Cherry Cupcakes

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Cherry cupcakes are perfect for cherry lovers! There are two fresh or maraschino cherries baked into each brown-sugar sweetened cupcake. Plus, they are topped with the iconic cherry on top!

Cherry cobbler cupcakes
These cherry cupcakes are the cupcake version of cherry cobbler. My cupcakes take the spirit of the cobbler, but they are moist and light and are a perfect handheld treat.

The Secret to Perfect Cherry Cupcakes

The inside of a cherry cobbler cupcake
The secret to making these cupcakes work is adding the cherries partially through the bake. If you add the cherries at the beginning, they will sink to the bottom.

In the image below, the batter has already been in the oven for seven minutes.

Adding cherries to cupcakes tins
Dusting the pitted fresh cherries with cornstarch also keeps them from sinking. I dust with a little sugar as well to sweeten them up!

Cherries dusted with cornstarch and sugar
Tip: If you choose to use maraschino cherries instead of fresh cherries, you get to skip the pitting (and don’t add any powdered sugar to your cornstarch – they are sweet enough!).

How to Make Cherry Cupcakes

To make cherry cobbler cupcakes, start by mixing up the brown sugar and butter. You could use white sugar, but I find that that the brown sugar makes the cupcakes taste more rustic and complex.

Brown sugar and butter mixed
Mix in the remainder of the dry ingredients. Then, add eggs, fresh lemon zest, and milk.

Be careful not to overmix as it can make the cupcakes gummy. (See my guide to making cupcakes for more information and tips.)

Adding milk to batter
Fill the cupcake liners just 1/4 full; you will still have plenty of batter left over. You only fill 1/4 of the way because you need to leave space to add the cherries.

Start baking the cupcakes while you prepare the cherries.

Cherry cobbler cupcake batter in cupcake tins
Unless you opt to use maraschino cherries, you’ll be pitting a lot of cherries for this recipe. You can do them one at a time, but I like to use a multi cherry pitter [paid link] like the one below. I use it all of the time, like when I make my cherry turnovers.

Cherry Pitter
Roll the pitted fresh cherries in cornstarch and sugar to keep them from sinking in the batter.

Once your cupcakes have baked for seven minutes, place two of the pitted and cornstarched cherries on top of the partially-cooked batter in each cupcake and top with the remaining batter.

covering cherry filled batter with more batter
Continue to bake for another twenty minutes or until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

When cool, top with sweetened fresh whipped cream (chantilly cream) and fresh cherries, maraschino cherries, or Luxardo cherries.

Cherry Cobbler Cupcakes
Cherry Cobbler Cupcakes


If you love cherries but prefer a chocolate cherry cupcake, try making my Black Forest cupcakes. They are a wonderful combination of cherry and chocolate!

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Cherry cobbler cupcakes
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Cherry Cupcakes

These cherry cupcakes feature two cherries baked right into a brown sugar lemony batter.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 255kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest from about 1 lemon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 24 cherries pitted and de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Fresh whipped cream to taste
  • 12 cherries with stems for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat brown sugar and butter until fully combined.
  • Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time.
  • Mix in lemon zest and milk.
  • Fill cupcake liners 1/4 full. Note that this will not use all of the batter.
  • Bake for 7 minutes.
  • While the batter is baking, roll the pitted and de-stemmed cherries in a bowl of corn starch and sugar until the cherries are fully coated.
  • Remove cupcake tin from the oven and place two coated cherries on top of the partially cooked batter in each cupcake liner.
  • Divide remaining batter evenly among the cupcake liners, covering the cherries. The batter will come nearly to the top of the cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Top each cooled cupcake with fresh whipped cream and a cherry.


You can substitute maraschino cherries for the fresh cherries if you prefer that flavor. You won't have to pit them, and you should roll them in cornstarch without added sugar.
Be careful not to overmix the batter as it can make the cupcakes gummy.
If you don't have fresh lemons, you can use 1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract instead of the zest.
Without the whipped cream, the cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Once you add the whipped cream, the cupcakes must be refrigerated and can be kept in the fridge for up to four days.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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