Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling and Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

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Close up of cupcakes in decorative wrappers with birthday number candles

Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes, complete with a raspberry chocolate cream cheese filling and a raspberry buttercream frosting, are the best way to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a friend or family member! Easily made with Pillsbury Purely Simple cake and icing mixes, these cupcakes are sure to be a hit.

A line of cupcakes in striped wrappers on top of white stands

I have been a chocolate fan my entire life, and it makes me incredibly sad knowing people who don’t feel the same way I do. I could eat chocolate with any meal, breakfast included, and I always have some good dark chocolate on hand. As one does.

Turns out, I come by my chocoholic tendencies honestly.

My mom has always been a chocolate lover, too. So much so that she displayed a “chocolate” postcard on the fridge that had a bite taken out of it. Why I remember this, I have no idea, but it was on display for years.

Every year for Mother’s Day, we purchased her the best chocolate-covered strawberries from a local chocolatier.

And this year, in honor of her 60th birthday, I’ve made her these decadent Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes. The chocolate cupcake is rich and moist and is filled with a tart raspberry chocolate cream cheese filling. After popping a fresh raspberry into the filling, I topped these babies with a raspberry buttercream frosting. Because, well, this flavor combination is awesome. And because I think my mama will love it, too.

Packages of cake mix in grocery store aisle

I wanted to make something special for my mom for her birthday, and since I’m a new mom, I don’t have all the time in the world to tinker in my kitchen these days.

That doesn’t mean I can’t whip up an incredible batch of birthday cupcakes, though.

I headed on down to Target and picked up Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix, as well as Pillsbury Purely Simple Buttercream Frosting Mix to use as inspiration for this recipe.

Have you heard of Pillsbury Purely Simple? These products have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and served as the perfect base to build these birthday cupcakes on.

Collage of step by step pictures filling cupcakes with toppings

First, I whipped up the cupcakes using the Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix as my base. The box calls for a stick of butter, three eggs and a cup of milk. I adapted that just slightly, using half the butter and adding unsweetened applesauce because, well, I love to use applesauce in cake mixes.

Once the mix was smooth, I poured them into cupcake liners and popped them in the oven to bake for 19-23 minutes. (It took a little longer in my oven, but keep in mind that it’s ancient.)

While those baked, I made the raspberry chocolate cream cheese filling, combining a block of softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, melted dark chocolate and raspberry preserves. Then I transformed the already tasty Pillsbury Purely Simple Buttercream Frosting Mix into Raspberry Buttercream Frosting by adding some raspberry preserves!

Overhead view of cupcakes with raspberries on table

Decorating these cupcakes was a blast, too, and was easily the most time-consuming part of this process. That being said, you can easily delegate tasks to little hands to help with this… it’s messy, but fun!

Once the cupcakes have cooled, it’s time to get started!

Using a knife, scoop out a 1″ section of the cupcake for the filling, then dollop the filling in. Add a raspberry on top because it’s cute and makes a nice surprise to bite into!

Then you’ll ice the cupcakes. If you’re fancy, bust on out those decorating and pastry bags! If you’re like me and are nowhere close to being a professional decorator, use my trick: a gallon-sized plastic bag with one of the corners snipped. Let your creativity shine as you ice these beauts. I thought the thin ribbons of icing were super cute.

And then you eat these cupcakes… or surprise someone you love with them.

Close up view of inside sliced cupcake with raspberries on plate

These cupcakes are part of my mom’s 60th birthday present.

So if you’re reading this, Mom? The rest of your birthday present is with Leigh. I ordered it weeks ago. (Because while I might not have tons of time to spend in the kitchen, I’ve become very good at ordering things online. eCommerce FTW!)

I’ll be sure to eat a cupcake for you as y’all celebrate your birthday in style this evening! And I’ll figure out how to ship cupcakes like these so you can enjoy ’em, too!

Cupcakes displayed on plates
Yield: 18 cupcakes

Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 49 minutes

Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes, complete with a raspberry chocolate cream cheese filling and a raspberry buttercream frosting, are the best way to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a friend or family member! Easily made with Pillsbury Purely Simple cake and icing mixes, these cupcakes are sure to be a hit.


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 box Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (½ stick)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs

Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves, warmed
  • Fresh raspberries, for decoration

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 bag Pillsbury Purely Simple Buttercream Frosting Mix
  • 5 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (½ stick)
  • 2 tablespoons water


Make the Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake cup liners. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the butter and applesauce until smooth using a hand mixer.
  3. Crack the eggs in a separate bowl, and pour them into the butter/applesauce mix one by one until incorporated.
  4. Measure the milk into the mixture, and stir until smooth.
  5. Sprinkle in the box of Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix. Mix until incorporated and smooth.
  6. Pour the cupcake mix into the prepared cupcake cup liners, and transfer to the oven.
  7. Bake for 19-23 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Once cooked through, let cool and come to room temperature.

Make the Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, blend the cream cheese and the powdered sugar with a hand mixer.
  2. Add the raspberry preserves, stirring until combined.
  3. Lastly, pour in the melted dark chocolate. Blend until smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Set aside.

Make the Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the warm raspberry preserves and the softened butter using a hand mixer. Mix until smooth.
  2. Add the Pillsbury Purely Simple Buttercream Frosting Mix to the mixture, stirring slowly. The mixture will be very thick and tacky. This is normal.
  3. Measure in the water -- you might need to add more or less -- so play it by texture. When the frosting has reached the desired consistency, set aside.

Decorate the cupcakes

  1. Once the cupcakes have cooled to room temperature, scoop 1" holes out of the middle of each using a knife and spoon. Don't cut too deep, as you want there to be some cake left!
  2. Carefully dollop the Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling into these holes.
  3. Press a single raspberry into the filling of each cupcake.
  4. Frost the cupcakes with the Raspberry Buttercream Frosting, either using a pastry bag or a plastic bag, in the decoration you desire. Repeat until all the cupcakes have been frosted.
  5. Enjoy immediately!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

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Cupcakes displayed on plates

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  1. Sweet goodness, these look incredible!! I love the way you did the icing too. I would be SO happy if these were my birthday cupcakes 😉

    1. Thanks, Madison! The way the icing was done was actually a happy accident, but I thought it looked really fun and different. 🙂 I’ll be sure to send this recipe your way at the end of February so you can drop some hints to the husband and baby that these would be a great birthday surprise.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I wish I could’ve brought these on the plane with me, but it didn’t work out. However, I totally support you having these for your 40th — they’re ridiculously delicious and super easy AND fun to make!

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