You can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day without strawberries and when California Strawberries asked me to share a festive cupcake recipe and a video I jumped at the sweet opportunity.

I was playing around with chocolate batter recipes and wanted chocolate flavors that reminded me of Mexican chocolate and these cupcakes have all the flavors I love. I added buttermilk for very moist and light cupcakes and the addition of coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor, and of course you can’t have Mexican chocolate flavors without the addition of fresh ground cinnamon and quality vanilla extract.

The end result is rich chocolate buttermilk and coffee cupcakes that I topped with a homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting made with ripe sweet strawberries and hints of lemon with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.

But the cupcakes don’t end there. There is a sweet surprise inside. Are you wondering how the heck I baked a strawberry in the batter? This is such a fun little magic trick. They look like average chocolate cupcakes, but once you cut them in half there is a strawberry inside the cupcake, and it’s shaped like a heart!

How did I make them, you ask? Watch these two videos below.


Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

5 (3 ratings)
Moist and tender chocolate buttermilk and coffee cupcakes with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting make Valentine's Day extra sweet with California Strawberries.




  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (optional for a thicker and creamier frosting)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Using a paring knife, core out a well down into each cupcake, for your hulled strawberry to fit into.
  • Stick the strawberry pointy side down into your cupcakes. Take the piece of the cupcake that you cut out, and place it on top of the strawberry, after you push it down into the cupcake.
  • Spread strawberry frosting on cupcakes with a spatula or use a piping bag.


  • Beat cream cheese and butter, if using with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in sugar, until smooth.
  • Add strawberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until well combined.
  • Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.


  • The addition of coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor, so don't skip it if you are a fan of all things chocolate! 
  • Use freshly ground Mexican cinnamon and quality vanilla extract for this recipe.
Calories: 244.45kcal, Carbohydrates: 35.78g, Protein: 2.93g, Fat: 11.09g, Saturated Fat: 6.79g, Cholesterol: 38.86mg, Sodium: 136.3mg, Potassium: 115.29mg, Fiber: 1.86g, Sugar: 23.08g, Vitamin A: 335.01IU, Vitamin C: 13.7mg, Calcium: 24.04mg, Iron: 1.19mg

This post is in partnership with California Strawberries. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.