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 @ Amy's Healthy Baking says:

    There will never, ever be such a thing as too much pink, especially in that gorgeous pastel shade! It’s one of my favorite colors, and I wish more holidays than Valentine’s Day (and kind of Easter) had pink as the official colors. 😉 I hope you had a wonderful holiday and took some time off to relax! P.S. I love your nerd alerts, as always!

  2. 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! 😀

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous cupcakes! Thank you!

  4. OMG my husband was obsessed with the frosting. I also made a chocolate raspberry gananch and dipped the cupcakes in before icing. So much for his diet! Ha!

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    These cupcakes are so gorgeous, I adore that raspberry frosting!

  6. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    I love this classic combo of fudgy chocolate and sweet, tart raspberries. This frosting looks so delicious, Sally!

  7. I just made the raspberry frosting with a boxed devil’s food cake. The cake are still cooling right now. . My lil girls can’t wait to frost and eat! And they tried the frosting already and loved it. But my frosting turned out more purple and I used smucker’s seedless raspberry jam. Thanks for all your recipes!

  8. Those look delicious!

    What cupcake liners did you use?

    Thank you!

    1. I use Wilton unbleached baking cups.

  9. These looked so good that I made them yesterday for a dinner party. The frosting was the best I ever made, and looked exactly like your pics – but, the cupcake was a little dry ( even though the flavor was good) Any ideas on what I did wrong? Maybe my measurements were off?
    I’m liking everything I see on your website – And am going to try the lemon blueberry cake next (ever the optimist!)

    1. Hmm. Do you think you overbaked the cupcakes Kathy? That typically lends a dry chocolate cupcake. It’s easy to overbake chocolate cupcakes and cake because it’s already brown.

  10. 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!!!!

    1. So glad these cupcakes were a hit! Let me know any other recipes you try.

  11. 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!

  12. I am working on “perfecting” my own chocolate cupcake recipe, so thought I’d try yours. I like the taste & texture, my middles sunk though!! –too much batter in tin, do you think? Also, I’m baking at high-altitude so could need adjustment. I’m new to your site–love it so far! I am a baking addict as well, and a food nerd. Thanks!!

    1. Therese, altitude has everything to do with it yes. And you could have too much batter in each cupcake. Review this handy chart: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html

  13. I know I’m totally late to this party but where do you get your super cute mixing bowls? I absolutely love them!! Also, I’ve been on a crazy raspberry kick (it must be a pregnancy craving) and your raspberry thumbprints are seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Thank you for those!!!

    1. Got them at Target!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. Manar Daghlas says:

    Hello Beautiful Sally! I’m planning to make those for a staff function but the cupcakes will be topped with buttercream then a round fondant cupcake topper. I’ve made those before and they’re deliciously moist and fudgy in the centre!  But  I’m worried they’ll crumble under the weight of the cream and topper.  What do you recommend i do to get the cupcakes harder to prevent that from happening?  Thank you <3

    1. I don’t think they will crumble at all! They should be sturdy enough.

  17. what types of cocoa powder should i use ? Hersheys?

  18. Hi Sally I am going to try these delicious cupcakes for a baby shower… pink for baby girl! Quick question – there are mostly dutch processed cocoa in Australia and not the natural unsweetened ones. Can I substitute the natural for dutch processed cocoa and omit the baking soda? Many thanks!! Loving the things you posted on the blog!!

    1. Mei– this chocolate cupcake recipe would be best for you. Baking soda/cocoa powder are tricky to replace/sub because of how they chemically perform.

  19. This look absolutely delicious! This will definitely be the next recipe that I try.

  20. Sally,

    I made these today for my father in laws bday tonight and made 12 regular size and the rest mini… Of course I had to taste test a mini cupcake!!  And oh my they are delicious!!  I can’t wait to share them with my family tonight!  Thank you

  21. Hi Sally! 
    I tried the cupcakes, they rose beautifully but then just fell and sank! It’s never happened before and I’m heartbroken! I used best-in baking soda and baking powder (UK) both recently  purchased.
    Where did I go wrong? 

    1. Shezray, that could be one of two (or even both!) things. Overmixing the batter, which is so easy to do! And underbaking. Sounds like they needed another minute or two in the oven. Good job not opening that oven door during baketime though.

  22. I forgot to mention that I didNOT oven the oven door! 

  23. 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 

  24. I turned this recipe into whoopie pies.   Added express  to the batter for a kick and wow!!!  Thank you for posting your recipe, turned into a hit for a party!!

  25. Hey Sally I made these cupcakes yesterday. That was my first bake ever !!! They turned out really well Thankyou for the lovely recipe !!! 

  26. Sally,

    I just tried this recipe and most of the cupcake turned out very well. However, there was one batch where the top was already a little burnt but then the bottom was not cooked yet. The cupcake then start pulling away from the lining. What do you think I did wrong? 

  27. Hi Sally, I want 25 cupcakes for the party, do I double the quantity or prepare separately? Thanks for the recipe. 

    1. I always suggest readers make two batches of cupcake batter rather than doubling. Less risk of overmixing because you are working with less batter.

  28. 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.

  29. How would you adjust cooking time for mini cupcakes?

  30. Can you pipe this frosting? Or is it too soft?

    1. I’ve piped it with no problem.

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