Black Forest Cupcakes

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black forest cupcakes

Black forest cupcakes are just like black forest cake, but in cupcake form. Black forest cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes soaked in cherry liqueur, with a cherry filling, a whipped cream topping, and cherries and chocolate on top.

According to What’s Cooking America, black forest cake was named in the late 16th century after the Black Forest Region in Germany (Der Schwarzwald in German) located in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In German, black forest cake is called Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.

These black forest cupcakes were light, fluffy, and incredibly moist. Because of the cherry filling and liqueur, they were almost too moist to eat without a fork. This didn’t seem to bother anyone!

Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe

I got the recipe for the cake portion of the black forest cupcakes from AllRecipes. The cake itself is simply a chocolate cake. All of the cherry flavor comes from soaking the cake in liqueur and the cherry filling. This happens to be a delicious chocolate cake recipe, but feel free to use your favorite chocolate cake recipe instead. The recipe is reprinted below with my notes and cupcake adaptation.

Makes around 16 cupcakes

  • 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 1/2 C white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t coffee extract (This is optional. I just threw it in to add a little depth of flavor. Coffee extract is a handy thing to have around. You can buy it on Amazon [paid link].)
  • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and extracts.
  4. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  6. Bake at 350 F for twenty minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched.

UPDATE 11/19/13:  I now use my Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake Recipe as my go-to chocolate cake.  I’d suggest using that recipe and then following the cherry filling, soaking, and whipped cream instructions below.

Cherry Filling Recipe and How to Fill The Cupcake

Many black forest cake recipes call for using a store-bought cherry pie filling. If you can get your hands on some fresh cherries, there is no excuse to not make the filling yourself. Making your own filling is easy. It’s just three ingredients. The recipe below makes more filling that you will need. You can reduce the recipe or use the leftovers to top ice cream or to mix in with yogurt.

  • 1 pound cherries, washed, pitted, and destemmed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  1. Throw all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and let mixture simmer for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.

To fill the cupcakes, use a paring knife to cut a hole out of the top of each cupcake and place two cherries and a few teaspoons of the juice into each hole. Then, replace the tops.

Soaking the Cupcakes

Your cupcake will be pretty moist after filling it with the cherries and juice. However, for even more oomph, you can pour some liqueur (maraschino liqueur or Kirschwasser) over the cupcakes. Poke some holes in the cupcake to help it go down if you need to, but the cupcakes are airy enough that you probably won’t have to.

Whipped Cream Recipe

The frosting on black forest cupcakes is not very sweet. It’s basically a simple whipped cream with a touch of flavor.

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons maraschino liqueur or Kirschwasser
  1. Whip the whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract and liqueur.

The Cherry on Top

I highly recommend topping these black forest cupcakes with homemade maraschino cherries! I also used chocolate sprinkles, but you could use chocolate shavings.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to my twitter pal garrick_s for giving me the idea to make black forest cupcakes.

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    only tart Cherries I use and Kirschwasser

  2. Karsten haigissays:

    As a professional German Baker and chef born in the Blackforrest. Never sweet cherries, always tart. No sweet liqueur. This is a Herrentorte, stronger heartier flavor. Not ever Maraschino please far too sweet and far too Italian

  3. LaTricesays:

    I found your blog through the Google search engine, and honestly, the cupcake recipes are making my mouth water!!! If I were to make the Black Forest Cupcakes, is it possible that I can use frozen cherries? Thanks!! :-)

  4. Mary Ortonsays:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing with us. I will try this for sure.

  5. Kylasays:

    Just made these for my hubby’s birthday. Great recipe!!!

  6. Kishasays:

    mmmlooks fabulous! thanks for sharing – I plan on making these for my birthday!

  7. MaggieJsays:

    I just made your cupcakes this weekend. My only substitution was plain yogurt for the buttermilk. They were SOOO good! I’m definitely keeping the chocolate cake recipe as my new base.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ayyubisays:

    I was just wondering if there is a substitute for Kirschwasser if it wasn’t readily available.

  9. Brandi G.says:

    I had a significantly different yield when making this recipe (which was good, by the way). I got 22 per batch when making it three times (large crowd). I was fairly generous with the filling of the cakes, too, I thought.
    Also, the chocolate cake was delicious. I’ll use it again. I realize now I could have gotten away with a more liberal kirschwasser sprinkling than I did. I was afraid of soaking the cakes, but could have done more.
    Oh, and I personally recommend adding confectioner’s sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it a bit. Otherwise it’s too bland.

    They were a hit at my husband’s 35th birthday party!

  10. Jennsays:

    Thank you so much for such a detailed recipe! I’ve seen this recipe before and it just intimidated me for whatever reason. I think I’ll try it tomorrow after I go looking for Kirschwasser….

  11. Bethanysays:

    So funny, Stef. I just saw you made black forest cupcakes. I JUST made black forest ice cream for the annual ice cream party — SO yummy. (it’s not until august 1 — you coming? — but i have to get an early start! haha!

  12. Gary Ssays:

    It’s @garricks *waves*

    Brilliant! Please make sure to send it to Cook’s Country!

    And what a plus to get a Maraschino Cherry recipe too!

  13. missblisssays:

    I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were awesome!

  14. Jennifersays:

    So cute!!! I love that you put a FILLING in it!!!

  15. Happy cooksays:

    As we were paired fir T&C I made this cup cake and they were so so yummy.
    I am sure going to make them again. Thnakyou fo such a nice recipe.

  16. bridezillabakessays:

    Oh AWESOME! Thanks for the tips on filling cupcakes, this is a method I definitely want to try. Soaking the cupcakes was also an inspired idea — what an great way to keep the cupcakes moist while adding to the cherry flavor. What other liqueurs could I use to soak other kinds of cupcakes…. now you have me thinking!

  17. Ivysays:

    This is so weird because last night I was thinking black forrest. I had a whole bag of cherries and lots of chocolate to make something for my mom who will be visiting. I ended up making something else but, black forrest was strong on the brain. LOL.
    I love the end picture!
    You are so very talented!

  18. Annchansays:

    Awesome! Thank you!

  19. Nikisays:

    These are some of the prettiest cupcakes you’ve made, in my opinion.

  20. Nancysays:

    I confess. Normally I sample only one cupcake, but I’ve now eaten three of these – not at one sitting, however. They got better and better each day and retained their moist texture. Mel P. should love them.

  21. CBsays:

    Can you believe I’ve never had a black forest anything? I know I know. What kind of cupcaker am I? HA HA! I’m thinking it’s about time to make a change. Martha Stewart’s new cupcake book as a black forest recipe. Might have to give that bad boy a try! Love the pictures as always. Give the hubs a pat on the back ;)

  22. ~~louise~~says:

    Black Forest Cupcakes…Hmmm…They sure do look “purty.” I bet they taste amazing….Ah…if only I could bake…I’m saving this recipe just in case I get the courage:) Thanks for sharing, Steff…

  23. Mel P.says:

    This is such a great idea! Black Forest Cake is my favorite cake, but I never thought of having it as a cupcake! I always have to bake Black Forest cake myself, because even in Munich (which is merely 600km/400mi from the Schwarzwald) you cannot get a decent store-bought one.
    All the German recipe I used say to cook and thicken the cherries with 2T of starch, then adding the Kirschwasser to the cooled cherries. And please do not use cherry liqueur; only use Kirschwasser (40% alcohol, no sugar)! I doesn’t taste like much in a shot glass, but develops great flavors in a cake or a cheese fondue.
    So maybe with thickening the cherry juice and using less but stronger Kirschwasser, the cupcakes should turn out moist enough, but not too moist to eat with the hand.
    I will definitively make Black Forest Cupcakes!

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