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Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine’s Day Cupcakes


These delightful cupcakes are hiding an intensely rich, dark chocolate cake underneath. The kind that tastes like your favorite dark chocolate bar or dark chocolate truffle. These cupcakes have just enough sugar to cancel out the bitterness of the chocolate and allow you to revel in a smooth, deep, chocolatey wonderland.

Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine’s Day Cupcakes are not sweet enough for most kids to enjoy. Oh no, these cupcakes are adult cupcakes. You can customize them with whatever sweet treats you want on top!

Looking down on several Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine's Day Cupcakes with pink-frosting. Pressed into the frosting are: chocolate macarons, chocolate covered strawberries, white chocolate covered pretzels, conversation hearts and Valentine's M&M's.

Walmart provided everything I needed to make these Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine’s Day Cupcakes! This doesn’t have to be hard people.

I did make the French Macarons myself for the Taste of Home Magazine’s Bakable February challenge, and I’ll be sharing that recipe here. But you can totally purchase macarons at Costco or Sam’s Club if you want to skip making them at home.

I made the chocolate-covered strawberries at home with store-bought chocolate dip, and I picked up a container of white chocolate Valentine’s Day mix from the Walmart bakery. It was perfect for the cupcakes, and included the conversation hearts, the white chocolate heart-shaped pretzels, and the pink M&M’s candies.

A Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine's Day Cupcake sits elevated on a black cloth, surrounded by Valentine's day cookies, candies and more cupcakes.

But what’s so fun about these is you can load up YOUR favorite holiday candies on these cupcakes. It’s such an easy way to decorate cupcakes without having to learn crazy frosting piping techniques or purchase fancy frosting tips.

What is the difference between dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate?

Eating chocolate is pure joy. However, working/baking with it can be challenging. There are so many varieties, and each has a unique formulation that requires different handling. You may be looking at this recipe and wondering, “What is the difference between dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate?” Well, I have the answer for you!

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are actually in the same category; they both have the same ingredients of cocoa solids, sugar, and an emulsifier. The difference is that semi-sweet chocolate has more sugar than dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate. There are no set amounts of sugar to define each, and the labeling can be different around the world.

Bittersweet has just enough sugar to counteract most (but not all) of the cocoa bean’s natural bitterness. Dark chocolate is a step above bittersweet with just enough sugar to cancel out the bitterness. Semi-sweet has the most sugar of them all, and is just as the name implies; it’s semi -or somewhat- sweet. In the U.S. semi-sweet usually means there is no more than 50% sugar dissolved into the chocolate.

A very close-up picture highlighting the treats atop of a Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine's Day Cupcake.

Frosting Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

I frosted these cupcakes with a Strawberry Buttercream frosting that was bright, sweet and balanced out the dark chocolate-tasting cake underneath. The recipe for it is here.

But please feel free to frost these with YOUR favorite frosting. There are many flavors and recipes that would be delicious on this dark chocolate base- A nice buttercream flavored with caramel, coffee, orange, vanilla, peanut butter, or mint would work great. Don’t forget about creamy whipped frostings too!

I hope you find joy in making this recipe and please give me a shoutout if you post a pic of the recipe on social! Follow me on Instagram @TheGoldilocksKitchen, Facebook page The Goldilocks Kitchen, or Pinterest @GoldilocksKitch. Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment- I want to hear your feedback! (This is a blog after all and that’s the whole point right?!)

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Dark Chocolate Loaded Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


Deeply flavored dark chocolate cupcakes with an intense chocolate flavor and just a hint of sweetness; reminiscent of luxurious dark chocolate bars grown-ups enjoy. These cupcakes aren’t sweet enough to be appreciated by kids.

Feel free to simply top them with frosting- caramel, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, even coffee-flavored frosting works great with these cupcakes.

Equipment needed:

12 cup muffin tin, cupcake liners, flour sifter


Units Scale
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (this ingredient is essential, don’t skip it)


  1. Place cupcake liners into your tin. Set your oven to heat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on half power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add in the melted chocolate, and whisk to combine. Sift one-third the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Sift another third of the flour mixture over the batter and combine, repeat with the last third. Whisk in the sour cream until fully combined.
  5. Fill 12 cupcake liners equally with the batter. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of a cupcake. Remove cupcake tin from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack for about 20 minutes before emptying individual cupcakes out onto the cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting with your desired frosting. I recomend this frosting recipe.
  6. Press various valentines treats and candies into the frosting, such as chocolate covered strawberries, macarons, chocolate hearts, conversation hearts, etc. The cupcakes look best when treats of various sizes are used. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

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