Decadent dark chocolate cupcakes with a fresh raspberry frosting
We had a very dark and stormy Saturday.
It wasn’t your typical summer storm — one with staggered rounds of rain and thunder sharply punctuated by sunshiny breaks in the clouds, but instead a good full day of unrelenting sheets of rain, slashes of lightning, and thunder that shook the house.
I did what I do best in stormy weather — I went to the kitchen.
I made a stormy summer dessert to match the atmosphere. Deliberately deep, dark chocolate — even blacker than the skies — with a distinctly dark chocolate, nearly bitter aftertaste on your tongue. Dark chocolate, and dark cocoa powder both went into the mix (I’d made these cupcakes miniature before, here). Rich, but not dense, these cupcakes are full-bodied but fluffy, sweet but not too sweet.
I poured the batter into shimmering purple foil liners and set about to make the frosting.
It’s a very summer-y frosting, with fresh, ripe raspberries reduced to a simple syrup and beaten with butter, vanilla, sugar, and a hint of cream cheese for a silky buttercream frosting. Paired with the dark chocolate cupcake base it is sheer perfection — never have two flavors played so well off each other (not even here).
My only regret is that I didn’t stick to frosting them with an icing tip that I’m more used to, so the tops came out looking a little… unkempt.
A little storm-swept.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Frosting
- 1 cup +3 Tbsp milk divided
- 3.5 oz quality dark chocolate chopped into small pieces (I always use a bar of Ghirardelli 72% dark chocolate)
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg preferably room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
Fresh Raspberry Frosting
- 1 cup raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ cup butter softened, 1 stick
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare cupcake trays by lining with cupcake liners.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup milk and dark chocolate, stirring until chocolate is completely melted.
- Increase heat to medium-high, stir constantly until mixture begins to bubble and stir in cocoa powder. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In KitchenAid, combine canola oil and sugars, beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, scrape sides of bowl, and stir again on medium-high speed for another 30 seconds -- until ingredients are well-combined (mixture will be very thick and grainy).
- Add egg and vanilla, beat well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With mixer on low-medium speed, gradually stir in flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Pour the cocoa/dark chocolate liquid into the mixer and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and add 3 Tbsp milk, stir on medium speed again so all ingredients are combined.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake on 350F for 18 minutes (toothpick inserted into middle of cupcake should come out clean).
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- First, prepare a raspberry reduction by combining raspberry and 2 Tbsp sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Once berries begin to release their juices, increase heat to medium-high and stir constantly, mashing the berries with the back of your spoon as you go. Bring to a boil (still stirring constantly) and cook 6-8 minutes until mixture has reduced.
- Run through a strainer to remove seeds and pulp (I add 1 Tbsp of seeds back in to the juices for a little bit of texture, this is optional) and allow to cool completely before using in frosting. Discard leftover seeds/pulp.
- Once raspberry juices have cooled completely, prepare the frosting by creaming together butter and cream cheese.
- Gradually add 1 cup of powdered sugar and stir until combined.
- Add in raspberry juices and vanilla extract and stir well.
- Add remaining sugar and beat until combined.
- Spread or pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes.
- Keep uneaten cupcakes stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I felt it was appropriate to photograph these cupcakes during the storm, but I did get a few brighter pictures of these cupcakes when the sun came out on Sunday:
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Yummy. A variation on this would be blackberry frosting. A friend of mine made chocolate cupcakes with blackberries in them after a day of blackberry picking and they were great
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Yum! We love that idea 😋
Is there enough batter to make a 2 layered cake? And enough frosting for in between the layers/ around the cake and to decorate ?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Ella! We haven’t tried it ourselves, but you will probably need to double the recipe for a 2-layer cake. Enjoy 😊
I made these cup cakes and they came out amazing! With the extra batter i made small cake balls.
Can I substitute strawberries for raspberries in this recipe? It’s strawberry season here in MN. ☺️
Thank you! Love your recipes!
Hi Katie! I haven’t tried it, but I think it could work. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Perfect recipe for chocolate lovers. Its so fudgy and delicious especially after chilling. Followed the recipe to the tee with mini cupcakes. The cupcake can be a little crumbly but it very moist and fudgy. I think a lot of it happens from mixing the chocolate, cocoa and milk mixture. Im not a raspberry lover and thought of going out of my comfort flavours. The icing was very tasty with the crunch from a few of the raspberry seeds that i added after straining as mentioned. I used frozen raspberries. Will be definitely repeating this recipe. Not sure if it can be done as a cake but the mini cupcakes gave it the perfect delicate look.. i got around 36 cupcakes and froze 10 for a rainy day 🤭
I am so glad you enjoyed them so much, Joanna! This recipe should work to make into a cake. 🙂
Can this frosting be used for a cake?
Hi Breanna! That will work great! 🙂
Cupcakes by Maria
Hi. Tried these and they were magical. Very moist. Only thing was that the cupcake liners came out a bit oily. Can I substitute the canola oil for butter? I saw in the instructions you stated “butter/sugar” mix and not oil. Do you have a Video -how-to of this recipe?
You can try using the butter instead of canola oil. A good way to avoid this is to remove them from the pan earlier. Unfortunately I don’t have a video for this one. 🙁