Does anything say romance like chocolate and strawberries? I think not! These chocolate and strawberry cupcakes are the perfect marriage of rich chocolate and tangy, fresh strawberry flavour, and topped with a luxurious chocolate-dipped strawberry. If you want to show someone how you feel, in my opinion, there is no better way than with these cupcakes!
Tips for best results
All elements of these chocolate and strawberry cupcakes can be made ahead and assembled later if you want to spread out the time. If you are making the Italian Meringue Buttercream ahead of time though, make sure you give it a good whip again before using it as it loses a little of its silky consistency if not used right away, but whipping it will bring it right back!
Chocolate dipped strawberries are a lot easier to do than a lot of people think. The key is to temper the chocolate properly. I give a rough guide for how to get good results in the instructions below, but for a more in-depth guide check out my post about how to easily temper chocolate with or without a thermometer (there's a video on there too!)
There are a lot of steps in this recipe but it's all fairly easy, you just require a lot of patience! Make sure you wait for everything to cool at the different stages before moving on to the next thing, as trying to go through the steps while some elements are still warm will ruin your end result. A little patience will give you the perfect chocolate and strawberry cupcakes!
Easier Alternatives for Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes
I'm aware that Italian Meringue Buttercream is a bit of a long process, so you can use any kind of frosting you like here and add the strawberry reduction and strawberry powder to it. I just love using Italian Meringue Buttercream for this because it's so wonderfully smooth and silky and it almost feels like a strawberry mousse on top of the cupcake. It's for sure more effort to make than a standard American Buttercream, but I think it's absolutely worth it!
If you're worried about tempering the chocolate, you can use melting chocolate or chocolate covering instead, they are guaranteed to set hard, but it won't have that wonderful snap like real tempered chocolate does!
Equally, you could top these with sprinkles or even just a plain fresh strawberry instead of a chocolate-dipped strawberry, but I just think that it gives chocolate and strawberry cupcakes a romantic touch!
The chocolate cupcakes are already extremely easy and straightforward, so the time you save making those can be used for the other elements!
Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
- ⅔ cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 ½ cups White Sugar (caster sugar)
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Milk
- ⅓ cup Hot Water
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
For the Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream
- 1 batch Italian Meringue Buttercream
- 360 g Strawberries fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder (optional)
For the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- 1 punnet Fresh Strawberries
- 2 cups Chopped Chocolate
- ½ cup White Chocolate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners
Make the Chocolate Cupcakes
- Sieve all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl
- Add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes until combined
- Add hot water and mix together. The batter will be fairly liquid
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Make the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- Wash the strawberries and then put them back in the fridge to chill
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Melt ⅔ of the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments
- Once melted, put the remaining third of the chocolate in and stir vigorously until it has all melted. For perfect shiny chocolate, check my guide on tempering chocolate
- Holding the stalk, dip the strawberries into the chocolate and gently shake to remove excess chocolate, then lay down gently on the parchment paper to set
- If the chocolate has been tempered properly, it should set fairly quickly. Once set, melt down the white chocolate in 30 second increments, then use a piping bag or teaspoon to make thin lines across the chocolate dipped strawberries. Leave to set
Make the Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream
- Make a strawberry reduction by putting the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over a medium heat and bringing to the boil
- Once the strawberries start to break down, use a potato masher to break them down completely
- Boil until the bubbles are thick and spitting a little, then remove from the heat and pass the reduction through a sieve to remove any seeds. Allow to cool while you make the buttercream
- Make Italian Meringue Buttercream according to the usual recipe instructions
- Once ready, add the cooled strawberry reduction to the buttercream and whip until smooth again
- For an extra strawberry boost, add a tablespoon of freeze-dried strawberry powder. But if you don't have any this is still delicious without!
- Pipe frosting onto cupcakes immediately and top with a chocolate dipped strawberry - voila!
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