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Chocolate Cherry Cream Cupcakes

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 

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed or "Special Dark"
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted 

Directions
Prepare Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa and sugar. In a measuring cup whisk together oil, egg, vanilla and sour cream. Gently stir into dry ingredients. Dissolve instant espresso or coffee in the boiling water and stir into batter. Batter will be thin and liquidy.

Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full, about 3 tablespoons of batter per cup. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (For mini cupcakes, fill with about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter each and bake for about 8-10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and pale in color. Beat in cream cheese (make sure they are both at room temperature so you do not get lumps in your frosting). Add cherry juice and salt. 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.