Last-Minute Valentine Cupcake Tray: Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes

I know it’s getting to be “last-minute”, with Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away, but if you need a tray of beautiful Valentine cupcakes, try these Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes. Of course, they are delicious anytime, not just on Valentine’s Day. With just a few components, you can put together a pretty presentation that looks like you might have spent a lot more time and effort that it actually takes. I am going to show you how to do it without too much stress.


Here’s the assortment that makes up this presentation


Devil's Food Cupcake Tray

Devil’s Food Cupcake Tray


Note: All of the cupcakes are Chocolate Devil’s Food so that you only have to bake one kind; it’s the frosting, the colors, the pastry tips used, and the garnishes that create the different looks and flavors.


  • Pink Ribbons (3) – To make the pink buttercream, I used 300g Buttercream which I flavored and colored with a little raspberry purée (25g) and ¼ teaspoon raspberry extract. Or, if you prefer, use strained raspberry preserves−Bonne Maman™ to achieve the pink color. Stir in a little at a time until you get the color you want. (In a pinch, a few drops of red food color will do, though this is not my preference.) I used a #124 Wilton Rose Tip for the ribbon effect. When piping, work with the thin part of the tip up (thick part down) to create sharp edges on the ribbons, then swirl the buttercream in a random fashion, creating a mound of ribbons.


Pink Ribbons: Devil's Food Cupcake

Pink Ribbons: Devil’s Food Cupcake


  • Chocolate Mint Swirl (4) – First, I made a 1-1 ganache (see how below). Each cupcake had a plug removed from the center with a small round cutter−1 ¼” (3cm) diameter− creating a pocket, which I filled with ganache. The balance of the ganache, (about 100g), was combined with 100g (1-1 ratio) of Buttercream to make Chocolate Mint Buttercream to pipe on top of the cupcakes. Let the chocolate buttercream chill in the refrigerator a little while until it holds its shape before piping. I used a #10mm (3/8”) Inox star tip and piped the buttercream like I was piping a large rosette to get the “swirl” effect.


Chocolate Mint Swirl: Devil's Food Cupcake

Chocolate Mint Swirl: Devil’s Food Cupcake


  • Three Raspberries (Trois Framboises) (3) – These cupcakes have a white Buttercream frosting, piped with a plain #7 Ateco plain tip –1/2” (12mm) diameter−then topped with 3 perfect and very fresh raspberries.
Three Raspberries: Devil's Food Cupcake

Three Raspberries: Devil’s Food Cupcake


  • Chococo (2) – These were piped the same way as the Three Raspberry cupcakes: white Buttercream piped with a plain #7 Ateco plain tip – 1/2” (12mm) diameter−then dusted with a cloud of Angel Flakecoconut.


Chococo: Devil's Food Cupcake

Chococo: Devil’s Food Cupcake


  • Black & White (4) – Again, white Buttercream, but this time piped with a pastry tip that is called a French tip (Ateco #857); it’s a star tip, except it has a lot more teeth. Using the French tip, I piped small rosettes all around the outside of the cupcake, then another layer of rosettes in between the rosettes on the bottom layer. I kept going until I had a nice mound of random rosettes creating a “twisty white rope”.
Black & White: Devil's Food Cupcake

Black & White: Devil’s Food Cupcake





Here’s the components that you will need to create this assortment:

Three recipes to make:

  1. One recipe Devil’s Food Cupcakes (recipe below) baked and cooled: Yields 16 standard-size cupcakes about 2 ounces (60g / ¼ cup) each. I prefer brown paper muffin cups for chocolate cupcakes, but regular white ones will do. Sixteen cupcakes is the perfect quantity for a large square platter or tray (4 x 4). Decorating and finishing the cupcakes will go much faster if you bake them the day before and refrigerate overnight. If no time to refrigerate overnight, just make sure they are completely cool. (Warm cupcakes will melt your buttercream!!!)
  2. One recipe freshly-made Buttercream (this is a separate recipe): Yields 2 quarts buttercream, which is enough to frost all of these cupcakes with a little left over for another time. Freeze what’s left. The finished buttercream gets divided into portions (as needed) for white, pink raspberry, and brown chocolate mint buttercream, Buttercream can be made the day before also, but if you do this, leave it out at room temperature overnight, so that it will be soft when ready to use. Just stir until smooth, or put it in a Kitchen Aid™ with a paddle, and mix on low speed until very smooth.
  3. One batch Chocolate Mint Ganache: This isn’t much of a recipe so it’s quick to make; it’s just a standard ganache, which is a 1-1 ratio of chocolate and cream. I used a 3.5-ounce (100g) bar of “Lindt Intense Mint Dark Chocolate” and an equal amount of heavy cream. To make the ganache, just bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, remove from heat, and throw in the chocolate (broken into pieces). Set aside for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then whisk until smooth. Let cool. Half (about 100g) of it is used to fill plugs in four cupcakes; the other half (100g) is combined with an equal quantity of buttercream to create Chocolate Mint Buttercream for piping the tops. Make sure both the buttercream and the ganache are cool and smooth before mixing them together.


Other miscellaneous things you will need:

  • Four Pastry Tips – These are the four that I used; of course, you can choose different ones if you like:
    • ½” (12mm) Diameter Plain Tip – Ateco #7
    • #10mm (3/8”) Star Tip – Inox
    • French Tip – Ateco #857
    • #124 Wilton Rose Tip
  • Standard Muffin pans (1 12-cup & 1 6-cup) & papers
  • Small Cookie Cutter – 1 ¼” (3 cm) diameter)
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Angel Flake Coconut™
  • Large Square Platter or Tray – The one I used here is 14” (35cm) square.




Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcake Tray

Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcake Tray


Mixing Devil’s Food Cupcakes:



If you have time to make the raspberry purée, here’s how I did it:


For Pink Buttercream: I used 300g Buttercream and mixed in 25g raspberry purée.

For Pink Buttercream: I used 300g Buttercream and mixed in 25g raspberry purée.



For the Chocolate Mint Swirl cupcakes:



Buttercream Tips:



These cupcakes were so much fun to make and I hope you enjoy making them too. The eating is even better!



Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcakes
5.0 from 1 reviews
The unexpected ingredients in this recipe are the mayonnaise and the instant coffee, both of which help to make the cupcakes extra moist and chocolate-y. This recipe is like an old-fashioned mayonnaise cake, and is one that I have made many times because it is so good. I have used it for sheet cakes, as in Shirl's Brooklyn Blackout Cake, for vintage layer cakes, and for these cupcakes. You just can't go wrong with this recipe.

  • ABOUT 1000g (2# 3 oz) BATTER

  • 200 grams pastry flour (King Arthur) or bleached all-purpose flour (Gold Medal) (1½ cups)
  • 60 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder (Valrhona (1/2 cup + 1½ Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (6g)
  • 1½ teaspoons instant coffee (Medaglia D'Oro)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 100 grams eggs (2 large)
  • 20 grams egg yolk (1 large)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1¼ cups)
  • 170 grams mayonnaise (Hellmann's) (3/4 cup)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

  • 210 grams water, room temperature (7/8 cup)

  • 1010 grams = Total 35 oz (2# 3 oz)

  1. PREP MUFFIN PANS: Line two standard muffin pans (one 12-cup and one 6-cup) with paper liners (I prefer brown ones for chocolate cupcakes but white ones work also). Have non-stick spray with flour (Pam or Baker's Joy) handy and spray the papers just before filling with batter. This step will make the muffins easy to release from their paper cases.
  2. PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350° F (175° C).
  3. SIFT flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add instant coffee and salt; whisk to blend.
  4. MIX eggs and egg yolk on low speed in Kitchen Aid (or other stand mixer), using the whisk, until combined. Gradually drizzle in the sugar with mixer running; turn speed to high and continue to whip until thick and pale in color, about 10 minutes.
  5. TURN speed to low and add mayonnaise, a spoonful at a time, with mixer running. Add vanilla.
  6. ADD ⅓ of the flour and pulse in gently on lowest speed.
  7. ADD ½ of the water and mix in.
  8. REPEAT with another ⅓ of the flour and ½ of the water.
  9. FINISH by adding the remaining ⅓ of the flour and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
  10. STOP the mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix in.
  11. NOTE: The batter will be very thin, thin enough to pour into the muffin pans. Transfer batter (in batches) to a 2-cup measuring cup with a spout; this will make pouring easier. Fill each muffin cup to within ⅜" of the top of the muffin paper.
  12. BAKE @ 350° F (175° C) 19-20 minutes, until a wooden skewer tests clean.
  13. LET COOL in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  14. CHILL the cupcakes before frosting. I like to have the cupcakes cold (even frozen) when frosting, especially when using buttercream. If you pipe onto warm cupcakes, the buttercream will melt.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
Recipe adapted from the " Bouchon Bakery" Cookbook by Thomas Keller with Sebastien Rouxel (2012). .



Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcake Tray

Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcake Tray

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!