I’ve purchased a few bags of cherries this season but you probably wouldn’t know it. The Toddler and I are big fans of just eating them straight out of the bag. But what we did actually cook with, none of those recipes made it to our blog. Oh, they were good (especially the cherry margarita!). But when it came down to Eat or Shoot, we ate. So while I only have one single cherry recipe to show for all the cherries we’ve consumed, I made sure that it was a good one.
These cupcakes combine a few absolutely wonderful things:
Chocolate Cake – I’ve flip-flopped over the last few years on a favorite chocolate cake recipe. I’ve been torn between America’s Test Kitchen’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake and Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cake. But with this last batch of cupcakes, I think it’s finally settled. Martha’s recipe is fluffy, moist, and gets a big dose of deep chocolatey flavor from dutch-process cocoa. To me, it’s the perfect chocolate cake.
Fresh Cherries – They’re covered in chocolate and baked into the center of the cupcake. They’re covered in chocolate and placed a top the cupcake. They’re minced and whipped into a fresh cherry swiss meringue buttercream. And they’re still available in stores!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting – it’s frosting. With fresh cherries. Enough said. Having problems with your swiss meringue buttercream? Read how to fix it here.
The recipe reads a mile long but it’s not as bad as it seems: You just have to make the chocolate-covered cherry centers, the cupcake batter, the frosting, and the chocolate-covered cherry toppers. Just 🙂
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes
Moist chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate-covered cherry center, topped with a fresh cherry swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
- For the chocolate-covered cherries:
- 36 fresh cherries
- 6 oz chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate, divided
- For the cake:
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cups hot water
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I use 0% Fage)
- Baking spray
- For the frosting:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1/3 cup cherry puree (about 1 dozen pitted fresh cherries processed in a small food processor or blender)
- To make the chocolate-covered cherry centers, stem and pit 18 cherries.
- Melt half of the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
- When completely melted, stir in the pitted cherries until completely coated.
- Transfer cherries to a piece of wax paper or a plastic wrap-covered plate. Refrigerate while making the cake.
- Melt the other half of the chocolate and dip the remaining 18 cherries into it, scraping the bottom before setting on a piece of wax paper or a plastic wrap-covered plate.
- To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 and line 2 cupcake pans with 18 liners.
- Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
- Melt butter in the microwave and transfer to the mixer bowl. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until cooled, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cocoa-powder mixture.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with yogurt in one batch. Beat until just combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
- Toss the chocolate-covered cherry centers (pitted and stemmed) with 1 Tbsp flour. Set on the top of the batter.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until the cake tops bounce back when lightly tapped.
- Cool 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from the pans. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, whisk the egg whites and sugar over a simmering pot of water until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
- Transfer to a stand mixer and whisk on high 10 minutes, until the meringue reaches room temperature (the bowl should feel neutral/barely warm when touched).
- Add butter, a few cubes at a time until all butter is mixed in.
- Beat in the cherry puree. Transfer to a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.
- Top each frosted cupcake with a chocolate-covered cherry.
- Store covered at room temp for up to 3 days.
Yields: 18 cupcakes
Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes