Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat because it serves two! Just 4 perfect chocolate cupcakes, topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting, and beautiful chocolate covered strawberries!
This recipe is sponsored by Harry and David, but all opinions and recipe creation is my own.
You might already know this, but Valentine’s Day is a big deal around here. The Dessert for Two blog people reaches it pinnacle audience for a mere 2 weeks a year. The rest of the year, we all just need small batches of cowboy cookies, easy chicken dinners for two, and homemade puff pastry.
But the two weeks before Valentine’s Day, you guys want decadent, fancy desserts that you can make at home and avoid the reservation line (and the plague that’s going around, you know, ha ha). I am here to deliver incredible desserts and dinners for two! I love the thought of you staying home and making a romantic meal.
This year, we’re putting my small batch chocolate cupcakes to use, and you might want to get excited because these cupcakes are made without eggs! (Browse all of my egg-free recipes here). We’re topping the cupcakes with my incredible strawberry cream cheese frosting, that we’re going to dye the loveliest shade of pink. Then, since we’ve worked so hard, we’re going to decorate them with Harry and David chocolate dipped strawberries!
Harry and David strawberries are so fresh, gigantic, and juicy, and of course, beautiful! They look great perched on pink frosting. They come in this beautiful set with cake pops, too!
Ingredients for chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes:
- all-purpose flour: I bake cupcakes with all-purpose flour; don’t substitute cake flour.
- cocoa powder: unsweetened, natural cocoa powder is what we want here.
- baking soda: half as much baking soda as baking powder.
- baking powder: for light and fluffy cupcakes.
- instant espresso powder: A small amount of coffee flavor enhances the flavor of chocolate, it doesn’t make the cupcake taste like espresso. I recommend this brand. I use it in almost every chocolate recipe.
- sour cream: Use real sour cream, not low fat or yogurt. Sour cream is almost 20% fat, while yogurt is 0-5% fat. For the best, most moist cupcakes, use real sour cream.
- oil: Any neutral oil works here: canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil is fine.
- vanilla extract: We need this for the cupcakes and the frosting.
- brown sugar: Dark brown sugar is what I like because it has more molasses than light, but you can use either.
- fresh strawberries: The strawberry cream cheese frosting is made with fresh strawberries, cooked down until jammy.
- granulated sugar: Just a small amount of help the strawberries cook down.
- butter: Unsalted and softened butter, for the frosting.
- cream cheese: So tangy with chocolate–use real, full-fat sour cream for the best results.
- powdered sugar: To bring the frosting together.
- chocolate covered strawberries: For beautiful decoration on top! I buy them pre-made from Harry and David.
How to make chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes for two:
- First, place 4 cupcake liners in 4 cups in a muffin pan. Then, combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately: whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda and baking powder in one bowl. Then, stir together the sour cream, oil, vanilla and brown sugar in another bowl.
- Stir the wet into the dry, and scoop into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 16-17 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely while you make the strawberry cream cheese frosting. This can be done a day in advance, just keep the cupcakes in an air-tight container at room temperature. Ignore the bag of chocolate frosting in the photo; we’re making strawberry frosting today!
- To make the strawberry frosting, first, we have to take 1 cup of diced fresh strawberries and cook it down with sugar for 20-30 minutes, until it’s a jam like consistency.
- When the strawberry mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup of jam, it’s ready to be made into frosting! Mix the strawberry jam into the softened butter and cream cheese with an electric hand mixer.
- When the mixture is smooth, add the powdered sugar and blend.
- The frosting needs to chill for 30-45 minutes, until it’s pipeable. It needs to be chilled to hold a firm shape on top of the cupcakes. When it’s chilled, pipe a small amount onto each cupcake, and place a chocolate covered strawberry on top of each. You will have leftover frosting–store it in the freezer or use it on my strawberry cake for two.
- 1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1/3 cup (81 mL) sour cream
- 4 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
For the strawberry cream cheese frosting:
- 1 cup (166 grams) chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (290 grams) powdered sugar
- 4 decorated chocolate-covered strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin pan with with 4 liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder. Whisk well.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and sour cream until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients in the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
- Bake the cupcakes for 16-17 minutes. Test a cupcake with a toothpick before removing from the oven. If moist crumbs cling to it, they're baked thoroughly.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 minute, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Don't cool them in the pan.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, make the frosting: Combine the fresh strawberries, sugar and a small splash of water in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium low, and cook while stirring every few minutes until the strawberries reduce to 1/4 cup. Stir frequently, and lower the heat as needed to prevent burning. You can add a splash of water to help, if needed. It should take about 20-30 minutes, and it will turn into a thick jam that looks like preserves. Ensure it measures 1/4 cup; if not, continue to cook down, stirring frequently.
- Scrape the strawberry mixture out of the saucepan, and let it cool in a separate bowl.
- Meanwhile, beat together with an electric mixer on high the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add the strawberry mixture and vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Finally, stream in the powdered sugar while beating until everything is creamy and smooth.
- Scrap half of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip. Reserve the remaining frosting for another use; you can freeze for up to 3 months.
- Pipe a concentric circle of frosting on top of each cupcake, and place a chocolate covered strawberry on top before serving. The cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.
cocoa powder: unsweetened, natural cocoa powder is what we want here.
instant espresso powder: A small amount of coffee flavor enhances the flavor of chocolate, it doesn't make the cupcake taste like espresso. I recommend this brand. I use it in almost every chocolate recipe.
sour cream: Use real sour cream, not low fat or yogurt. Sour cream is almost 20% fat, while yogurt is 0-5% fat. For the best, most moist cupcakes, use real sour cream.
oil: Any neutral oil works here: canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil is fine.
brown sugar: Dark brown sugar is what I like because it has more molasses than light, but you can use either.
chocolate covered strawberries: For beautiful decoration on top! I buy them pre-made from Harry and David.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 432mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g