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Cherry Cupcakes

close up shot of a bunch of Cherry Cupcakes topped with frosting and a cherry on a serving tray
Moist cake, pink frosting and cherry pie filling make these sweet cherry cupcakes topped with bright red cherries a must bake treat.
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Table of Contents
  1. CHERRY CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CHERRY CUPCAKES RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Cherry cupcakes are a wonderfully delicious treat to make for any party, any time of year. These cheery pink treats are moist cakes, bursting with deliciously cherry flavor and are filled with sweet cherry pie filling that are beyond scrumptious.

These fun pink cupcakes are just the beginning of our cherry flavored recipes. Check out our cherry chip cake and cherry bread for two more delectable treats.

CHERRY CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1-2 drops red food color
  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

For the Cherry Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons half and half
  • 4 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 24 maraschino cherries with stems (optional garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

VANILLA FLAVORING: This is not exactly the same as vanilla extract, but either will work fine for this cupcake recipe.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS CHERRY CUPCAKES RECIPE

For the Cupcakes

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set them aside.

STEP TWO: Using a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set dry ingredients aside.

STEP THREE: Using either a stand mixer or a medium-size mixing bowl and a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and granulated sugar for 1 to 1½ minutes.

STEP FOUR: Lower the mixer speed to medium-low speed. Add in the egg whites to the butter mixture and mix just until well incorporated.

STEP FIVE: Add in the vanilla flavoring and the almond extract.

STEP SIX: Slowly alternate adding in the flour mixture and the whole milk and cherry juice. Mix just until well incorporated.

STEP SEVEN: Add 1 to 2 drops of the red food color and mix just until the color is even.

PRO TIP:

You can omit the red food color if you want a very pale-colored cupcake.

STEP EIGHT: Evenly divide the cupcake batter between the 2 cupcake pans. Fill the liners about ⅔ full.

STEP NINE: Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

STEP TEN: Once the cupcakes are cooled, using either a cupcake corer, or a sharp knife, carefully cut out the center of the cupcake. Be sure to keep the top of the cored cupcake.

PRO TIP:

You can buy a fancy corer to cut the holes in the middle of the cupcake, but a serrated knife will do just fine.

STEP ELEVEN: Using either a decorator’s piping bag with no tip or a quart-size Ziploc bag, fill the bag with half of the canned pie filling.

STEP TWELVE: Place the tip of the bag all the way into the cored cupcake, and slowly squeeze the cherry filling into the cupcake. Be careful not to overfill. Replace the cupcake top and set them aside.

PRO TIP:

If you do not wish to use the Ziploc/decorator’s bag to fill the cored cupcakes, you can spoon in the pie filling. The baggies make the process cleaner and easier.

For the Frosting

STEP ONE: In a medium bowl using either a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the softened butter and the shortening for 1 to 1½ minutes.

STEP TWO: Lower the mixer speed to low speed and slowly alternate from adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and half and half. Increase the mixer speed to medium speed and continue to mix until well incorporated.

STEP THREE: Add in the cherry juice, vanilla flavoring and almond extract. Continue mixing until the frosting is completely smooth.

STEP FOUR: Fill either a piping bag with a star tip, or a gallon size Ziploc with an edge snipped off. 

STEP FIVE: Holding the frosting bag about a ½ inch above the center surface of the cupcake. Use even, steady pressure, squeeze the baggie to form a center “star” swirl. Keeping the tip elevated, continue to use even pressure, follow the outer line of the star swirl until the cupcake surface is frosted.

PRO TIP:

Any tip can be used with the decorator’s bag when decorating the cupcakes. You can pipe any design you wish.

STEP SIX: Once all the cupcakes are frosted, place a cherry with the stem attached on top of each decorated cupcake.

HOW TO SERVE

These delightful cupcakes would be a fun choice for a Valentine’s Day treat or a pink themed birthday party. The burst of cherry inside will surprise everyone who bites into them. Of course, you really don’t need an occasion to whip up a batch of these treats. Serve for an afternoon snack with a cold chocolate milkshake or warm whipped hot chocolate.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftover from this maraschino cherry cupcakes recipe in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze un-stuffed and un-decorated cupcakes for up to 2 months. Allow the cupcakes to completely thaw before filling and decorating.

The happy pink color makes these a perfect cupcake for any pink-inspired occasion. Whether a birthday party, Valentine’s day, or just because, whip up a batch of these moist cupcakes with the sweet cherry pie filling inside.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

These delicious cherry cupcakes can be frozen for up to two months without the cherry filling and icing on top. Let them thaw, fill and ice and you are all set.

Why are my cherry cupcakes dense and crumbly?

There are a few reasons why cupcakes come out dense or crumbly. First, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. They will not incorporate properly if they are not all the same temperature. Over mixing the batter can also cause dense cupcakes. Third, opening the oven door before the cupcakes are ready can cause them to sink due to the rush of cold air.

How do I achieve moist cupcakes?

To ensure your cherry cupcakes with cherry pie filling are moist, make sure not to overbake them. Storing them in an airtight container will also ensure they maintain their moisture.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of a bunch of Cherry Cupcakes topped with frosting and a cherry on a serving tray

Cherry Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
Moist cake, pink frosting and cherry pie filling make these sweet cherry cupcakes topped with bright red cherries a must bake treat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter softened
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 to 2 drops red food color
  • 21 ounces cherry pie filling

Cherry Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons half and half
  • 4 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 24 maraschino cherries with stems optional garnish

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set them aside.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set it aside.
  • Using either a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and granulated sugar for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to medium-low. Add in the egg whites and mix just until well incorporated.
  • Add in the vanilla flavoring and the almond extract.
  • Slowly alternate adding in the flour mixture and the whole milk and cherry juice. Mix just until well incorporated.
  • Add 1 to 2 drops of the red food color and mix just until the color is even.
  • Evenly divide the cupcake batter between the 2 cupcake pans. Fill the liners about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, using either a cupcake corer, or a sharp knife, carefully cut out the center of the cupcake. Be sure to keep the top of the cored cupcake.
  • Using either a decorator’s piping bag with no tip, or a quart-size Ziploc bag, fill the bag with half of the canned pie filling.
  • Place the tip of the bag all the way into the cored cupcake, and slowly squeeze the pie filling into the cupcake. Be careful not to overfill. Replace the cupcake top and set them aside.

Cherry Frosting

  • Using either a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the softened butter and the shortening for 1 to 1½ minutes.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low and slowly alternate from adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and the half and half. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to mix until well incorporated.
  • Add in the cherry juice, vanilla flavoring and almond extract. Continue mixing until the frosting is completely smooth.
  • Fill either a piping bag with a star tip, or a gallon size Ziploc with an edge snipped off.
  • Holding the frosting bag about a ½ inch above the center surface of the cupcake. Use even, steady pressure, squeeze the baggie to form a center “star” swirl. Keeping the tip elevated, continue to use even pressure, follow the outer line of the star swirl until the cupcake surface is frosted.
  • Once all the cupcakes are frosted, place a cherry with the stem attached on top of each decorated cupcake.

Notes

PRO TIP: You can omit the red food color if you want a very pale-colored cupcake.
 
PRO TIP: You can buy a fancy corer to cut the holes in the middle of the cupcake, but a serrated knife will do just fine.
 
PRO TIP: If you do not wish to use the Ziploc/decorator’s bag to fill the cored cupcakes, you can spoon in the pie filling. The baggies make the process cleaner and easier.
PRO TIP: Any tip can be used with the decorator’s bag when decorating the cupcakes. You can pipe any design you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
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