Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

Rich, moist, Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes topped with a thick cocoa buttercream. The perfect Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cupcake!

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I finally perfected my chocolate cupcake recipe! So I decided to use it to make these festive chocolate sweetheart cupcakes. They’re incredibly moist, tender and topped with the fluffiest chocolate buttercream! I used these fun little Ghirardelli Valentine’s Day Impressions along with some chocolate shavings and heart sprinkles to make these extra special. If you can’t find chocolate heart candies at your grocery, you can find various chocolate heart candies here on Amazon from Ghiradelli, Dove and Reese’s among others for your cupcake decorations.

Have I ever mentioned just how much I love Ghirardelli? Maybe it’s because I grew up near San Francisco, or because I love all of their decadent dark chocolate bars. I do know one thing though, their baking products are a pantry staple. As a frequent baker, I love using their 60% cacao baking chips, they ensure the best taste and texture to any baked treat or decadent confection I make! I used 2 oz. of their chips (melted) to help give these cupcakes their rich chocolatey flavor.

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

But I didn’t stop there. I shaved the chips for the topping and popped out the centers of their Valentine’s Day Impressions too. Have you ever tried them? They’re perfect for snacking on since their individually wrapped and make great little gifts for Valentine’s Day. I especially love the milk & dark chocolate combo, however, they also come in milk & white. I decided to leave a few of them whole and just press them into the frosting of a few of the cupcakes- it was easy and just as pretty.

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

So before you jump into the kitchen to whip up a batch of these beauties, let me give you a few tips. First, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Use high quality ingredients (the better the ingredients, the better the cupcakes will taste). Don’t swap out full-fat sour cream or buttermilk for anything else! Use espresso powder to enhance the flavor of the chocolate.

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

Lastly, do not overbake these cupcakes! Ok? Now let’s get baking, because these cupcakes are a definite must-make!

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

Whether you’re making these for friends, family or for someone extra special, these chocolate sweetheart cupcakes are sure to be a hit! There’s no need to buy those hard little conversation hearts, because each cupcake comes with it’s own message! How cool is that?! Enjoy & happy Valentine’s Day!

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Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes

Chocolate Sweetheart Cupcakes Recipe

Rich, moist, chocolate sweetheart cupcakes topped with a thick cocoa buttercream. Perfectly decorated for Valentine's Day!
5 from 1 vote
Pin Rate
Course: Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 386kcal
Author: Andrea
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  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter - melted
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz 60% bittersweet chocolate - melted
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks - room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder - sifted*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream or buttermilk - room temperature
  • 1/2 cup warm water + ½ tsp espresso powder

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - sifted*
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream


  • chocolate shavings
  • Ghirardelli Valentine's Day Impressions - centers only


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard size cupcake pans with 18 liners, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla extract and melted chocolate until smooth. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sifted cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients along with the sour cream (or buttermilk) and the warm water/espresso mixture. Mix just until combined. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Divide batter evenly among cups, filling ⅔ of the way full (I like to use a large scoop, a #20). Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake! Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, to prepare the frosting, in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixing speed off, add the salt and the vanilla extract. Turn mixing speed on to low, then gradually add the powdered sugar and cocoa. Beat for 2 minutes, then turn to low and add the cream. Turn the speed up and beat for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread or pipe on to the cooled cupcakes, garnish with sprinkles, chocolate shavings and the centers of the Ghirardelli Valentine's Impressions.


Dutch-process or Special Dark cocoa powder can be used in place of unsweetened cocoa powder, or a blend of each.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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About the Author


Hi I'm Andrea!

Hotelier turned Food Blogger to help make your life simple, one recipe at a time.

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  1. Just had surgery and was in the hospital for 6 weeks. Not allowed out of the bed yet. Sure is wrong time of the year to see desserts like this and know you can’t make them. They look absolutely delectable. Congratulations on your perfection.