If you’ve been around here before, you might be aware of my undeniable love for cherries and chocolate. Black forest gateaux is my all-time favourite dessert, and I’ve already shared a few choc/cherry recipes with you before, including my chocolate cherry loaf cake, chocolate cherry hot cross buns, and my chocolate cherry mini pavlovas. But today we’re going extreme, with the most chocolatey and cherry-ee bake to date: my chocolate cherry cupcakes.
We’re talking my best ever chocolate cupcakes, filled with cherry jam, topped with easy cherry buttercream, and then finished off with some chocolate curls. And a whole cherry dipped in chocolate. Because why not?
The cherry on top of these cupcakes is actually the only fresh cherry you’re going to need here. Both the buttercream and the filling are made with cherry jam or preserves, so there’s no need to get the cherry pitter out today.
Yep, easy and beautiful – the best type of recipe.
I’m always working on improving my basic chocolate cupcake recipe, and I’m pretty sure we’ve hit gold with this one. Cocoa powder and melted chocolate, for that double chocolate hit, as well as some yogurt to keep things moist and fluffy. How did it take me so long to add yogurt to a chocolate cupcake recipe?! I’ve been swearing by it in my vanilla cupcakes for ever.
These chocolate cherry cupcakes are pretty much the easiest to frost. You’re going to need a piping bag fitted with a largish round tip, or failing that, just cut the end of the bag and go tip-less. Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the top of the cupcake, and just pipe a big blob of buttercream right there on top. Don’t worry if there is a little spike of buttercream where you finish off – you can just press the chocolate dipped cherry onto the top of the spike and no one will be any the wiser.
If you’re not a fan of cupcakes with oodles of buttercream on top, then this is a great piping method for you. I find that piping the standard cupcake swirl with a star nozzle puts almost too much buttercream on to a cupcake, so if you aren’t frosting’s biggest fan, then get piping blobs instead.
My buttercream was a little bit on the runny side, probably a bit looser than I would have liked. If you find that you want yours a little more sturdy, then add bit more icing sugar until you get the right consistency. It will all depend on how much jam you add to the buttercream, as well as how warm your butter was. The best thing about making buttercream is that you don’t have to be too exact with the measurements. When I’m baking a recipe that I’m not going to be sharing on here, I pretty much just eyeball the measurements for buttercream anyway. It’s very forgiving!
Confession time. I made my own cherry jam for this recipe, using a bag of frozen cherries and some sugar. And the result? Honestly, you’ll get a more flavourful jam if you just go store bought, plus there’s the bonus of less washing up. And much less wasted time.
Yep, sometimes buying something from the supermarket is better than making your own. Don’t tell Mary Berry I said that.
You want to be pretty generous with the cherry jam filling in these – make a bigger hole than you think you’ll need. You’re probably aiming for a couple of teaspoons of jam in the middle of each cupcake – just make sure you don’t make the hole go all the way to the bottom. I’ve got an apple corer especially for removing the middle of my cupcakes, but it seems to have gone missing, so these days I just use a sharp knife.
I’m off to demolish an entire tin full of these right now, as well as some Mojito cupcakes from a few weeks ago. This blog has definitely been a little cupcake heavy of late, but don’t worry. I’m planning on sharing some more ice pops and my extremely chocolatey cheesecake ice box cake in the next few weeks. It’s definitely the chocolatiest of all the cakes!
- 150g (5.3oz) good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% Lindt Excellence)
- 100g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 75g (1/3 cup) plain or vanilla yogurt
- 175g (1½ cups) plain or all purpose flour
- 25g (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Pinch of salt
- 240ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g (3/4 cup) cherry jam or preserves, blended
- 225g (½ cup) unsalted butter, very soft
- 500g (4 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 5-6 tablespoons cherry jam or preserves, blended
- 14 whole cherries
- 100g (3.5oz) dark or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Dark or bittersweet chocolate shavings
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fan) and line a cupcake or muffin tin with 14 cupcake liners.
- Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or over a saucepan of boiling water. If using the microwave, make sure to stir the chocolate every 20 seconds to avoid burning it. Set aside.
- Cream the butter using a stand or hand-held mixer, until it is pale and creamy, and has no lumps. Add the sugar and mix well.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the melted chocolate and yogurt, and beat well.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix gently until just combined. Try to avoid over-mixing. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract, and mix gently until fully combined.
- Fill the cupcake cases ¾ full, as the cupcakes will rise when baking. Put in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once completely cool, remove the centres of the cupcakes using an apple corer or knife. Pipe or spoon the blended cherry jam into the middle of the cupcakes, filling back up to the top.
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer, using the balloon whisk attachment, or if using a hand-held mixer then beat the butter in a medium sized bowl. Beat on high for at least five minutes, scraping down the sides with a spatula every minute or so. The butter should be light, fluffy, and very very pale when it is whipped enough.
- Add the sifted icing sugar in three or four stages, beating for at least a minute in between additions. Once all the icing sugar has been added, add the blended cherry jam and beat well until an even colour. Taste the buttercream, and if necessary, add a little more jam and mix again.
- Pipe blobs of the buttercream on to the tops of the cool cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a large circular piping tip.
- Melt the 100g of dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring ever 20 seconds to avoid burning. Once melted, dip the whole cherries into the chocolate and then place on a sheet of baking parchment or greaseproof paper to set.
- Once the chocolate has set, place one of the cherries on top of each of the cupcakes. Add chocolate sprinkles around the cherry, pressing gently to stick them to the buttercream.
- The frosted cupcakes will stay fresh for 2-3 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool place. The unfrosted and unfilled cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 3 months - defrost overnight at room temperature. The buttercream can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge. Keep it in a bowl covered with clingfilm, and bring back up to room temperature and beat well before using. The buttercream also freezes well - put in an airtight plastic tub (with room for some expanding) and use within three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and then beat well to bring it back to a good consistency.