“Tastes like soda,” commented Groom 4.0 when I had him try these cherry Coke cupcakes without knowing what they were. Score! Goal achieved. He went on to say that if Bride 4.0 didn’t pick these as her choice for their wedding cupcakes, he would replace his selection, Piña Colada cupcakes, with these. He didn’t need to worry – after two bites of these moist maraschino-filled cherry Coke cupcakes, Bride 4.0 was already picturing 80 of them on her wedding cupcake stand.
Cherry Coke cupcakes require an ingredient that you don’t have and probably aren’t going to be able to find at any store near you. Sorry! The good news is that it’s cheap (just $5.95) and I’ll tell you where to get it online (no, I’m not being paid to write this, and I get no kickback). The secret ingredient that is no longer a secret is Kool Kola extract from The Homemade Soda Company. While there are quite a few recipes online for cola-flavored cupcakes, what makes mine really pop (soda-pop that is) is the cola extract. I use it in the cake (in addition to actual cola) and to make frosting that tastes just like Coke without being watery. You could certainly try making cherry Coke cupcakes without the extract, but they just won’t be the same.
Cherry Coke Cupcake Recipe
Cherry Coke Cupcakes with Cola Frosting
- 1 C cola I use the Whole Foods house brand, 365
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/3 C canola oil
- 2 tsp Kool Kola extract
- 1 1/3 C flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 44 maraschino cherries I know it sounds like a lot. I did four per cupcake. You could cut down on the number if you aren't a huge maraschino fan; or, leave them off entirely to just make Coke cupcakes.
Coke Frosting Ingredients
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 C unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 C powdered sugar add more if you prefer a thicker frosting
- 2 tsp Kool Kola extract
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
Mix in the Kool Kola extract, flour, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top.
Drop 4 cherries with stems removed into each cupcake (I put them in a square pattern).
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
Coke Frosting Instructions
Beat cream cheese and butter.
Slowly mix in powdered sugar until the mixture looks like frosting.
Mix in extract.
Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
The Cupcake Wrapper
Jonathan made these wavy Coke-inspired cupcake wrappers using our Silhouette (read my post on creating cupcake wrappers for more on how that works). He will not be making custom wrappers for the wedding (it would be way too much work, considering I’m baking cupcakes and he’s the wedding photographer), but we really liked the way they turned out.