Dutch Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Frosting

After weeks of looking at Fuzz’s cupcake hat, I decided it would be fun to make some matching cupcakes.


While cherry frosting would have been more unique, I haven’t found a really kid-friendly cherry frosting and decided to go with vanilla with red food coloring. As for the base, it’s adapted from Magnolia’s recipe and calls for Dutch cocoa, which gives the cupcakes a distinct flavor and will vary depending on what brand you use.

These cupcakes are perfect for kids and adults. Even though The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe is still my personal favorite, I’ve had some kids tell me the chocolate tasted “too dark” and have reserved that recipe for more mature audiences. This recipe is a good alternative and perfect for class parties since it makes 24. My Magnolia books says the base can stretch to 28 cupcakes, but I made 24 and they were just the right size.


Dutch Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy chocolate cupcake recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
  • 2 cups cake flour (8 oz)
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large whole eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or milk mixed with a little lemon juice
Pink Frosting
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk (I’ve found whole works best)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Few drops of red food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Mix together the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add both sugars. Beat for about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Using lowest speed of mixer, add flour and milk alternately.
  4. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups (about 2/3 full) and bake until the centers of the cupcakes spring back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely before frosting.
  5. Frosting:
  6. Mix the butter and powdered sugar together in bowl of a stand mixer using low speed. Add a little of the milk to soften and continue beating until mixture comes together. Add vanilla. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. Beat until light and fluffy. Add a drop or two of red food coloring.
  7. Frost the cupcakes then decorate with chocolate sprinkles and stemmed cherries.

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  1. Jennifer says

    Beautiful cupcake! and sounds yummy too. I made some cupcakes and wanted to put a cherry on top, but my little ones don’t like the stemmed cherries. So I bought the cherry sour candies and they were a great substitution.

  2. says

    I love the hat you knitted! You’re so crafty! 🙂

    As for the cupcakes — they look perfect for kids. How is the cake texture? I find that Magnolia cupcakes (the ones from their store) tend to be dry and J’s friends never eat them — just the frosting. But I’ve only tasted the yellow and white ones, not the chocolate ones, so maybe they are more moist?

  3. says

    How cute! I love it!

  4. says

    Anna, I just had a flashback to those Valentine heart cookies with almond extract that Fuzz thought tasted like cherries. Maybe almond in the frosting instead of vanilla? Think I might try it!

  5. Heidi says

    Here’s a nice substitution. Try putting cherry juice in place of the milk. It’s a nice flavor and you get the great color too. I will be making these for Valentines Day or President’s Day.

  6. says

    Heidi, I ate one of the cupcakes that had been sitting overnight. The juice from the cherry seeped into the frosting and I must say it was very pleasant! It was just enough cherry so that kids would like it and adults would know it’s there.

    Amy, almond extract is brilliant — just a tiny bit, right?

    Melissa, yes! I totally knitted that hat! Just kidding. My friend Catie made it.

    Dawn, I was bored today and took a photo of the cross-section. Right now I’m busy and can’t post it. Not bored anymore.

    Shelley, thanks for validation on that recipe. I really love my Magnolia Bakery book.

    Lisa, as an artist I’m sure you appreciate the stem. As Jennifer mentioned, some kids do not. Fuzz likes it because it works as a handle to pull the cherry off and toss it. She doesn’t like maraschino cherries.

    Jennifer, sour cherry candy is yet another great idea for kids!! Love it.

  7. Katie Stewart says

    Anna– Chattanooga Cupcakes (in Chattanooga, TN) makes a maraschino madness cupcake that is to die for. It has pieces of maraschino cherry suspended in almond buttercream, and a cake that features bits of the cherries too… now I’m wondering if real amaretto could be thrown in the mix….

  8. says

    They look great….I was looking for something sweet to make for the weekend and may give these a try…just hope that I don’t eat too many!

  9. says

    Instead of nice mounded tops, mine went over the edges a bit. I wish I’d made 25 or 26. Or just eaten a bit of batter! They certainly are not as darling as yours 🙁

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