January 20, 2012

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes

Pin It

I don't know about you, but I'm excited for Valentine's Day. It is, after all, the holiday of the pink and sparkly, the holiday of chocolates, and judging by what I've seen in stores, the holiday of cupcakes. It also doesn't hurt that my birthday is right around the same time.

A recent trip to the dollar store ended up in me buying Valentine's Day decorations for my desk and got me all psyched for Valentine's day. So I decided to make a Valentine's Day treat. And that failed. So I decided to make another one.

I don't know why the best inspiration always hits me at work. Maybe it's because I'd rather be baking cupcakes than working? Anyway, I was at work when it hit me: cherry cordial cupcakes! Who doesn't love those little chocolate covered cherries? And you always see them right around Valentine's Day. So that's what I would do.

Start off with some dark chocolate cupcakes that you oh-so happen to have lying around the house. I've provided the recipe that I made up spur of the moment for these cupcakes. It was good, but slightly crumbly (which ended up being a good thing, since I crumbled the middles to but in the frosting). Feel free to use any recipe for chocolate cupcakes that you like.
Get some cherry filling. This didn't quite have the cherry punch I wanted, but I think that's because I used raw sugar instead of white. You could also add a little bit of kirsch or other cherry liqueur to punch up that flavor.
Core and fill your cupcakes. I found that one cherry and a little bit of the thickened syrup filled the cupcakes perfectly.
And frost. As you can see, I have two different kinds of frostings here. My original intent was to make them all with a chocolate cherry frosting based off of my very favorite chocolate buttercream recipe from Hershey's Homemade. So I did, and it was yummy. I then decided to frost the cupcakes with this giant frosting plunger thing I have, which uses a lot of frosting. I ended up only having enough to frost 8 cupcakes, and I had used the last of my cocoa powder to do it. So I whipped up my trusty buttercream recipe and added some of the maraschino cherry juice to it.... and I spotted the leftover cake crumbs from when I cored the cupcakes. I had saved them, thinking I might use them to decorate the cupcakes. I threw them into the buttercream, whipped it together, and it was perfect. The frosting went from bright pink to this pretty faded rose color that looked so sweet when piped onto the cupcakes and topped with a cherry. The frosting itself is a yummy cherry flavor with just a hint of chocolate.
You can put these in a box and give them in lieu of chocolates this year. Maybe on a bed of the Valentine's M&M's. How cute would that be? Especially if you alternate the different frostings.

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes
Yield: 20 cupcakes
1 recipe Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1/2 recipe Cherry Filling
1 recipe Chocolate Cherry Frosting 
1 recipe Cherry Buttercream
Maraschino cherries, to decorate.

Bake and cool Dark chocolate cupcakes according to the recipe. When cooled, core the cupcakes using either a cupcake corer or a small, sharp knife. Fill the cupcakes with Cherry Filling (about 1 cherry and a small amount of syrup). Frost with either Chocolate Cherry Frosting and Cherry Buttercream. Top with maraschino cherries and serve.

Recipe by Kim

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes {Printable Version} 
Yield: 20 cupcakes


4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 cups flour

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

½ cup sour cream

2 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined. Fold in the melted chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated.

Using a muffin tin lined with paper liners, fill about ¾ of the way with batter (about 2 tbsp.). Bake for 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks.

Recipe by Kim

Cherry Filling {Printable Version}


1 can pitted sweet cherries in heavy syrup

¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch


Drain the syrup from the canned cherries into a small saucepan. Reserve the cherries. To the syrup add the sugar and cornstarch. Mix together until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the syrup thickens and reaches a jelly-like consistency, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and mix in the cherries. Once the cherries are completely coated with the thickened syrup, remove from heat and let cool completely before use.

*If using for Cherry Cordial Cupcakes, add one cherry and a small amount of the thickened syrup to each cored cupcake. Cherry Cordial Cupcakes use about half of this recipe.

Recipe by Kim

Chocolate Cherry Frosting {Printable Version}


6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

½ cup cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice

3 tbsp. milk


In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter. Gradually add the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar, alternating with the cherry juice and milk. Whip on high until light and fluffy.

Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Homemade

 Cherry Buttercream {Printable Version}


¾ cup (1 and ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 – 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice

Chocolate cake crumbs (optional)


In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter at medium speed. Gradually add in the first cup of sugar. Add the cherry juice and continue to beat until well combined. Add the second cup of sugar and beat until fully incorporate. If the frosting is too soft, add up to ½ cup more of sugar, ¼ cup at a time. Add the cake crumbs, if using, and whip on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Recipe by Kim