February is national cherry month! To start off a whole month of cherry filled recipes, I thought I'd start with some simple chocolate cherry chunk cupcakes, topped with a cool cherry cream cheese frosting. The pink tinted frosting from the cherry juice make them a perfect Valentine's Day treat!
Chocolate Cherry Cream Cupcakes
Check out baking tips, tricks & ingredient substitutions.
Yield: 12 cupcakes or 24 minis (also makes a 6"-9" cake layer)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water (or 1/2 cup coffee)
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature (not light or low fat)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 baking cups (or 24 minis). In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and sugar, mixing until fully combined. In a measuring cup lightly whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Dissolve espresso powder in the boiling water and immediately fold into batter. Do not over-mix. Batter will be very thin and runny.
Distribute all of the batter, filling almost up to the top, between all of the baking cups. Bake standard size cupcakes for 16-18 minutes and minis for 8-10 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth (make sure they are both at room temperature so you do not get lumps in your frosting). Add vanilla and cherry juice until you reach your desired flavor. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until incorporated. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
Top your cupcake with a pretty red cherry.