A fun, festive dessert for spring parties and Easter. These “carrot top” chocolate cupcakes are as easy as making your favorite chocolate cupcakes and dipping strawberries in orange-colored white chocolate. Great for kids to help with!
I mean, could it get any cuter than dipping strawberries in orange-colored white chocolate and calling them “carrots”? I love this season. For me, April means warm weather, time in the garden, Lent and Easter, and birthdays. In our family of five, four of us have birthdays in April. And THREE of us share the same day. It always feels like a month worth celebrating, and as such, this is the time of year when I am endlessly drawn in by Pinterest. I came across these and knew it was a Pinterest-find that I could actually recreate.
If you see a baking or crafting post on the pages of this blog, you should feel confident in your ability to do it as well as (most likely better) than I have. Because all the fancy cameras and photo editing software in the world won’t hide my questionable skills at frosting cupcakes.
Make these. Your kids will be delighted…and you’ll like them too. 😉
Carrot Top Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients
- Strawberries – Look for strawberries that are ripe but not too soft. You’ll want them to hold their shape when dipped in chocolate, especially if making them ahead. For these cupcakes, the smaller the strawberries, the better. Huge strawberries will take over the entire top of the cupcake.
- Candy Melt Chocolate (and food coloring, if needed) – For super easy dipping of the strawberries, get chocolate wafers that are labeled “candy melt”. These are easy to work with and don’t need any tempering (which you would have to do if using chocolate chips or chocolate bars). You can get candy melt white chocolate that is already orange in color. These are available at craft and baking stores. I like these Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers which are available at the grocery store. These wafers are white, but I add orange food coloring (or equal parts red and yellow food coloring) to the melted chocolate until it reaches a nice orange color. You only need about 1/2 a bag of these white chocolate melting wafers to coat 12 strawberries.
- Wax or Parchment Paper – Make sure this is on your shopping list if you don’t already have it on-hand. You’ll place the white chocolate-dipped strawberries on wax or parchment paper so they don’t stick while they cool.
Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting – Use your favorite recipe or just go for the boxed mix. The cute-factor of these cupcakes goes great with any cupcake recipe!
How to Make Carrot Top Cupcakes
- Rinse and Dry Strawberries. The strawberries need be dry so that the chocolate will stick. If you’re in a rush, rinse them and pat them dry with paper towels or spread them out on a paper towel-lined plate and put them in the fridge (the cold, dry interior of the fridge works fast to dry out produce).
- Make Cupcakes – Make your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. Homemade or from a box mix – either way. These are a favorite of mine (Sally is a genius). Allow to cool completely.
- Melt Chocolate – Melt chocolate according to package directions (in the microwave or on a double boiler). If using white chocolate, add orange food coloring (or a combination of red and yellow food coloring) until it reaches a nice carrot-like orange color. I like to put the bowl of melted chocolate inside a larger bowl filled with a couple inches of hot tap water. This will buy a little extra time before the chocolate cools and hardens (see photo below).
- Dip Strawberries – Gather the stem of each strawberry together (you want the stems to stick up a bit which makes them look like carrot tops!) and, holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it in melted chocolate. Gently shake off any excess chocolate. Transfer the strawberry to a piece of wax or parchment paper. Repeat with all strawberries. Leave at room temperature to set.
- Frost and Top Cupcakes – Frost each cupcake with chocolate frosting. Add a chocolate-dipped “carrot” strawberry and press gently to secure it in the frosting.
Make Ahead Instructions
Want to make these ahead? The chocolate-dipped strawberries and cupcakes can be made up to two days ahead. Store the strawberries in the fridge and store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Frost and top the cupcakes (leave at room temperature) up to two hours before serving.
- Nonstick Muffin Tin – Any basic, muffin / cupcake tin will work. I prefer a nonstick version for easy clean-up.
- Cupcake Liners – If you have a good nonstick muffin tin, you may not need liners, though I always feel like these make clean-up easy and make cupcakes look best for serving. How cute would these grass cupcake liners be with carrot top cupcakes?!
- Glass Mixing Bowls – I’ve had these glass mixing bowls for years (decades?). They’re great for mixing cupcake batter and also for melting chocolate in this recipe.
- 12 small Strawberries
- 12 Chocolate Cupcakes (see note)
- 6 oz Chocolate Candy Melts (use orange colored candy melts or white chocolate candy melts with orange food coloring)
- Wax or Parchment Paper
- ~2 cups Chocolate Frosting (see note)
- Rinse and dry strawberries. (They need to be very dry so that the melted chocolate can stick, so be sure to do this ahead of time.)
- Make cupcakes according to recipe / package directions. Let cool completely.
- Melt chocolate according to package directions. If using white chocolate, stir in orange food coloring (or a combination of red and yellow food coloring) until the chocolate reaches a nice carrot-like orange color. (Place the bowl of melted chocolate inside a larger bowl filled with a couple inches of hot tap water. This will help to keep it warm / melted while dipping the strawberries.)
- Spread out a piece of wax or parchment paper (put it on a baking sheet if you’ll need to move the strawberries while they’re cooling).
- Working with one strawberry at a time, gather the stem and dip the strawberry in melted chocolate. Gently shake off any excess chocolate. Transfer the strawberry to wax / parchment paper. Repeat with remaining strawberries. Let cool at room temperature until chocolate hardens.
- Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
- Add a chocolate-dipped “carrot” strawberry and press gently to secure it in the frosting.
- Serve and enjoy!
Over the weekend, I came around the corner and found this scene. All three kids miraculously playing peacefully together. It lasted all of three minutes. But it was a sweet, sweet three minutes.
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