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Will You Be My Bittersweet Valentine Cupcakes

Will You Be My Bittersweet Valentine Cupcakes

I think the name says it all with these delicious bittersweet chocolate valentine cupcakes with buttercream frosting.  This recipe was adapted from the original Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe and it is so simple to make and so delicious that it makes the perfect valentine gift for your special someone.  

I love using bittersweet chocolate in baking since it adds a depth of flavor that I think is so delicious. The combination of the bitter chocolate and sweet buttercream make this a perfectly balanced cupcake (not like those overly sickly sweet desserts).

These cupcakes are so easy to make too! My tween daughter made these last year for the family on Valentines day which is a win win for me (I was off the hook for making the sweet treats for a change) and they were a hit with everyone.

Cupcakes all decorated. You do not need any special skills just some frosting and a little candy decoration like these candy hearts.

The Buttercream Frosting:

For the Buttercream Frosting there are a million to choose from and my favorites all involve room temperature butter and powdered sugar. I think these taste better and they are not difficult to make.  

We chose to use a simple buttercream frosting for these cupcakes and it was delicious. I added a few tablespoons of sour cream to give it a little tangy flavor which just made it even better! Sour cream and chocolate are great together.

Decorating the Cupcakes:

For decorating, you don’t need to stress out about making them perfect. Imperfect frosting works with a nice decoration actually looks great! One of my tricks to making cupcakes look nice since I’m terrible at decorating and piping work is to make sure the frosting does NOT come to the edge of the cupcake.

Let the cupcake show a bit like in the pictures. It just makes the cupcakes look nice.

I did use a disposable piping bag with an icing tip which I have because my daughter likes decorating cakes (not me). You can also use a large ziploc bag if you do not have these. Just cut the bottom corner just a little bit to make a hole for the icing to come out.

Just make sure not to apply too much pressure when piping put the icing. These bags are not as strong as piping bags. For the heart decoration on top, I found these really cute red hearts at the store. You can also use the traditional Valentines Day candy hearts with messages.

This recipe does make a lot of cupcakes but you can half the recipe to make less as well. These cupcakes store nicely in the freezer without the frosting if you decide to make the whole batch.

I hope you give them a try! They are great anytime of year and so easy to make.

If you are looking for more ways to spoil that special someone on Valentines Day you may like:

The Best Salted Shortbread Cookies

Honey Brioche French Toast

Basil Olive Oil Cake

Triple Berry Shortbread Tart

Will You Be My Bittersweet Valentine Cupcakes

A deliciously chocolate, light and fluffy cupcake that is perfect for any occasion
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
cooling then decorating20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes



  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup of boiling water


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup sour cream room temperature optional
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract



  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • Line a muffin tin with liners.
  • Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
  • Then mix the eggs, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  • Stir espresso powder (this is optional but tasty) into the cup of boiling water and add to the batter.
  • Stir until it is incorporated. Your batter will be VERY thin and this is ok!
  • Pour (or ladle) the batter 3/4 the way up into your muffing tins.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • When done place on a cooling rack until cool and then you can start to add the buttercream frosting (see below).


  • In a large bowl add your butter
  • Cream your butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy (about 5 minutes)
  • Next add your room temperature sour cream if using and mix for 1 minute until it is incorporated into the butter
  • Now add your powdered sugar and vanilla and 2 tbsp of milk
  • With your hand held mixer or stand mixer, mix until it is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Start the mixing out slow because the powdered sugar will jump out of the bowl.


  • Scoop your frosting into your piping bag fitter with a tip, or a large plastic bag with a small piece of the bottom corner cut out.
  • Pipe small circles on top of your cupcakes starting from the center and working out from there. Do not add frosting all the way to the corners since you want to leave the cupcake edges to show through.
  • Add your candy heart to the center and they are ready


To freeze cupcakes:
Let cool completely after baking and place in a freezer proof bag or container and into the freezer for up to 2 months.
When ready to eat, remove bags from the freezer and place on your counter to fully thaw, about 5 hours depending on the temperature in your home.
When thawing make sure to keep the cupcakes in the bag to thaw.

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