Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

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

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

My favorite chocolate cupcakes on the planet. They’re moist, super soft, fluffy, and fudgy at the same time. Think of a really, really fudgy brownie. Mix that with how rich these chocolate cakes are and you’ve got my recipe for chocolate cupcakes.

Today’s recipe is an example of how often I mix and match my recipes to create new recipes. And I encourage you to do the same! How about spreading this coconut frosting on my homemade brownies? Or this chocolate vanilla swirl frosting on my red velvet cupcakes? Or sandwiching cookie dough frosting between two cake batter chocolate chip cookies. I can already feel cavities forming after typing that.

For today’s cupcakes, I frosted them with my favorite raspberry frosting. It’s thick, it’s fruity, it’s undeniably creamy, and is made with raspberry preserves.

raspberry frosting in a pink bowl

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

These cupcakes remind me of a fancy raspberry truffle. Without the hassle of tempering and dipping. As I mention above, the cupcakes are so fudgy. They get all their chocolate flavor from cocoa. Mixed with a little oil for moisture, brown sugar for more moisture, white sugar for sweetness, 2 eggs for richness, and buttermilk for even more moisture… they will blow your mind. I’ve taken these chocolate cupcakes to showers and parties and friends and never see a crumb left. That’s when I know a recipe is a success! I can taste and type all day long, but it’s not until I see people (or hear from you!) enjoying the recipe that I know it’s a winner. And these here chocolate cupcakes? They get first prize.

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 (42g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
  • 3/4 cup (95g) 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

108 Comments

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  1. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life says:

    Hello perfect Valentine’s Day dessert! I don’t think too much of that frosting would make it onto the cupcakes, raspberry buttercream is my siren song!
    I love your oil-based cupcakes Sally! They are perfect for making when I get home from work late and need treats for my workplace (I supply all birthday related baked goods) or my boyfriend’s workplace (I can’t leave them out now, can I!). I don’t have to wait for the butter to come to room temperature, and they always turn out perfectly fudgy yet cakey. You are my cupcake saviour Sally! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

    1. Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says:

      I can’t say I’m into red or pink or the best of it, but I’m into cupcakes. Come to think of it, not good at guessing nail polish colors either although I was thinking of getting my wife some new colors for V-day.

  2. COCOA RANT. I feel like I need one of those in my life daily. Also… Chocolate and raspberry is da bomb. That is all. Cupcakes OUT.

  3. SALLY. These looks AMAZING. Omg. Dying to make these this weekend!

  4. This frosting looks so good! You are so right, what a great pair with chocolate cupcakes and lemon cupcakes! I will have to try this.

  5. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls says:

    Mmm, raspberry frosting. You always have my attention when raspberries and chocolate are involved together! A fave combo, for sure! Just have a quick question, Sally. I usually have problems with “domed” cupcakes when I’d really rather have a nice flat surface to frost (like in your naked cupcake photos above). I usually only fill the tins about 1/2 – 2/3 full to try and avoid this, but they often still puff up in the middle. Am I using to much leavening agent? Or whisking too much maybe? I’m sorry this is a hard one to answer not knowing the recipes I use, but maybe a guess? Thanks!

    1. “Peaking” cupcakes are usually the result of a few things: opening and closing the oven too much during bake time which interrupts the leavening, overmixing the batter which significantly over-develops the gluten, or too high of an oven temperature. Careful when mixing, you want the batter mixed until the dry ingredients are moistened, no more than that. Get an oven thermometer to be certain of your oven temperature and you could try reducing the temperature down to 325. Continue to only fill 1/2 way.

      1. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls says:

        Thanks so much for your help, Sally! I’ll try out those tips next time I tackle cupcakes.

  6. How beautiful! I love chocolate with raspberries…and they are such a cute little fruit! I like stuffed cupcakes (less cake), so maybe raspberry preserves in these 😀

  7. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    These look awesome! I’ve never made a raspberry frosting but really looking forward to trying it. I might swirl it with your coconut frosting on these… undecided! Also, that nail polish-naming link! Too good. He guessed “Purple Highlighter” and “University of Tennessee Orange”?! Haha!

    1. The purple highlighter is hilarious.

  8. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    I love your heart shaped dishes. How cute are those?! I’m a huge chocolate and raspberry fan, so I’m sure these would be gone within a day at my house. 🙂 I can’t wait to try them.

    1. Thanks Erin! We got those for our wedding. They are from Bloomingdales if you ever want a set of your own.

  9. The raspberry frosting looks so light and fluffy! And pretty!! (So not sick of the color pink 🙂 )

  10. I was reading an older post for one of your recipes and you stated that you always pack the brown sugar. Does this mean firmly packed?? I know this could alter the results of the baked good if I don’t measure correctly.

    1. Yes, brown sugar is always firmly packed unless otherwise noted.

  11. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says:

    Very pretty. That pink frosting makes a perfect statement. I love chocolate and raspberries together. Yum Yum!

  12. Heather- Butter&Burlap says:

    Sally! I can’t describe how happy I am to see this recipe! A chocolatey/fudgy cupcake paired with raspberry buttercream frosting?!? These must be heaven sent. I have been craving some sort of chocolate/raspberry dessert all week! I remember the other day I was asking you about substituting raspberries for cherries in your chocolate cherry kiss recipe, could you use fresh raspberries in the frosting? Or would it not be as sweet as the preserves? How much trial and error did you go through to finally land on this chocolate cupcake recipe? Could you use this recipe to make mini cupcakes? I cannot WAIT to try it this weekend!

    1. Hey Heather! 1) I tried my hand at using fresh raspberries in the frosting but the butter began to separate due to the excess moisture. Preserves are the way to go, at least for this particular butter based frosting. 2) This chocolate cupcake recipe took me a few months. I can’t remember, it was last year. I do remember that I was going nuts to figure out the best recipe (at least according to my tastebuds). 3) Mini cupcake baking time is in the recipe. Enjoy!

      1. Heather- Butter&Burlapr says:

        Thank you so much for your quick reply and enduring all my food/baking questions! 🙂 I tend to be an inquisitive person, especially when it comes to food! I’m starting to get the sense that fresh raspberries + baking don’t always mix. I don’t know why but I’m determined to bake them in something! I totally know what you mean about the best recipe for your taste buds.. I think our taste buds are long lost soul sisters hah. Thank you again for all your insight!

  13. RATS! Now I really want to try that ice cream flavor!

  14. Shashi at RunninSrilankan says:

    Wow – that raspberry frosting is priceless!

  15. You had me at Chocolate Cupcakes!

  16. I’ll be making these today! Thanks for posting!!

  17. I think I just need to give up and move next door to you…it is impossible to keep up with all of these amazing recipes!!! 🙂 I literally swoon with every single post. (…and I’ve still never made a cupcake…for shame! )

    Beautiful photos…my mouth is watering!

    Oh, and my mom and I made your holiday cut out cookies with frosting two weekends ago – we ate them all in like 2 days. They were REALLY amazing! My mom made me double dip them in frosting….we’re sugar addicts! 🙂

    1. I would LOVE a neighbor/baking buddy like you Christine! I love those roll out sugar cookies.

  18. Sally,

    These look amazing. I have all the ingredients but not the raspberry jam. I have fresh raspberries. Will the frosting work well with fresh raspberries?
    Thank you.

    1. Never mind Sally. I read the fine print. Off to the store to buy the jam/preserve. 🙂

  19. Jen @ One More Cookie Blog says:

    I have been really enjoying all your ‘need alerts’ lately! So many things that I would never even think of! Coming from a chemical engineering background it’s fun to think of applying my knowledge of chemistry to my baking!
    P.S. These cupcakes look unreal!

  20. Ramona @ The Merchant Baker says:

    My husband is a huge fan of the chocolate and raspberry combination of flavors. The cupcake sounds wonderful…it’s looks fluffy on the outside, but yet the texture is fudgy? Yum!

  21. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    Haha I read that article too, I could not stop laughing! Jump in the jumpsuit – is that purple or something?! I love LOVE these cupcakes, chocolate and raspberry are perfect for one another. Pinned!

    1. Haha it’s red!?! Weird.

  22. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    Chocolate and fruit is such a good combination. These look fantastic!

  23. Okay, whoever put the confetti cookies with the cookie dough frosting needs to be my best friend. Haha! We should all totally have a cookie + frosting party. Different batches of frosting with plates of cookies and a lot of knives. Sounds AMAZING!

  24. Dear Sally, you are a sweet tiny SATAN. These cupcakes look ridiculously scrumptious. I can’t WAIT to see how they look on my thighs. Ignore that Satan thing. Would you be my best friend? personal chef? I can pay you with hugs. I’m sure you’re totally cowabunga with this. :o)

  25. 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.

  26. Melissa @ Bits of Umami says:

    LOVE THESE! So freaking cute! Ahhh 🙂

  27. Great blog and great post! I just started blogging and you have so many helpful tips and suggestions. I have a similar recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream where I use puree made out of defrosted raspberries and never had any problems. Give it a try.

  28. Hi sally. I baked these cupcakes today and they were kind of bitter. I put the exact amount of ingredients but idk why it was bitter-ish.

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

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