.

raspberry frosting in a pink bowl

overhead image of chocolate cupcake topped with raspberry frosting and raspberries on a heart shaped white plate

Overview: How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before we get started. 

  1. Prepare. Preheat your oven and line your muffin pan.
  2. Make the cupcakes. Whisk the dry ingredients. Separately, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Combine and add buttermilk as directed below. This batter is very easy to prepare.
  3. Spoon into liners and bake. Fill only halfway otherwise the cupcakes will overflow.
  4. Make the frosting. Start with room temperature butter to ensure it softens and creams properly.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes. You can use a piping bag/tip or swirl the frosting on the cooled cupcakes with a knife or small icing spatula. While piped frosting is always impressive, there’s a simplistic charm with a handmade swirl– I just used a knife for the frosting in these photos!

If it’s ever helpful, here are my 10 Tips for Baking the Best Cupcakes. Have fun!

chocolate cupcakes topped with raspberry frosting and raspberries

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chocolate cupcakes topped with raspberry frosting, sprinkles, and raspberries on a white plate

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Raspberry Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These homemade chocolate cupcakes with creamy raspberry frosting taste like an indulgent, perfect little raspberry truffle. 


Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works too)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

Raspberry Frosting

  • 3/4 cups (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature*
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (165g) thick raspberry preserves or jam*
  • raspberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently stir – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter won’t be very thick.
  3. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature.
  4. Make the frosting: Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 full minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, is separating (due to the fruity jam) or looks too wet. And then add more salt to offset added sweetness.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I simply used a small frosting knife to frost the cupcakes. Top with fresh raspberries if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Decorate/assemble cupcakes immediately before serving. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. As a Cake: Use a 9 inch cake pan. Fill only halfway – there will be extra batter to make some cupcakes. I am unsure of the exact bake time for the cake. Around the 30 minute mark. 350°F (177°C) temperature.
  3. Cocoa Powder: Do not use dutch-process cocoa. Dutch-process is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids and therefore will not react with the alkaline baking soda in the batter. Natural unsweetened is paired with the brown sugar and buttermilk to react with baking soda and maintain the proper balance of acid and alkaline as the cupcakes bake.
  4. Room Temperature Ingredients: Room temperature eggs are required for the cupcakes. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes. For the frosting, here is a photo of perfectly softened butter for making frosting. It’s not too soft, not melted in the slightest, slightly firm but not cold.
  5. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cupcakes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  6. Heavy Cream: Heavy cream provides an extra creamy frosting. Feel free to use half-and-half or whole milk instead.
  7. Raspberry Preserves: I prefer Bonne Maman jams and preserves. You can find this brand at all major grocery stores. I do not suggest fresh or frozen raspberries with this butter based frosting.

chocolate cupcake topped with raspberry frosting, sprinkles, and raspberries

36 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    The cupcakes look beautiful! I look forward to reading your blog and check it everyday! Can I ask you what brand of natural and dutched process cocoa you use? I do think different brands give different results.
    Thanks. Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

    1. I use either Scharffen Berger, Trader Joes, or Hersheys. I like them all equally, except the Sharffen Berger. That stuff is amazing! But a little pricey.

  2. Hi there Sally, happy Valentine’s from the Philippines! I would love to make these cupcakes to hand out to my friends but I want them just a tad chocolatier (because that’s never a bad thing, right?). Do you think the recipe would still work okay if I mixed in like a cup or so of choclate chips?

    1. Yes, a cup of chocolate chips in the batter will be wonderful.

  3. Hi Sally! I made these as mini-cupcakes yesterday and took them to a champage tasting last night. They were a huge hit! The frosting is a perfect balance, not too sweet. The fresh raspberry was a great bonus, but should be placed on its side (like in your photo) rather than straight up. When I did that someone remarked that the cupcakes resembled a part of female anatomy…maybe it was the champagne talking. Anyway, my tray of 30 came home empty two hours later. Thanks always for amazing and easy recipes. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Hey there Sally! I just wanna stop by again after making these to tell you just how DIVINE these tasted! Me and everybody else in the house looked silly staring at the cupcakes while they were cooling! And that frosting—WOW! I originally planned to make just one batch for school but I ended up making another one ’cause my me and my family managed to polish off an entire tray! Awesome recipe, thanks a lot! 😀

  5. Hi Sally,

    I have been collecting your recipes to try for a while now and finally got a chance to yesterday for a charity bake – you really are the queen of moist cakes!!! I bake quite regularly but the reviews I got for these were exceptional 😀

    Your instructions and pictures are perfect – so easy to follow and the cakes turned out exactly as you have pictured…Thank you so much!!!!

  6. The frosting was a little to sweet for my taste even with the salt but the cake recipe was amazing and I would totally make them again and recommend this recipe to anyone wanting something sweet and delicious!

  7. Hello!

    Do you think the cupcakes would taste nice if I were to add raspberry fillings to the cupcakes before frosting?

    Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! Try it.

  8. Hello,

    I just completed this frosting recipe to pair with my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe which is very similar to yours above. I filled the cupcakes with chocolate whipped cream first. Instead of using raspberry preserves, I used raspberry syrup reduced. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but the frosting is such a pretty pink and is sooooo… delicious. Thanks for the heads-up on the Dutch Chocolate, i wasn’t aware of the difference.

    The bunco ladies are going to swoon tonight!

  9. Ah, I just made these and they over rose and turned into a massive mess. I followed the recipe exactly, and am not a bad baker. No idea what went wrong lol.
    They did taste nice though lol. Well, what I could scrape off the tin lol 

  10. What oven temp and cooking time do you recommend to make these mini?

    —- Also, I just have to thank you for supplying the world (and me!) with so many recipes. You are the one and only blog that I trust completely and you have never steered me wrong. Thank you!

    1. Hey Madison! Same oven temp. Mini will take 11-13 minutes.

  11. Hi Sally! I made your cupcakes and they were a hit at my office! However, most of the cake came off attached to the liner. I’ve never had a problem before and used all the ingredients as you suggested. They were fully cooked in the middle too. Is it just because they are so light & fluffy?

    1. Sometimes that happens depending on the brand of liners, but the way to fix it for next time is spraying the liners lightly with nonstick spray before adding the batter 🙂

  12. Hey Sally,

    I have a question, I made some fresh raspberry jam with seeds and it’s thick, but I’m not sure if the seeds will be a problem. Will it still look pretty? Store bought jams and jelly’s are not always a good idea for me with my sensitivities. Also I did find a raspberry sauce recipe that looked good with no seeds but I’m not sure how thick it would be. What is your opinon?

    1. You can always strain the jam (push through with a spoon) to rid the seeds, but I think seeds would be fine!

  13. Hi Sally,
    Is it possible to make the frosting with fresh raspberries? Was thinking of pairing this with your chocolate zucchini cake!

    1. Hi Monique! I ran into a lot of issues trying to use fresh raspberries. I suggest this way instead– or you can use freeze-dried raspberries like I use freeze-dried strawberries in this strawberry frosting.

  14. Hi Sally! I was wondering if the raspberry frosting is thick enough to pipe a “rose” on the top (sort of like your two toned rose cupcakes but only one color)?

    1. Hi Janie! This frosting should work just fine for piping a rose.

  15. Susan R Fowler says:

    Can I use raspberry extract instead of vanilla extract

    1. Hi Susan, For the frosting? I would try adding one teaspoon of each!

  16. Used this wonderful raspberry frosting recipe on gluten free chocolate cupcakes and the combo is fantastic. Thank you!

  17. Hi Sally ,
    Why do you recommend to not use freeze-dried raspberries? In your strawberry buttercream, you use freeze-dried strawberries. Why would freeze-dried raspberries not work?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Kasia, You can certainly use freeze dried raspberries in place of strawberries. Simply follow my recipe for Strawberry Frosting and use raspberries instead.

  18. Xanthippe Rose says:

    Thanks for the recipe! These were super good- usually when I try to make raspberry frosting it separates beyond repair…not this one! I baked these cupcakes for my dad’s birthday.

    Your chocolate cupcake recipe has been my go to for years!

  19. Kristine Snipes says:

    Can I make this frosting ahead of time or will it possibly make it more wet the longer it sits?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristine! Frosting can be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  20. How much frosting does the recipe make? Wondering if it would be enough to frost a cake!
    Thanks.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Leah, it depends on the size cake you are looking to frost. It enough to generously frost 14 cupcakes or about a one layer, 9 inch round cake + a few cupcakes. You might also like this frosting recipe instead, swapping for freeze dried raspberries instead of the strawberries.

  21. Hi Sally-

    I love all the recipes I’ve used from your site! I have 2 questions about this recipe-

    Is it possible to do this cake with a raspberry filling?
    Why do you not use freeze dried raspberries like the strawberry cake and frosting recipe?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine, You can definitely fill the cupcakes with a raspberry filling. Simply carve out a tiny 3/4-inch-deep hole in the center of the cupcake with a sharp knife– no need to use a ruler or anything, just make sure you don’t hit the bottom of the cupcake. Spoon in the raspberry filling and top the cupcake with the piece you cut out. It doesn’t have to look pretty because you’ll top the cupcakes with frosting. You can definitely use freeze dried raspberries (simply swap them for the strawberries in the strawberry frosting) for a thicker frosting that pipes beautifully.

      1. Thank you so much!

  22. Thank you for letting me use this. Cupcakes were delishes!

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