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Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, Two Ways


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Let me begin with a warning:  These cherry chocolate cupcakes are cupcakes to eat not after a meal but as a meal.  Many of my cupcakes are dense, but these cherry chocolate cupcakes are chocolate boulders.  The batter is so chocolate-laden that eating one of these cupcakes equates to consuming a solid chocolate bar and a cupcake simultaneously.  Stop reading now if you want a dainty, frilly cupcake for a bridal or baby shower.

I made two different kinds of frosting for these chocolate cherry cupcakes: maraschino cherry buttercream and chocolate black cherry cream cheese.  Both were huge hits with my tasters (they said the frostings were their favorite part of the cupcakes).  My personal preference, however, was to eat the cupcakes sans frosting with a tall glass of milk.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcake Recipe

Yield: 14 cupcakes

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 C sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 C liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries (I used a jar from Whole Foods with no high-fructose corn syrup)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar until well combined.
  3. Mix eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and cherry liquid into the wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Divide evenly between 14 cupcake liners.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Your Frosting Choices

As I mentioned above, I made two different frostings for these cupcakes: maraschino cherry buttercream (the one that looks white in the photos) and chocolate black cherry cream cheese (the one that looks pink in the photos).  While I’m not a fan of buttercream or maraschino cherries, I thought Bride 4.0 would enjoy that option.  It turns out that she, like me, preferred the cream cheese frosting.  However, since some tasters raved about the buttercream, I am sharing both options.

Maraschino Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Note: Double this recipe if you prefer lots of frosting.

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 C powdered sugar (If you prefer a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar.)
  • 5 tbsp liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract instead, but vanilla bean paste is so much better – read my post on vanilla bean paste for more details)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  1. Mix butter and powdered sugar until the mixture looks like frosting.
  2. Mix in the cherry liquid, vanilla bean paste, and milk.
  3. Pipe or spread on cupcakes.

Black Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: Double this recipe if you prefer lots of frosting.

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp black cherry jam
  • 2 tsp chocolate extract (You can use vanilla extract if you don’t want to buy something special, but the chocolate extract adds a subtle chocolate flavor while allowing the frosting to remain pink.)
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until the mixture looks like frosting.
  3. Mix in jam and chocolate extract until combined.
  4. Spread or pipe on cupcakes.

Wedding 4.0 Update

Bride 4.0 didn’t choose the Shirley Temple cupcakes or these cupcakes as her wedding cupcakes. However, I did come up with a type of cherry cupcake that both she and Groom 4.0 loved and are excited to serve at their wedding.  That recipe is coming soon!  The wedding is in 2 weeks!!

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