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Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
Chocolate and strawberries make an excellent pair – especially when you’re talking about chocolate covered strawberries. I switched around the chocolate and strawberries to make these Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream. They’re rich chocolate cupcakes topped off with a creamy frosting made with fresh strawberries that are just starting to come into season.

The chocolate cake is one of my favorite cupcake recipes. The cakes are very moist and tender, with a tight crumb that gives them a velvety mouthfeel. And, of course, they pack in a lot of chocolate flavor. That chocolate flavor comes from a large amount of cocoa powder in the cake, so don’t be alarmed by the large amount of sugar required in the recipe, as it is needed to balance out that unsweetened cocoa. The cupcakes need to be baked and cooled before they can be filled. I always use the cone method for filling cupcakes, where you have to cut a small cone of cake out of each cupcake to create a large cavity that can hold a lot of filling.

For the strawberry buttercream, I simply pureed a bunch of fresh, hulled strawberries in the food processor until the mixture was very smooth. I added it to butter and confectioners’ sugar and beat it until the frosting was thick and fluffy. If you get ripe, flavorful strawberries, you’ll get a dark pink frosting with a great strawberry flavor. You can add a few drops of food coloring to make the color of your frosting a little more distinct, if you prefer. It is used as the filling and the frosting of these cupcakes, adding a bright berry flavor to every bite of chocolate cake.

These are great summertime cupcakes, with great flavor. Serve them plain or garnished with a fresh strawberry. When making the puree for the frosting, be sure to puree some extra berries and you can use that as a base for daiquiris, margaritas or other summery cocktails to serve along with the cake!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups water, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and sandy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
With the mixer on a low speed, blend in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the water. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the water. Stir in remaining flour mixture just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. The batter should be fairly liquidy.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and filling.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Strawberry Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
a few drops red food coloring (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the sugar in a large bowl and beat until very smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar until the frosting is smooth, thick and fluffy. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired, to enhance color.
Put about 1/2 of the buttercream into a piping bag or a large ziploc bag with the corner snipped off for filling the cupcakes. Leave the rest in the bowl for frosting.

(A photo how-to of the assembly method can be found here.) Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Take the strawberry frosting set aside in a piping bag and squeeze a tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling the hole up to the top with filling. Top off with a flat circle of cake to plug the hole and keep the filling in place.
Dollop some more frosting on top of each cupcake and use a small knife or offset spatula to spread it into an even layer.


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  • Patsy
    May 4, 2012

    Those cupcakes look perfect for the strawberries we’ll soon see at the markets here! yum!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    May 5, 2012

    Oh my this looks lovely!

  • Blog is the New Black
    May 5, 2012

    These look great!

  • Sally
    May 5, 2012

    Is that 1 cup butter for the buttercream?

  • Susy
    May 10, 2012

    I’m making this today as a gift for my mom 🙂 thank you! happy mother’s day

  • LuLu
    May 13, 2012

    It is Mother’s Day 2012 (5/13), I made your Strawberry Curd this afternoon. Coming Wed. 5/17 I’ll have to bring to my 4-year- old boy’s school 4 dozen muffins for a “Teachers’ Appreciation Luncheon”. I intend to fill the Strawberry Muffins (Recipe from LivLife.com) with this Curd since I feel that it’s missing something… I have to tell you… the fragrance of the Curd is so yummy, so is the color… Therefore I check on your blogs to find more goodies… And this Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Strawberry Buttercream gives me an idea: I will fill most of the cupcakes I will make in the future with your Delicious Strawberry Curd… like the Champagne Cupcakes for a Bridal Shower, or even plain vanilla cupcakes for Valentine, and frost them with Strawberry Buttercream as this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. THANK YOU A TON for such a great inspiring Curd… Now I really know why I have never wanted to buy Lemon Curd at supermarket.
    Happy Mother’s Day and Happy BLOGGING…

  • zeelivity
    May 17, 2012

    I loved this recipe.
    I used it for my boyfriend’s cake.
    So I added thinly sliced strawberries to every other layer.
    And I also used a flourless chocolate cake as the first layer.
    I’m still not sure how it came all together but I have a good feeling about this.
    thank you.

  • Michelle
    May 24, 2012

    Can I use whole milk or buttermilk in place of the water for the chocolate cupcake recipe?


  • Nicole
    May 24, 2012

    Michelle – Water will give you the best results in this cake, and the most intense chocolate flavor.

  • Jacey
    June 29, 2012

    I absolutely love the chocolate cupcakes. They have an amazing chocolate flavor, and the texture is perfect. I have made them about six times, and they have never failed to be a tasty crowd pleaser. Thanks for the great recipe!

    But I do have a prob w the strawberry frosting. When I made it it had clumps of butter and strawberry puree (that I made sure was smooth). Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much for the amazing cupcake recipe– it’s definitely a keeper! 🙂

  • Kayla
    July 23, 2012

    Oh my these are sinfully delicious!! Everyone loves them! Probably one of my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever made! Thanks for the awesome recipe 🙂

  • Adairre^^
    September 29, 2012

    Do I HAVE to use baking powder? Or can I double the bakeing soda?

    These look amazing!!

  • Rochelle
    March 1, 2013

    Please say whether the cocoa is Dutch or Natural, e.g.. Hershey’s.

  • Phil
    May 13, 2013

    I made these for my son’s choir bake sale yesterday and they sold out almost instantly. They do take a bit of work, but the end result is fantastic. The frosting tastes just like melted strawberry ice cream. I did have a bit of a problem blending the butter and strawberry puree and the frosting was a bit light to allow too much decoration (but worked better after chilling for a bit).

    Thanks for the recipe!

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