Chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes: homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with fluffy strawberry frosting and dipped in chocolate. These are showstopper cupcakes!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

It’s this time of year that always makes me jealous of you Southerners. When the farmer’s markets are opening up and you’re out picking berries, we’re digging out of 24+ inches of snow here in New England.

Don’t get me wrong, I love love love snow, as my instagram photos were evidence of over the weekend, but put a bowl of fresh and perfectly ripened strawberries in front of me, preferably ones I picked with my own hands, and I’m totally happy.

I mean, completely and utterly happy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

So since Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, I’ve been putting together a few strawberry recipes for the two of us here, using up as many juicy organic Florida strawberries as I can get my fat little hands on.

Not surprisingly, they all involve chocolate too.  Like this peanutella and strawberry toast. Dessert for breakfast bliss!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

However, these chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes may just have topped my list of favorite things in recent memory.

I paired my favorite and go-to chocolate cupcake with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and then dunked the frosting in a coating of melted chocolate.  Yup, you heard all of that right!

They are akin to the concept of Martha Stewart’s hi-hat cupcakes but hello!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream! Dipped in chocolate!

How could you possibly go wrong with a cupcake that tastes like a chocolate dipped strawberry?!

About that Swiss Meringue Buttercream

If you’ve never had Swiss meringue buttercream before, let me tell you about it for a few seconds. Because you NEED this buttercream in your life.

Unlike American buttercream, which can be very thick and sweet, Swiss meringue buttercream is kind of a like a silky frosting dream come true. There is lots of butter in this recipe, which when added just at the right time and when whipped enough, yields a light and buttery frosting.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Rather than beating the butter at the start of the recipe, you’ll drop softened butter cubes into a whipped hot sugar and cooked egg whites mixture and basically whip the ish out of it until a cloud-like frosting takes shape.

It’s a magical transformation to make happen in your own kitchen! Making Swiss meringue buttercream has always been one of my favorite frostings to make because of this!

In the past, I’ve made a delicious vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream but for this strawberry version, you’ll whip a small amount of pureed strawberries into the frosting until a pink berry cloud emerges. It’s just so perfect!

So you if you have some extra time to spare, go and make these chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes for your loves. They will make everyone happy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: about 2 ½ hrs
  • Cook Time: 18-20min
  • Yield: 12-15 cupcakes


This recipe will yield 12-15 cupcakes, enough frosting (about 5 cups) to liberally frost those cupcakes, and plenty of chocolate for coating them.  All recipes can be doubled to yield enough for 24-27 cupcakes.  The instructions for these cupcakes may seem a little long and somewhat daunting but I made sure to include some helpful tips.  These cupcakes would be a super fun project to do with your kids (especially the dipping part), with a group of girlfriends, or by yourself if you need some baking solace, like I often do.


For the cupcakes:
¼ cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ cup + 2 tbsp hot tap water
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
rounded ½ tsp coarse salt
12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream (light is fine), at room temperature

For the strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting:
1 ½ cups diced strawberries
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
pinch of table salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

For the chocolate coating:
12 oz good semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp canola oil


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes:  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line 1 ½ standard cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.

  • 02

    In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the butter and the sugar.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.  The butter may not fully incorporate into the mixture but that’s ok.  Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.

    With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape up the bottom of the bowl to make sure no stray streaks of flour remain – quickly mix them into the chocolate batter.

  • 03

    With a large cookie/ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner about ¾ of the way full.  Overfilling the liners will cause the cupcake tops to bake onto the pan – you don’t want that.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cupcake is “springy” when gently pressed on the top.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 04

    To make the strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting: Puree the strawberries in a food processor until small chunks of strawberry remain and the mixture looks like jam; set aside.

  • 05

    In the well-cleaned and dried stand mixer bowl, place the egg whites and sugar.  Set the bowl over a pan of shallow water and bring the water to a simmer – the bottom of the bowl should not touch the simmering water.  While the water simmers, lightly whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly.  Once the mixture has reached a temperature of 160 to 165° F on a candy thermometer and is completely smooth (i.e., there is no gritty sugar remaining when you rub a little of the mixture between your fingers), remove it from the heat and attach it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted.  Gradually increase the speed up to medium-high, whisking until the mixture is glossy and completely cool, about 8 minutes.  The bottom of the bowl will be nearly cool as well.

  • 06

    With the mixer on medium-low, plunk the butter into the bowl two tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to incorporate completely before adding the next two tablespoons.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium, beating until the buttercream comes together about 10 minutes.  The mixture will be very loose at first and then it will curdle.  Keep beating until it smooths out into a thick buttercream frosting.  Once this happens, switch to the paddle attachment and mix the frosting on low speed for 2 minutes to release any air bubbles.  Gradually stir in the strawberry puree until thoroughly combined.

  • 07

    To make the chocolate coating: Add the finely chopped chocolate and canola oil to a medium bowl and set the bowl over a small pan of shallow water.  Bring the water to a simmer – the bottom of the bowl should not touch the simmering water.  Stir the chocolate and oil together while the water simmers until the chocolate is completely melted.  Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and oil together in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.  Pour the chocolate into a wide and short cup (mine was 12 oz, about 3 ½” wide by 3″ tall).  The cup should be wide enough so that you can dip the cupcake inside without rubbing against the sides – check the cup size before you pour the chocolate in!  Allow the chocolate to cool for 15 minutes.

  • 08

    To frost and dip the cupcakes: Transfer the frosting to a disposable piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip (I used Ateco 809) or a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off and a pastry tip slipped in the corner.  Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes in large stacking swirls.  Be sure to press the first swirl of frosting somewhat into the cupcake to make sure it sticks to the cupcake – this is important when you go dip the frosting into the chocolate coating as you don’t want the frosting falling off into the chocolate.  Set the cupcakes on to a wire rack with a piece of parchment or wax paper or aluminum foil underneath the rack.

  • 09

    Take a cupcake, turn it up-side-down, and steadily dip it down into the chocolate up to the point with the frosting meets the cupcake.  Pull it straight out of the chocolate, allowing the extra chocolate to drip off into the cup.  Turn the cupcake right-side-up and place it on the wire rack.  The frosting should be completely covered with chocolate but if any shows, use a knife to drizzle some chocolate into the spots where the frosting shows.  Repeat with remaining cupcakes.  Allow the chocolate coating to set-up – this can be done at room temperature or in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Store finished cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

cupcakes adapted from these chocolate cupcakes | strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes via Pink Parsley | chocolate coating adapted from Martha Stewart

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Leave a Comment

  • February 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    These are beautiful! The technique reminds me of those cones from Dairy Queen!

  • February 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    OMG I cannot let Michael see these! The boyfriend is gaga for chocolate covered strawberries and he’ll just faint if he sees these gorgeous cupcakes!

  • February 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Wow, this is an awesome amped-up version of hi-hat cupcakes. Such a great idea for Valentine’s Day!

  • February 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    It was a snowy weekend,wasn’t it? I had the family over on Sunday for french crepes and Canadian tourtiere……..there were plenty of strawberries fresh picked last summer from my local farm. Those cupcakes are gorgeous wish I lived nextdoor. We could make a trade:o)

    • February 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Thank you, Hobbit! 🙂 French crepes sounds amazing but what is Canadian tourtiere? I’m so curious!

      • February 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        Tourtiere is a canadien meat pie ……..a traditional holiday treat that was often served Christmas eve after midnight mass along with cornichons. The combination of those little pickles and pork pie with winter spices is dear to the hearts of many canadiens. My heritage is French and I’ve been lucky to come from a family that enjoys keeping some traditions going.

        • February 12, 2013 at 7:09 AM

          It sounds great! It’s nice to hear that you’re keeping your family and cultural traditions alive – they get lost so easily these days. 🙂

  • February 11, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Perfect frosting:cake ratio, if you ask me!

  • February 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Oh my word- these look fantastic! I’ve made the frosting before but never tried to dip them in chocolate. I need to do this asap.

  • February 11, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Tara, I just love these!!! Brilliant!! I’ve been wanting to make hi-hat cupcakes for years, but these look SO much better. You are a genius.

    • February 12, 2013 at 7:07 AM

      Thanks, Josie! I know – the hi-hat cupcakes have been on my list for at least 5 years so I’m excited that I finally took the plunge to make a version of them!

  • February 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    So cute! I’ll have to make these some time. So often, I find chocolate and strawberry together in cupcakes doesn’t really work (I find the chocolate tends to overwhelm the strawberry), but dipping the buttercream in the chocolate seems like it will maintain that chocolate-covered strawberry feel and chocolate-to-berry ratio–perfect.

    • February 16, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      The chocolate cupcake here (well, devil’s food cake, really) is really just a great vessel for the strawberry frosting and chocolate coating. The cake doesn’t overpower the frosting and the coating with the frosting really does taste like a chocolate covered strawberry…only soooo much better because, well, it’s frosting!

  • February 20, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    These look so wonderfully delicious and it’s a recipe of pure envy.

  • Johanna
    March 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Hello Tara,
    I do not have a stand mixer (I know… SHOCK and AWE), but I would just love to make these cupcakes regardless 🙂 Would things need to be done a lot differently?

    • March 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      Well, you can make the cupcakes by hand or hand mixer in a bowl but I think the frosting would be next to impossible to make by hand and fairly difficult with a hand mixer. The frosting requires at least 10 minutes of heavy whipping so consider that. You could always opt for an American butter cream and add strawberries to it (I’ve seen loads of recipes for this on Google) which could easily be made with a hand mixer. Good luck and let me know how they turn out if you make them either way!

  • Vicki Donaldson
    March 27, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Hi, just found this YUMMY recipe on Bella Cupcake Couture Facebook Page! HOW yummy. Ordering some of their Cupcake Wrappers and making this for Easter Dessert! TYTYTY AND thanks to them!

  • KaterinaClauhs
    June 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Do you think these could freeze?
    Thanks 🙂

    • taraliptak
      June 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      The whole cupcake, frosted and all? I really have no idea – I’ve never tried it. The cupcakes alone freeze great and I understand that the Swiss meringue buttercream freezes really well also. It would be a matter of thawing both, frosting the cupcakes, and dipping them when you need them. Hope that helps!

      • KaterinaClauhs
        June 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        Thanks, Tara… If the Swiss meringue buttercream freezes nicely I think they’ll freeze okay assembled.. that was the wildcard to me. I’ll be making these today for my sister’s rehearsal dinner in a month.. Just a lovely recipe, thank you!

        • taraliptak
          June 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

          Let me know how they thaw for you – it’s a great experiment! 🙂

  • […] Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hi Hat Cupcakes from Smells Like Home […]

  • December 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    […] Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes […]

  • […] […]

  • February 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    […] Recipe and Photo credit to […]

  • […] week’s Pin of the Week chosen by Pinterest Explorer Kathy Grinstead is chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes from Tara’s blog, Smells Like Home.  I love the way that Tara describes these […]

  • taraliptak
    April 17, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Definitely! And they would be completely adorable as minis!

  • […] Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes from Smells Like Home […]

  • taraliptak
    May 23, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    Sorry to hear you had trouble with the frosting. I assure you this frosting works. Swiss meringue buttercream is very temperamental and perhaps your puree was too warm or watery. You need to continue to beat the heck out of it if it starts to curdle and the frosting will come back together. I’ve made this recipe several times and know a few people who have as well and this has not been a problem for any of us.

  • taraliptak
    June 20, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Thanks for chipping in with your experience here, Jennifer! Yes, Swiss meringue buttercream is a finicky frosting and it does take a bit of patience to whip it past the curdled stage.

  • Janny Verveer
    January 6, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    Currently in the process of making the frosting! However mine hasn’t curdled… is it supposed to?
    If it
    doesn’t work the cupcakes are still delicious!!!

    • Janny Verveer
      January 7, 2015 at 1:17 AM


      Frosting came up brilliantly. Gradually is key. This involves both the butter (at room temp) and the strawberry puree, one tbsp at a time!!!!
      Delicious!! Our chocolate won’t set due to the warm weather 😉

      • January 15, 2015 at 11:28 AM

        Great to hear, Janny! Yes, slowly adding each is the key (though I don’t remember having trouble adding the strawberry all at once). The frosting is a labor of love but so, so worth it. Thanks for coming back to leave an update!

  • […] Get the recipe […]

  • Rachel Page
    May 6, 2015 at 1:10 AM

    Don’t those guys look cute?! Great work, making me hungry for a strawberry cupcake right now ;D

  • March 9, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    OMG….look yummyy

  • Victoria Gocken
    July 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    I’ll be making these this week for my husband’s birthday. Thanks for sharing the recipes and your tips!

    I’m going to use my chocolate avocado cupcake recipe, but your cupcakes look good also.

    • Victoria Gocken
      July 19, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      I made the frosting recipe, and used my own cupcake recipe and a different ganache.

      I wasn’t confident what 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries meant. Do I rough chop the strawberries, then measure ? Do I blend the strawberries in a food processor, the measure? … Etc. I looked at a similar Martha Stewart recipe that called for 12 oz of strawberries, so I went with that amount.

      The frosting turned out well, and it wasn’t too sweet or lacking flavor. Mine turned out a little thin for my preference, but I’m thinking now re whipping it after adding strawberries may help.

      Also, I wanted a moderate amount of frosting instead of the mound of frosting pictured here. I found that one recipe, 5 cups, was a good amount for 24 cupcakes.

      Thank your sharing the recipe! I enjoyed making and eating it 🙂

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