Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Cakes and Cupcakes, Chocolate, Dessert, Holiday Recipes, Valentine's Day | 59 comments

I’ve got one last Valentine’s Day recipe to share with you. Can you believe Cupid’s day is in just a couple days? The kids and I have had so much fun making new recipes to share with you for this fun holiday. I just love hearts and treats and special meals.

Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post – I’ve got two sets of FREE Valentine printables for your downloading pleasure.

chocolate sour cream cupcakes and raspberry cheesecake frosting

These Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream (that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?) is our new favorite cupcake recipe. We’ve made them twice in the past couple of weeks and just had to share them with you.

The cupcake recipe makes about 30 cupcakes, so if you don’t want that many, use this handy tip for how to measure partial eggs to make less, or make the whole batch and freeze some for later.

These chocolate cucpakes freeze well unfrosted in gallon sized Ziploc bags. It’s always nice to discover something like this hanging out in the freezer a few weeks after you’ve made them. (related: Kitchen Tip: Cupcake Piping Tricks)

chocolate raspberry cheesecake cupcake

I’m actually really glad that Valentine’s day falls on a Monday this year. Logan and Madeline are both at school that day and Eric picks them up on this way home. I will have the whole day to get things done at home, clean up the house and prepare something fun and delicious for dinner.

Eric and I will follow tradition and eat after the kids go to bed, but I think I’ll be making Heart Shaped Personal Pan Pizzas for the kids.

Our Valentine’s Day Menu:

chocolate sour cream cupcake recipe

Other Valentine’s Day Main Dish Ideas:

There’s still a chance to enter the Le Creuset and Cuisinart Valentine’s Day giveaways.

What is on your Valentine’s day menu? Are you waiting to celebrate on Monday or did you celebrate over the weekend?

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream

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For the Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds only

Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) butter, softened but not warm
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened but not warm
4 - 5 cups powdered sugar, or until desired consistency is reached
4 ounces frozen (or fresh) raspberries, thawed, drained, and divided
1 vanilla bean (seeds only)


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with cupcake cups or grease using nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, in 15 second intervals, making sure to stir in between. Set aside to cool down for a bit. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, until it is pale and thick. Add in the butter. Mix until combined. Add in the melted chocolate. Now, add in the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and milk in alternating increments and beat until smooth. Divide batter into the cupcake tins. This batter made about 30 cupcakes for me.

Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream:
Cream butter and cream cheese in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add half of the raspberries and mix until combined. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until well incorporated.

Add vanilla seeds and the remaining half of the raspberries and mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

If needed, add more sugar as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before frosting cupcakes if you'd like it to hold it's shape. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Free Printable Valentine’s

I’ve got a couple fun, free printable Valentine’s that the kids can have fun with. Print these out on white card-stock to use as classroom Valentine gifts for Monday parties. There are two sets: cards and bookmarks. Click on each to open the high-res set. Right Click>Save As to save to your computer and then print. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Cards

free printable valentine cards

Valentine’s Day Bookmarks
p.s. Thanks, Shaina, for the awesome quote!

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Shaina - February 12, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    These look gorgeous, and I’m sure they taste delightfully sinful.


  • 2
    Courtney - February 12, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    That buttercream is calling my name! Can’t wait to try making it :)


  • 3
    brandi@BranAppetit - February 12, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    That raspberry buttercream is beautiful! I love the color on the chocolate cupcakes.


  • 4
    Julie - February 12, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    What form of semi-sweet chocolate are you using ? I know I could use any semi-sweet, but am wondering how many “squares” ………or if I can use chocolate chips !
    Also, do you have an amount for substituting vanilla for the vanilla bean seeds ?
    These cupcakes are beautiful and look delicious ! Thanks!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 9:07 AM

      I used Scharffen Berger chocolate squares (baking chocolate). I haven’t tried chocolate chips. For 1 vanilla bean use 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

    • Debbie replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 5:14 PM

      katie, would you use 4 squares of the baking chocolate to equal the 4 oz?

      • Katie Goodman

        Katie replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 5:26 PM

        It depends on the chocolate. I am all out of my usual Scharffen Berger, but I am pretty sure that Baker’s brand is one ounce per square. Do you have a kitchen scale?

    • Debbie replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 5:55 PM

      I do, thanks for the reply.

  • 5
    Kristen - February 12, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    These look so good!


  • 6
    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) - February 12, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Beautiful pictures! I love the idea of raspberry buttercream. At Whole Foods last night, they had chocolate cake with a raspberry glaze. It delish, but no recipe card. Totally okay though, because I have this now! :)


  • 7
    Sharlene - February 12, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Oh so beautiful! I want these on my table right now.


  • 8
    Joanne - February 12, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    That raspberry cream cheese buttercream elevates these chocolate cupcakes to a whole new level of decadence!


  • 9
    Rosa - February 12, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Those are so pretty and delicious looking! A perfect Valentine’s Day treat.




  • 10
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - February 12, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    These are so pretty. And I can only imagine what they taste like – the frosting sounds divine!


  • 11
    Debbie - February 12, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    These look absolutely amazing. I don’t have vanilla beans, so what could I replace the seeds with?


    • Debbie replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 5:12 PM

      Sorry, I just re-read the posts above and it says what to do. Thanx for posting.

  • 12
    Sandy - February 12, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Hi! I just luvvvvvvv the way these cupcake look; and with the liners and everything!! Where could i get those beautiful liners?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 7:35 AM

      I picked them up at the grocery store. They had a couple of liners with designs on them.

  • 13
    Jenn@eatcakefordinner - February 12, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    Your cupcakes look so cute. I love the black and white cupcake papers with the pink frosting.


  • 14
    bigFATcook - February 13, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    Wow! These cupcakes look absolutely delicious!!


  • 15
    Lauren at KeepItSweet - February 13, 2011 @ 5:53 am

    What do you mean by seeds only of the vanilla bean? All of the past you scrape from the inside? These look fantastic, by the way.


  • 16
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - February 13, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes, so beautifully decorated! I love those black and white cupcake liners too, very chic.


  • 17
    Brian @ A Thought For Food - February 13, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    You had me with that cheesecake buttercream.These look fantastic!


  • 18
    M - February 13, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    Love your cupcake recipe, they really look good. And thanks for the meal idea links, I still am looking around for just that perfect dinner for tomorrow.
    Happy Valentine’s


  • 19
    The Newlywed Chefs - February 13, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    These look heavenly! Can’t wait to spend more time on this blog.


  • 20
    Veronica - February 13, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    These look and sound amazing! Can’t wait to try them!


  • 21
    Ginger - February 13, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    That raspberry buttercream looks absolutely beautiful and delicious!


  • 22
    Renee Blackwell - February 13, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    OMG. There is one word for these…HEAVENLY!!! I just finished making a batch for our small group tonight and I almost don’t want to share them =) My hips probably wouldn’t thank me though if I ate them all….


  • 23
    Dina - February 13, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    so cute and the frosting sounds delish!


  • 24
    Julie H - February 13, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    These look SO very good! Are they mini cupcakes, or did it make 30 regular size cupcakes?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 5:32 PM

      30 regular sized cupcakes.

  • 25
    Rosie @ Sweetapolita - February 13, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

    These look so lovely, Katie! Beautiful photos too! Thanks for sharing. xo


  • 26
    Michelle - February 13, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Ooh, chocolate cake + cream cheese icing – I think these just jumped onto my Valentine’s menu for tomorrow! Also making lobster risotto and grilling up some steaks.


  • 27
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - February 14, 2011 @ 6:18 am

    Wow, those are beautiful cupcake liners to match gorgeous cupcakes. Fantastic photos, Katie. Love the recipe too. Raspberry buttercream sounds divine.


  • 28
    Shelley - February 14, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    Yum! I love chocolate , I love raspberry & I loe cupcakes, so this couldn’t be more perfect! Thank you for the recipe & the adorable valentines :)


  • 29
    Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips - February 14, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    oh so cute! I made these for Valentine’s day! I love the look of the fruit pieces in the icing and the color! I made chocolate hearts and decorated heart shaped sugar cookies to top mine.


  • 30
    Rachel C - February 14, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    Katie~ You are AMAZING at life! I made these for Scott today and I don’t know if I am going to be able to refrain from eating them all before he gets home!


  • 31
    Niki - February 14, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    I used those same liners for my valentine cupcakes! They are adorable and just a little fancy. I made dark chocolate cakes with white chocolate buttercream which I tinted the softest pink. For decoration, white chocolate-dipped heart shaped marshmallows. Perfect!


  • 32
    melanie - February 15, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Hi! I also made these cupcakes for valentines day. took them into my office for my students workers. consensus says: the icing is amazing… but the cake is a little dry. i’m wondering if anyone else had this problem. i followed the recipe to a tee…. just curious and open to suggestions.



    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 16th, 2011 @ 6:58 AM

      Perhaps they were over baked. I’ve never had a problem with them being dry. Having an oven thermometer helps so you know the oven is actually the correct temp vs running hot or cold. Also, cook for the shortest amount of time as listed in a recipe and then test.

  • 33
    Deanna - February 17, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    The icing was so tasty, but even after chilling it, it wouldn’t stay solid. It had a strange consistency…not sure where I went wrong.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 17th, 2011 @ 6:42 PM

      Not sure what went wrong for you either. I’ve made this 3 times now with no problems. I guess it could depend on the amount of moisture in your berries. I used thawed, frozen berries. Or maybe the butter/cream cheese were too warm. Sorry about that.

  • 34
    Kelsey - February 17, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    The cupcake papers are gorgeous!


  • 35
    Bev - February 18, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    You used buttermilk in one recipe, and sour cream in another. Are the results similar? And it sounds like a lot of cocoa powder. But I’m anxious to try them—I’m into the cupcakes right now!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 18th, 2011 @ 7:54 AM

      I used sour cream because I was out of buttermilk and rather than making buttermilk decided to try something different. Feel free to use whatever you prefer. I think sour cream has a slightly different taste but I like both.

  • 36
    Kristin - March 05, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    Made these today for my boyfriend and his family and they LOVED them! Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfect and delicious! Thanks so much!


  • 37
    amy @ fearless homemaker - May 30, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    made these yesterday for our family cookout + they were a huge hit! i photographed ‘em yesterday + plan to put them on my blog later this week if you want to see the pics!


  • 38
    Lauren Z. - June 13, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    Hi Katie! I posted a comment last night I thought, but now it seems to not be here. So here goes again…I tried these beautiful cupcakes this weekend and I ended up w/ some of the same problems as a couple other gals commented. My cakes were dry and crumbly, and the buttercream TWICE did not turn out. :( The consistency was, for lack of a better description, “slop.” I’ve made buttercream several times before and it firmed up and got light and fluffy no problem. Any ideas? I am at high altitude (over 7000 feet). Gonna try them again though, not giving up yet! :)


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — June 24th, 2011 @ 11:31 AM

      With the cupcakes the two possibilities I can think of are: either they were over baked, or had too much flour. Measuring flour with cups vs. ounces or grams is inaccurate and can vary each time the recipe is made. For the frosting, I’ve gotten this response a lot. In this instance I used Kerry Gold Irish butter since that is what I had, and maybe that makes frosting different from regular butter. Or perhaps I mistyped something from the original. I’m going to have to make this again with regular butter and update the recipe. I’m sorry it caused you problems.

  • 39
    Jan - August 14, 2011 @ 12:33 am

    Sure hope that mine turn out as good as yours. great recipe!!


  • 40
    Francesca - September 20, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Hello, I also noticed the change from buttermilk to sour cream, your mentioned that this changes the taste slightly – in what way? Better? Is the cupcake lighter? Would you recommend using buttermilk or sour cream, if both are available?


    • Francesca replied: — September 20th, 2011 @ 9:40 AM

      Thank you so much

    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 20th, 2011 @ 12:37 PM

      I just feel like sour cream has a distinct taste. I’m not sure how to describe it. I think I prefer the buttermilk with the chocolate though. Those ones seem just a tad moister.

  • 41
    Jessica - March 23, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    These look amazing, but I have a question about the icing.. do you strain the seeds out of the raspberries?



    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:14 PM

      You can. I originally didn’t and the seeds didn’t bother anyone but feel free to strain them if you prefer it that way.

  • 42
    Moriah - June 19, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    Can you use this frosting to layer a cake? I typically don’t use cream cheese frosting to layer cakes since it tends to be soft, but since it has butter added, I wondered.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — June 19th, 2013 @ 8:37 PM

      I have not tried it.

  • 43
    Aggie - September 12, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    Love the vanilla bean cupcake recipe!! Having recently moved from Texas to colorado I am having a hard time finding high altitude scratch recipes. Is this one adapted for high altitude as well? Thanks!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie Goodman replied: — October 17th, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

      Yes, this recipe works for me in Colorado :)

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