The most easiest and decadent chocolate cupcakes with the smoothest Cherry Vanilla buttercream frosting. These cupcakes are so soft and so easy to make, that this will be your go-to recipe every time you make a chocolate cake.
My daughters are chocoholics and will only eat cakes or ice creams in chocolate flavor. Any other flavor will not fly at my home and I am always in search of the next chocolatey thing to make for them. Over the years after washing tons of dishes, I had to simplify the chocolate cake recipe and make is so simple that it can be made in a measuring jar with a simple whisk.
Cherries are in season right now and we picked up a bunch of black cherries from a local market. They were so juicy and delicious looking that I had to make something with it. So naturally, I asked my kids if they want a cherry pie or black forest cake, they said cupcakes. 🙄 They always pick the non-existent option! Anyway, I was about to make the black forest cake but once I made the Cherry reduction, I just wanted to add that beautiful color to my frosting.. so I shifted gears and made these cupcakes. They are delicious with the sweetness of the buttercream frosting and the tartness of the cherries… the combination is to die for!
Baking is so soothing for me, I could spend all my day just measuring and mixing stuff. Most of my friends shy away from baking because its complex, has ton of ingredients and uses fancy appliances. So, that is exactly what I tried with this recipe, I tried to simplify it as much as possible. I did not use any piping tips either because first, the frosting has little cherry bits in it which will be hard to pipe with a piping tip. Second, I wanted to make the cupcake look simple, homemade and as rustic as possible.
So what do we need to achieve the best results?
So Baking has a few important rules to follow to get the best results.
- Always bring your eggs, diary(milk, butter, buttermilk, etc.) to room temperature before baking.
- Always use measuring cups or a food scale, do not eyeball it.
- Do not overmix the batter. This will knock out the air and give you a dense cake.
- Always preheat your oven before starting the process and do not let your cake batter sitting long on your counter.
- Do not place the cake pan closer to your heat source, middle shelf is the best spot.
- And do not open the oven door in the first 10-15 minutes of baking.
- Each oven is different, so check the cake when you are closer to the time mentioned in the recipe. If the toothpick inserted is not clean, bake for a few more minutes.
Which Ingredients should we use?
Its very important to pick the right kind of ingredients to get good results.
- The first ingredient would be the cocoa powder. I used to use the regular cocoa powder before, but ever since I started using Navitas Organic cacao powder, I always got the most decadent chocolate cakes ever. The difference between cocoa and cacao powder is nothing but the Cacao is raw and not processed as compared to cocoa powder. This cacao powder is raw, organic and non-GMO. It has a velvety texture and a deep flavor that enhances the taste to a different level. However, if this is not available, you can use cocoa powder without a problem.
- The second ingredient is the cherry reduction or filling. Since I used fresh cherries, I cooked them with lemon, sugar, etc. to make a filling. If the cherries are out of season or you cannot find it, you can use cherry preserves or a jam. Also, I used black cherries, use whatever is available.
- The butter used for frosting should be a unsalted butter and at room temperature.
- I use Avocado oil in the cake batter, you can use any flavorless oil you like.
Lets get to the recipe then…
|Prep time:||30 min|
|Cook Time:||20 min|
|Additional time for icing the cupcakes:||20 min|
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup All Purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup Avocado oil or any flavorless oil
- 3/4 cup milk at room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup hot water
For the Cherry Reduction/filling:
- 2 cups Cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon Zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup or 2 sticks of Softened unsalted Butter
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Heavy Cream
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup Cherry reduction or store-bought Cherry preserves
To make Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350F and boil a cup of water .
- In a bowl or a huge measuring jug, mix all the dry ingredients together till they are no lumps. That is, mix flour, sugar, cacao powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Add Egg to the flour mixture and mix once.
- Add milk, oil, Vanilla extract and mix. The batter will be little thick at this point.
- Add hot water at this point but make sure you keep whisking as you add. If we dont, the eggs will get cooked. The batter will be a little runny at this point and that is exactly what we want.
- Line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill the liners 2/3 full. Do not overfill them.
- Bake for 15-18 min or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Every oven is different, so keep checking from 12 minutes. Do not open the oven door for the first 10 minutes or the cupcake will not rise.
- Transfer to wire rack and let the cupcakes cool.
To make the cherry reduction:
Just remember that I made the Cherry filling because I had fresh cherries available at this time. I would use cherry preserves to make the same recipe in the off season.
- Pit and halve the cherries. Add sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, splash of vanilla and boil till the cherries are cooked and the mixture becomes thick
- Let the cherry reduction cool down. Once the cupcakes are cool too, make a hole in the center of the cupcakes with a small vegetable/cookie cutter. If you don’t have one, use a knife and cut out a hole.
- Fill the cupcake center with the cherry reduction and if you want, put the cut out cupcake top back.
Please note that this is an optional step and you don’t have to fill your cupcakes with cherry filling. My little one didn’t want cherry filling, so I left half of them with no filling.
To make the Frosting:
- With a hand mixer, Cream the softened butter till its soft and fluffy.
- Add confectioners/powdered sugar, mix it once with a spatula so it doesn’t fly all over your kitchen. Add vanilla extract, salt and Beat the sugar and butter mixture till its fluffy again. Salt brings out the natural sweetness of ingredients, trust me and add a pinch.
- At this point, add the cherry preserves and beat it with mixer again. The buttercream turns into this nice pink and awesome color. Do not overbeat the buttercream frosting.
- I used a simple freezer bag to fill up my frosting and no piping tip. A very easy way to fill your piping bag is to put the bag in a tall cup and fill the bag. Pipe your cooled cupcakes and top it off with a cherry. If you don’t have cherries, sprinkles is the way to go! Sprinkles make every dessert better 😀
And lastly and most importantly don’t forget to have fun 😄 Here’s a shot of my little cutie pie making cupcakes.
Please let me know in the comments if you try this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Also, let me know if you have any questions here or on any of my social media accounts.lease Share and follow on social media
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