Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe By Tessa Arias
January 23rd, 2012
3.5 from 4 votes
3.5 from 4 votes

Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist and tender on the outside and oozing with warm, rich chocolate inside. Easy yet impressive!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes

Chocolate Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

The very moment I saw this recipe in February’s Better Homes & Gardens, I ripped the page out of the magazine. Yum. It appealed to everything I like. Red velvet, chocolate, and cupcakes (only because they are easy, quick, and cute). Not to mention this recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day (these cupcakes aren’t a hassle to transport). I kind of want to stuff anything and everything with a ball of chocolate ganache now. Hm.

Recipe Rundown

Taste: Like red velvet, but way amped up. That chocolate in the center is just magnificent.
Texture: The cupcakes are moist and tender while the chocolate is rich and oozing.
Ease: Easy yet impressive.
Appearance: The chocolate is such a wonderful surprise. Plus you can’t beat that brilliant red color (thanks, food coloring).
Pros: In my humble chocoholic’s opinion, these are so much better than regular red velvet cupcakes.
Cons: None!!
Would I make this again? Absolutely yes.

3.5 from 4 votes

How to make
Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Chocolate-Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist and tender on the outside and oozing with warm, rich chocolate inside. Easy yet impressive!


For the chocolate stuffing:

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar


For the chocolate stuffing:

  1. In a small saucepan combine chocolate, cream, and butter. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover and freeze about 1 hour, or until fudge-like consistency. Divide chocolate filling into 12 equal portions and roll into balls. Place in freezer.

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar on medium for 2-3 minutes, until light in color and well combined. Beat in egg, food coloring, and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. In a small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar. Stir into batter.
  4. Divide half the batter among prepared cups. Place a ball of chocolate into center of each cup. Top evenly with remaining batter.
  5. Bake 15-17 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm or let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Recipe Notes

From Better Homes & Gardens February 2012
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Maria — January 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    These look awesome!

  2. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — January 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm


  3. #
    TidyMom — January 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    oh WOW! these sound delicious!!

  4. #
    Erin — January 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I love stuffed cupcakes, these look wonderful.

  5. #
    Jessica — January 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I love this idea!

    Also, I have to say you have wonderful taste…. I have that polkadot napkin from World Market too! Almost half of the time, I have the same things as you have! haha 🙂

    • #
      handleheat — January 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Hahaha 🙂 One day we'll have to go to World Market together!

  6. #
    Lauren @ KeepItSweet — January 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    This is serious red velvet heaven!

  7. #
    Christina — January 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    These look fantastic! I am a sucker for anything stuffed 😉

  8. #
    Ali — January 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    This look just amazing! my question to you, is it possible to substitute sour cream for butter cream?

    • #
      handleheat — January 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      When you say butter cream do you mean buttermilk? If yes, then substituting sour cream should be fine (I'd thin it with a little milk if possible).

  9. #
    Moni — January 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    hi:) Love the idea!

    Do you think I can add a teaspoon of Nutella chocolate instead of the chocolate stuffing?

    • #
      handleheat — January 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      You could, but I would add it after the cupcakes are baked. I'd take an apple corer or pairing knife and remove the middle of the cupcake and fill it with nutella. That way the nutella is gooey still and the flavor is strong.

  10. #
    nina riley — January 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    This looks great. A fab. dessert for Valentine's Day.

  11. #
    xobubbles — January 25, 2012 at 1:56 am

    oh mylanta that looks soo good!

    question tho; can't I just put the solid chocolate chips in the middle, then pour the rest of the cupcake batter over it rather than melting the chips down and adding butter and heavy cream?

    • #
      handleheat — January 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      If you just put the solid chocolate chips in the middle they'd melt into the batter and it would be more of a marble cake. Because the ganache is frozen before going into the batter, it will be ooey and gooey when the cupcakes are done baking.

  12. #
    Brittany — January 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I love your enthusiasm!

  13. #
    @cindyhannon — January 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    We are hosting a ladies event themed “Hope for your Heart” and i would love these for our first night's refreshent time. Have you ever frozen them or the chocolate ganache for any length of time (making them a few weeks early) if freezing with the filling inside, will it defrost and be creamy? Just wondering if you have an answer to this or not… they would be perfect because it would be like a heart in the cupcake. They look so wonderful!!!

    • #
      handleheat — January 28, 2012 at 5:02 am

      The ganache can definitely be frozen for a long time, however I wouldn't freeze the cupcakes – I don't think they'd defrost nicely. Hope they work out for your event 🙂

      • #
        @cindyhannon — January 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        Thanks for that… 🙂

  14. #
    Amanda — January 28, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Ok so I made these yesterday and they turned out beyond yummy, but you say in your directions to sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small bowl then right after you wrote to beat the butter and sugar together….which confused me. So I just sifted all the dry ingredients except the sugar, then beat the butter and sugar together. It worked out great this way, but I was just wondering was it a typo or were we supposed to split the sugar?

    • #
      handleheat — January 28, 2012 at 5:02 am

      Thanks for pointing out that error, it's fixed now! You did it the correct way 🙂

  15. #
    Kyra — January 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

    These look amazing, I'm about to make them now. What would you reccomend as a filling if I had chocolate and butter but no cream?

  16. #
    TracyDailyDealBlog — January 31, 2012 at 9:54 am

    This is a great idea on Valentines Day. This recipe will be on my baking plans.Thank you for sharing.

  17. #
    Rachel — May 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I pulled this recipe ages ago and just made them and they were amazing!! I missed rolling the chocolate balls before freezing so scooped and rolled frozen choco which was just as good. They came out fine and the chocolate oozed when I cut it open. Im going to be the envy of FB tonight!

  18. #
    Adam — June 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    They look B-E-A-UTIFUL!!!!!

  19. #
    Tammi — July 4, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I am going to try these tonight, I noticed they are not frosted, do you think adding a cream cheese frosting would be too much?

  20. #
    Sweet Sarah — July 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I made these cupcakes a few days ago and they were so delicious! I was apprehensive about making them with the chocolate filling, but I am so glad I went for it! They turned out great. Like a few other people I also didn't take the time to roll out the chocolate into balls – I just scooped it out (after freezing it for a while) with a cookie scooper. Still turned out awesome!

    I posted about the cupcakes here if you want to check it out:

    Thanks so much!

    Sweet Sarah

  21. #
    Stephanie — July 23, 2012 at 4:01 am

    These were SO delicious! They were like little red velvet lava cakes 🙂 thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

  22. #
    ATasteOfMadness — July 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    This looks fantastic!! I must make this soon, I can’t believe I have never had anything red velvet before, yum!

  23. #
    Lizzie — July 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Have just googled cupcake fillings and found yours they look yummy. Can you please tell me what you mean by heavy cream we don’t have that term in the UK. Thank you.

    • #
      tessa — July 28, 2012 at 4:51 am

      Hi Lizzie! I think heavy cream is called double cream in the UK. Hope that helps 🙂

  24. #
    Claire — July 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    these would be AMAZING for Valentine’s Day! I’d prefer them over chocolates

  25. #
    Roxanne — September 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Hi , I tried your recipe out today, had a few problems I hope you can help with, the cupcakes were not as red as they should be (used exact qty from the recipe) how do I get them so red?, the stuffing I followed as per the recipe but they melted + harded to the bottom of the cup cake instead of melting in the centre, must I freeze the stuffing for longer? or must I make the balls really small? I am using a standard size cup for the cupcakes, I did half the batter but found I did not have enough for the top, (I only had enough for 10 cupcakes) is the recipe more for mini cup cakes?, what am I doing wrong please help, I got to get this right. Thank you (South Africa)

    • #
      Tessa — September 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Roxanne – for the food coloring I find that gel coloring is the most vibrant. You may need to use more food coloring if the kind that you have isn’t as powerful.

      As far as the chocolate stuffing goes, it sounds like your balls of chocolate weren’t cold enough when they went in the oven. They probably need more time in the freezer. If they are colder than your batter then they should melt more slowly instead of melting into the bottom of the cupcake.

      This recipe uses a standard sized muffin tin. I’m a little confused with your batter/quantity questions. If you halved the batter then you would only have enough for 6 cupcakes because the original yield is 12 cupcakes. Maybe that’s why you didn’t have enough batter for the top?

  26. #
    ale — December 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Tessa. I’m having some difficulty with the chocolate filling..must have done something wrong but it’s been in the freezer all day and it melts pretty much as soon as i try to make them into balls to freeze again for later. If i put a little dollop in each cupcake I’m worried it won’t melt slow enough and sink to the bottom. Now obviously, doing what i’m going to suggest wouldn’t get the same chocolate filled effect you wrote about… but what if I just mixed the chocolate filling into the mix and baked it all together. Do you think the cupcakes would still turn out okay?

    • #
      Tessa — December 12, 2012 at 10:59 am


      That’s really weird – are you using a scoop to form the chocolate filling into balls? They shouldn’t be “melting” that quickly – I’m not completely sure why you’re having that problem unfortunately. You could try to mix the filling into the cupcakes, I’m not quite sure how that would turn out. Good luck!

  27. #
    Kassandra — January 1, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Hi Tessa! What is a good minimum time to freeze the chocolate balls before inserting them into the batter to bake? Because when I made these cupcakes my chocolate sort of “exploded”, and my cupcake was somewhat hollow because of the exploded chocolate.

  28. #
    Lauren — January 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I will definitely be making these for Valentine’s day!! Absolutely gorgeous!

  29. #
    John — January 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Why not use Nutella rather than the chocolate balls? 😀

  30. #
    Zareen — January 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Tessa

    I’m in love with you blog. I have baked so many of your cakes from here any everyone LOVES them. I want to make a full 8 inch cake out of this recipe (i want to add a layer of the chocolate and cream cheese icing in the cake), would you recommend any changes?

    • #
      Tessa — February 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

      I haven’t done this but I think you would need to double this recipe to get two 8-inch layers. You’ll have to increase the baking time, probably around 30-35 minutes. Good luck!

  31. #
    Jackie — February 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

    When You Mean Cream, Do You Mean Regular Sour Cream?

    • #
      Tessa — February 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Nope. Not sour cream. The chocolate filling requires liquid heavy cream and the cupcake recipe requires buttermilk. You may be able to substitute sour cream for the buttermilk but not the heavy cream.

  32. #
    Diana Morales — February 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Tessa! I just made your recipe today! I loved it!

    Greetings from Mexico!

  33. #
    Priscilla — July 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    These cupcakes look amazing! I can’t wait to try making these, however do you think its possible to substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream?

    • #
      Tessa — August 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      I’m not sure… it might come out a little too thin if you made that substitution.

  34. #
    Natassia — August 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    These r jus too amazing…….
    My only question to you is though, what brand of the red food coloring do you use? Cause I can never get my cupcakes to turn out this gorgeous deep red.


    Regards from India…

  35. #
    Tiana — August 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!

    I would like to know if cream cheese frosting would taste good with these cupcakes because I’m not sure whether the chocolate stuffing and cream cheese frosting combo would taste too good.

    Thanks again. Look forward to your reply.

    • #
      Tessa — August 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      The cream cheese frosting and the chocolate stuffing would probably compete for flavor attention and I think it would be a little much. You’re probably better off going with one or the other but not both.

  36. #
    zara asif — August 31, 2013 at 6:17 am

    hey! powdered food colouring or liquid? what do you recommend?

  37. #
    Jenny Portem — October 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Wow, you’re as beautiful as your recipes Tessa! I will try this one of these days. Thanks for sharing your gift of cooking and writing with us 😀

  38. #
    Pallavi — December 27, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I landed here after searching for red velvet cupcakes and i am so glad i did! The cupcakes look so soft and the gooey chocolate inside looks heavenly! Thanks for brightening up my day at work 🙂

  39. #
    Corr Chilled — February 7, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Love their gorgeous red glow!

  40. #
    Uthishta — February 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I was super excited to make these today after I found the recipe. They looked absolutely amazing. However I was extremely disappointed as the chocolate melted and settled at the bottom instead of staying gooey and in the centre. I froze the chocolate balls for a good 3 hrs. What else could I be doing wrong? I seem to have the same problem with any stuffed cupcake I try. Really want to try and get these right! Thanks! 🙂

  41. #
    gopika — June 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    this looks really good and i want to make it for my son who i am sure will love it, the red colour with choc inside! i hv a few ques: 1. can i just use plain frozen choc pieces for the centre? 2. would beetroot juice work for the colouring as my son is allowed no synthetic colours?

    • #
      Tessa — June 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      You can use any kind of chocolate you want as long as it’s sweetened. I have no idea if beetroot juice would work as a coloring, I’ve never tried that.

  42. #
    helen — August 5, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Are these measurements uk or uk cups? i have only ever baked using grams and would want to convert over

  43. #
    swati — December 31, 2014 at 12:41 am

    can i do the cream cheese on top of this as icing … hope mix of all doesn’t make it sweet no idea .. do u think cream cheese can balance the cupcake .

  44. #
    bulak — July 17, 2015 at 5:44 am

    hi, its hard to find heavy cream in my place, can i use all purpose cream instead? this looks really good and i want to make it for my children. thanks 🙂

  45. #
    Jenny Komanecky — December 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I made these for an office party and they were a hit. I wanted to serve a frosted cupcake, so I filled them with a dark chocolate ganache instead of milk chocolate, and I found that balanced out the extra sweetness from the cream cheese frosting quite well.

    • #
      Tessa — December 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      Perfect, Jenny! Love that you were able to make the recipe your own 🙂

  46. #
    Sarah — January 25, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Do you think cream cheese icing would be too rich?

    • #
      Tessa — January 25, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Hmm maybe, at least for some people it would be. If your friends and family like things rich and sweet I think it would be fine!

  47. #
    Pauline — February 11, 2016 at 6:19 am

    After reading all the reviews on how the chocolate melts to the bottom of the cupcake and in some cases exploding, I think I will try injecting them with a Wilton tip #230, once they are slightly cooled.
    These look amazing and I will be taking them to a dinner party.
    Thank you Tessa!

  48. #
    Kelly — May 24, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    They turned out beautifully. I only got 11. I had to sacrifice the last one to get enough batter to cover the ganache in the others. What size cupcake paper did you use? Regular size? Don’t know why I came up short? Exact measures were used.

    • #
      Tessa — May 25, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Yes, regular sized! Maybe next time add the batter in a little more sparingly and you’ll likely end up with 12 🙂

  49. #
    Vidisha — February 19, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Hey! These look so amazing! Im a vegetarian though. Can i make these eggless? How do i do that?

  50. #
    Daisy — March 24, 2017 at 3:18 am

    hi ms. tessa!
    when you say 1/2 cup buttermilk, did you mean powdered buttermilk or liquid?
    what i have is powdered buttermilk.
    thank you for sharing your recipe 🙂

  51. #
    AliceGraceL — June 18, 2017 at 12:35 am

    How would these work with white chocolate chips in the filling?

  52. #
    Cayla — June 28, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Hi my name it Cayla and I love your work and how you really get to the bottom of what needs to be done when baking because sometimes it can be a challenge for me.I am a young baker and is ruining my own business called cayyys creations I sell pins for any occasion,pound cakes,and bows and I am thinking of selling cup cakes also.But anyway can I substitute all purpose flour for cake flour or do half and half like you stated in you precious experiment with the yellow cupcakes

  53. #
    Laurie — May 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I made them but my cupcakes all sunk in the middle!! How did that happen?

  54. #
    Fretzie Analucas — June 26, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I tried your recipe. It really taste good but my cupcake has lots of bubble holes at the top. What went wrong?

  55. #
    Geo — December 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t know if this is viable recipe. Like others, my chocolate sank to the bottom. So disappointing after all the work. If anyone figures out how to prevent it, please post here. I will do the same.

  56. #
    Desi — January 23, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    I just made these in a gluten free version and they were so good!!

  57. #
    Cady — February 20, 2019 at 8:59 am

    My brother wants these for his birthday but he wants the filling to be white chocolate. If I changed it to white chocolate chips would that still work?

  58. #
    Vicki Bateman — February 4, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I will be making 100 of these cupcakes for a reception (without the filling). Please help me figure out the ingredients for 100 to 120 and is it better to make several batches over several days or try and do all of the cupcakes in one day? Also, will these freeze well before being frosted?

  59. #
    Elizabeth Smith — February 15, 2020 at 11:13 am

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but the ganache melted into one big blob. I scooped it into balls and put them in the cupcakes. The filling oozed out of the cupcakes all over the pan and then some of them caved in.

  60. #
    Cassie Noronha e Pereira — August 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Hii Tessa!
    I just love ur reciepes
    N m gonna just try this reciepe of urs too…
    Just wanted to know if i dont have the buttermilk , how can i do it at home…i mean i know we gotta add vinegar to milk but how much qty to get d desired ml of buttermilk needed in d reciepe plz

  61. #
    Kanupriya — August 25, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Tessa, thanks for such an amazing recipe. I’ve made these cupcakes so many times with stellar results. The flavour and moistness of the cupcakes is spot on.
    Thanks once again for sharing your recipes in such detailed manner.

  62. #
    Mary — February 1, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Can you substitute the buttermilk for another type of milk?


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