Sinfully Good: Devils Food Cupcakes with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


You know, I wasn’t even planning to write about these cupcakes. They were just a quickie Valentine’s Day treat I whipped up at the last minute when my original plans went awry.  But, they turned out so well, that I just had to share them with you.  Isn’t it funny how these things happen?   I had originally planned to make a much fussier chocolate cake.  Unfortunately, it was a big, fat fail.  I didn’t have enough ingredients to remake it, so I then found myself scrambling around my kitchen to find something else that I could do instead.   My salvation came to me in a box of Devil’s Food cake mix.  Thank you, Duncan Hines!


Ordinarily, I would have never used a boxed cake mix. The crumb is usually too flimsy, and the chocolate ones are never chocolatey enough. But, I was desperate!

To bump up the chocolate factor, I added a few tablespoons of my richest cocoa powder to the mix. I also swapped out a cup of water for the same amount of strong brewed coffee. It worked like a charm! My cupcakes were moist, dense and full of deep, dark chocolate flavor.

I had just enough eggs left to attempt a silky Swiss buttercream to frost the cupcakes with.   I also had some of my wonderful slow roasted strawberries in the fridge, so I decided to use them to flavor the buttercream.   The strawberries are roasted in a mixture of sugar and balsamic vinegar, so they are slightly caramelized and intensely flavorful – a perfect addition to the buttercream.


The final flourish to my cupcakes was a super rich bittersweet chocolate glaze drizzled over their tops.

My inspiration for the cupcakes, as well as the glaze recipe, came from one of my new favorite blogs, Sweetapolita.  It is filled to the brim with the most magnificent cakes I’ve ever seen.  Honestly, it’s absolutely stunning!  If you haven’t ever visited Rosie’s beautiful blog, you must do it now.   Go ahead, I’ll wait.


See!  Didn’t I tell you it was fabulous?

And, don’t these cupcakes look impossibly indulgent?  They are sinfully good!  Would you have ever guessed that they got their start in a cardboard box?   Neither did all of the people I gave them to.  And, don’t you dare tell them, either.  I have a reputation to maintain! Winking smile




15 responses to Sinfully Good: Devils Food Cupcakes with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream

  1. On February 15, 2012 at 11:09pm, Jodie said...

    These sound fabulous! I make cakes from scratch and my hubs loves cakes mixes. How do you like that? :)

  2. On February 16, 2012 at 1:56am, Choc Chip Uru said...

    I cannot believe this is not from a shop – it looks delicious, decadent and wonderful my friend!
    You are so talented in all your wonderful bakes and cooks 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Healthiest Natural Sugars Muesli Bars

  3. On February 16, 2012 at 7:51am, bellini said...

    Love the roasted strawberry factor. I can’t wait for strawberries to grace our shops.

  4. On February 16, 2012 at 8:11am, patsyk said...

    Oh, I wish I could have one of those cupcakes! I think using a box mix is ok, especially when you add some really good ingredients to make it special. Sometimes things happen, and you have to go to the box. I don’t think I’d want to share these cupcakes!

  5. On February 16, 2012 at 12:30pm, Elesa said...

    Those are some of the most beautiful cupcakes I have ever seen.

  6. On February 17, 2012 at 8:33am, Suze said...

    Not only do those cupcakes look almost unbearably delicious, but the frosting in the first photo is the most PERFECT shade of pink/brown/red ever created! I want lipstick in that exact shade, and blusher–hell, I want the entire interior of my home to be that shade! With luscious chocolate brown accents… ;^)

  7. On February 17, 2012 at 9:33am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Brilliant! You are the new Cake Doctor. I think I will take your tips into account if I’m ever stuck with a cake mix.

    The color of that frosting is just gorgeous and looks so beautiful on top of that cake!

    I’m attempting Swiss buttercream for the first time this weekend. Wish me luck!

  8. On February 18, 2012 at 2:21pm, Cornelia said...

    Love the pics and the cupcakes seems super tasty! :)

  9. On March 16, 2012 at 9:29am, Emily said...

    oh, these look amazing! Going to bookmark this recipe so i remember to give them a go! Love the idea of roasted strawberry! :)

  10. On March 17, 2012 at 7:30pm, jen @ one curly fry said...

    These look beautiful; the photography is amazing! I’d definitely eat those!

  11. On April 01, 2012 at 11:38pm, Sampurple98 said...

    I would really appreciate it if the cupcake is from scratch? I make cakes from scratch.. Cake mixes aren’t really my thing.

    • On April 02, 2012 at 1:23am, Susan said...

      Cake mixes aren’t really my thing either. If you read my post, I mentioned that I had made another cake that didn’t turn out right. I didn’t have enough ingredients to make another and I was pressed for time, so I used a box of cake mix. Baking from scratch is always preferable, but sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got.

      BTW, a lot of people don’t have the skills or time to bake from scratch. They might appreciate to know that they can still create creative and delicious desserts from a mix.

  12. On July 03, 2012 at 3:10pm, Betty Boop said...

    Beautiful looking CC’s! I will try these this weekend.

  13. On July 12, 2012 at 2:24pm, Betty Boop said...

    I made these and the CC’s were delicious, however the frosting, although delicious, didn’t work out. It was runny and didn’t look like the frosting pictured here.

  14. On November 11, 2012 at 12:07pm, Melissa said...

    I tried to make this frosting and failed misererably… Was it suppose to be a mirangue before you add the butter? Also… Is the purée supposed to be liquids?

3 pings to Sinfully Good: Devils Food Cupcakes with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream

  1. On February 16, 2012 at 11:56am, Devils Food Cupcake with Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Buttercream « The Cupcake Blog pinged...

    […] Susan Filson and recipe available on her blog Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy Posted by The Cupcake Connoisseur in All Chocolate Cupcakes and tagged with balsamic, […]

  2. On March 08, 2012 at 10:01pm, Devils Food Cupcakes with Strawberry-Balsamic Frosting Recipe – Best Friends For Frosting pinged...

    […] Gooey, Creamy, Chewy has outdone herself on this one. Funny thing is, this sinfully good recipe for Devils Food Cupcakes with Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream started out from failure. After her initial cake flopped, Susan turned to a Devils Food cake mix. […]

  3. On September 03, 2013 at 12:39am, Chocolate Cake with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream pinged...

    […] Adaptated from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy […]

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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