I can’t believe we’re already on month 3 for my cupcake recipes inspired by cupcake soaps project! In case you missed them, August was Bahama Mama and September was Citrus & Basil. This Black Cherry cupcake was a really fun experiment. It’s an interesting mix of cherry meets red velvet cupcake meets Mexican hot chocolate. It is based, of course, on my Black Cherry cupcake soap. (Don’t forget to enter to win one ~ details at the end of the post!)
I took inspiration from the cupcake soap’s scent description: “cherry’s badass sister, Black Cherry is sweet like a cherry, with a little spice to it. A robust blend of cherry, almond, orange, and a hint of cinnamon.” For the actual cupcake recipe, I combined cherry, cocoa, almond, cinnamon, and a special spice! I also experimented with a few different ways to make the frosting.
Black Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting — makes 24 cupcakes. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but you probably have most of these in your pantry already.
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper — this adds such a nice little kick to the cupcakes. It seems weird, but it’s delicious.
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup cherry jam or preserves (I used Bonne Maman)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup juice from jarred cherries (you can also use grenadine or try healthier cherry juice!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp vinegar
- 1 8oz package of cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups (or more, if needed) confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbs amaretto liqueur
- 1 tbs cherry jam or preserves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- red & blue food coloring (optional)
- dark melting chocolate (optional)
- fresh or jarred cherries (optional, for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350º and line your cupcake trays with paper liners.
- Combine flour, corn starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl.
- Cream butter in a separate bowl with a stand or hand mixer for 2 mins, until light and fluffy.
- Add sugars to the butter and cream for another 2-3 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice to ensure the mixture is fully blended.
- Blend eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time.
- Combine sour cream, vinegar, and vanilla to the sugar mixture.
- Add the flour mixture gradually to the sugar mixture, scraping the bowl each time you mix.
- Stir in the jam/preserves until well blended.
- Spoon mixture into cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 of the way.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Now, we have a few different options for frosting. Stan really enjoyed scooping the cherry preserves onto his cupcake and eating it that way. It did taste really good, but I wanted to top the chocolate-laden cakes with something creamy, so I modified the cream cheese buttercream frosting that I’d normally make with red velvet cupcakes.
- Cream the butter in your mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese and blend well.
- Add amaretto, vanilla extract, and cherry jam/preserves to the cream cheese mixture and blend well. If you are using food coloring, add that in now, too. I did around 4 drops of blue and 6 drops of red.
- Slowly blend in the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until you are satisfied with the taste and stiffness of the frosting.
- Frost those cupcakes and stick a cherry on top!
Want more chocolate? Melt dark chocolate, then let cool for a few minutes. Add that to one side of your frosting bag to create a swirl effect with the cream cheese frosting. You can also dip your cherries into the melted chocolate and use them as a garnish. Here are all of my frosting experiments:
I’m not usually a big fan of cherry, but I couldn’t resist eating a few of these. The combination of cherry, chocolate, and the “kick” that comes from the vinegar and cayenne pepper is just phenomenal.
Okay, so how do you win the Black Cherry cupcake soap? In the comments, tell me your favorite thing to make with cherries. The contest will close next Friday, October 25th, at 11:59 EDT. Open to U.S. residents only. The contest is now closed, thank you for entering!