Hey, remember when I tried to make these cupcakes last year, but they failed so hard that I had to turn them into cake balls instead? ‘Cuz the strawberry cream cheese frosting I made was too runny (damnit, strawberry puree), and the chocolate ganache I decided to pour on top of the runny frosting made things 100% worse? So that instead of cupcakes I had a whole bunch of sticky, gross-looking goo-covered cake mounds that no one in their right minds would ever want to eat?
Yeah. It was a bad baking night.
Luckily, the cake balls turned out to be really delicious and were a big hit at work, but the thought of those drippy cupcakes still makes me cringe. I couldn’t have that hanging over me, so I decided to face my failures and try again this year. I was determined to make the PERFECT chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes, once and for all.
And check it out, guys – I did it! I tweaked a whole bunch of things in the recipe this time around, and it worked! The buttercream held up, the ganache hardened the way I wanted it to (and wasn’t too thin or clumpy), and the dipped strawberries turned out pretty well too.
You know what the trick was, for the buttercream? Freeze dried strawberries! I got the idea from my friend Sarah, who used freeze dried cherries in the frosting for her Cherry Garcia cupcakes. It’s such a genius idea, because once the freeze dried berries are processed into a fine powder, the powder can be mixed into your frosting to give it intense fruit flavor, without all the runny-ness that fresh berries can cause (see e.g., my pureed strawberry disaster).
With my new and improved, firmer frosting, I was able to put together cupcakes that not only looked impressive (put a chocolate covered strawberry on top of anything and it’ll look more impressive), but also tasted amazing.
Dense, darkly chocolate-y cupcake base + rich, sweet frosting (that tastes so strawberry-licious) + chocolate ganache shell that crackles when you bite into it + perfectly ripe strawberries dipped in chocolate = the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, or any other day.
It would have been a serious test of my willpower to keep whole batch of these beauties around the house, so I promptly packed everything up and pawned them off on my coworkers. Not to toot my own horn or anything but…people liked ’em 😀
If you like chocolate, strawberries, or strawberries covered in chocolate, this is the recipe for you. Enjoy!
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- ¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup to 1 cup sugar (Depends on how sweet you want your cupcakes)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries, pureed into a fine powder
- 1-2 tbsp cream or milk (optional)
- 7 oz high quality chocolate, chopped
- 1-1/2 tsp light corn syrup
- 12 strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Add sour cream and mix well.
- Stir in dry ingredients.
- Divide batter evenly between each cup of your muffin tin. (About ¼ cup each, I’d say)
- Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool completely.
- While your cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting. In a medium bowl, beat your softened butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add strawberry powder, and mix until well-combined.
- Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time. Mix until smooth. (Taste your frosting after each cup, to make sure it tastes OK to you. If 3 cups is too sweet, use less. If it’s not sweet enough, use more.)
- Add cream/milk, and continue to mix until smooth (this thins out your frosting a little so that it is more spreadable - feel free to skip this step if you like the consistency/thickness of your frosting after all the powdered sugar has been mixed in).
- Place chocolate pieces and corn syrup into a tall, microwave safe mug.
- Microwave on high for 45 seconds, then stir. Continue to microwave in 20 second intervals as needed, stirring after each time until chocolate is smooth and melted.
- Pipe frosting in thick swirls over each cupcake.
- Spoon about 1 tsp melted chocolate on top of each cupcake.
- Dip each strawberry into the chocolate, gently shake off excess, then gently press dipped strawberry on top of each cupcake.
- Allow cupcakes to chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes, to allow chocolate to firm up.
Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says
These cupcakes are perfect, Tina! You did well for round two. Pinning!
Thanks, Jen!!! 😀
these are so freaking adorable!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Definitely turned out this year. Sooooooo cute!
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen says
Dudeee! I totally remember that from last year! These look like PERFECTION – your ganache on top looks like it hardened just the right amount and that very berry frosting is making me swoon. Send me cupcakes, please.
Thanks, girl! I WOULD send you cupcakes but I don’t think they would last in the mail? Esp the strawberries…just sayin’.
I appreciate your work for making such wonderful Strawberry Cupcakes. Sure, I will try it on this valentine day for someone 🙂
Hope you like them! Thanks for reading 🙂
Lara @ Thegirlcaneat says
Hi Tina, these cupcakes look great and so do your photos!! I’d love to try making them sometime. Do the Ferrero Rochers, chocolate syrup, and hazelnuts get mixed into the batter?
Oooops, no they do not! I used the same cupcake recipe as my Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes post, and forgot to delete those three ingredients after copying/pasting. EMBARRASSING!
Alexandra @ Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker says
Ohmygoodness – GORGEOUS cupcakes. Can you ship, please?! 🙂
I’ve done a frosting with frosting with strawberry purée that I actually managed to make work, but the freeze dried strawberry idea is AMAZING and I totally need to keep that registered in the back of my head. But these cupcakes – so perfect!
Oh man, I will totally have to check out your strawberry puree frosting b/c it’s so delicious…just hard to work with 🙁
Maryanne @ the little epicurean says
Chocolate covered strawberries for the win! These look lovely! Glad you won the cupcake battle 🙂
Thanks, Maryanne! It feels good to conquer a cupcake 😉
WOW, those look so good me and my friend love to make new things every time I go to see her in klamthfalls. She will love these they look great and I bet they taste great! I can’t wait to make them for my whole family!!
Awesome! Hope your family likes these 😀
Kelley Simmons says
How did I miss these cupcakes they are amazing! Your pictures are beautiful Tina!
Thanks, Kelley! Coming from you, that’s a huge compliment 😀