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Friday, August 10, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Butter Cream Filling & Frosting ~ Directions For Chocolate Pound Cake Included!

It's chocolate and cherries!   It all started with a jar of McCutcheon's amazing cherry butter...My son, who loves cherries, introduced me to it at a wonderful brunch he prepared for this past Mother's Day, and I became completely hooked!  He discovered this lovely cherry butter at a local farmers' market.  It's made from red and black cherries, and the ingredients include pure vanilla extract.  Because I was just dying to pair it with something chocolate, I created a very easy cherry butter cream filling and frosting for these tender and delicious, chocolate cupcakes.  I experimented with more than one batch of frosting:  I added almond extract to one batch; and although my son loved this frosting, I decided I liked the first frosting I made in which I added no extra flavorings.  With the almond extract in the cake batter, you just don't need it in the frosting.  I didn't add vanilla because it was in the cherry butter.  All the flavoring you need for the frosting is in this fantastic cherry butter!

I've adapted the recipe for the cake portion from a chocolate pound cake recipe which was in the cookbook that accompanied my KitchenAid mixer.  I don't have a date on this cookbook.  Now, don't laugh, but it's probably from the 70's.  (Are you starting to put my age together?) When my children were small, I made all my breads, in addition to lots of other baked goods, from scratch with my KitchenAid mixer.  Never mind that my husband was sneaking store-bought white bread to my children while I tried to make wholesome breads for them!  I digress...anyway, years ago, the local KitchenAid repairman (do they still have them?) said he'd never seen anyone almost burn up a KitchenAid motor!  My one and only KitchenAid is like the old Timex slogan:  "It takes a licking" (pun intended) "and keeps on ticking"!

                                           Chocolate and Cherries...

                                              Just Meant To Be!

Makes 36 cupcakes


The Cupcakes
  • 36 ea. standard-size cupcake papers*
  • 3 c. sifted all-purpose flour--I use White Lily
  • 1 c. cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mace spice
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  •  3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/4 c. portions
  • 1 1/2 c. milk (whole or 2%)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract

The Frosting
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. jarred cherry butter--I used McCutcheon's  (This frosting may also be good with a jarred raspberry or strawberry butter, if you'd like to try one of these.)
  • 1 tsp. evaporated milk
The creamy cherry frosting carries through to the middle of this luscious chocolate cupcake!

                                              Tantalizing Reveal...

                                              Of Pure Pleasure!               

The Cupcakes
  1. *Line standard-size cupcake pans with the cupcake papers. (If you're using papers with a pattern and/or color you would like to be visible, these kind of papers generally don't show well on baked chocolate cupcakes.  So, just bake the cupcakes first in some inexpensive plain papers. After the cupcakes are completely cooled, cored and frosted, remove the plain papers...then just place the cupcakes in the pretty papers before you serve.)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients, but the sugar, with a fork in a large bowl.  Sift the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the sugar into a large mixer bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the butter and whole or 2% milk.  Mix well on the lowest speed of your mixer.  Stop and scrap the bowl.  Turn the mixer to medium high speed (6 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat 5 minutes.  Stop and scrape the bowl again.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  4. Turn the mixer back to the lowest speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating 15 seconds after each addition.  Add the evaporated milk, vanilla and almond extracts.  Turn the mixer to medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat the batter 15 seconds more.
  5. Using a large, scooped cooking spoon, fill the paper-lined cupcake pans about two-thirds (or 1/3 c.) full of batter, per cupcake.  For even baking, equally distribute the mixture by adding or subtracting batter to each cupcake with a teaspoon.  Lightly tap your pans to spread the mixture evenly.  For easier clean up after baking, wipe any extra batter that spills onto the pans as you fill them.
  6. Bake about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a couple of cupcakes comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly touched with the finger.
  7. Cool the cupcakes about 10 minutes in the pans...then carefully lift them individually with your fingers from the pans and finish cooling on racks, away from drafts.
For a Chocolate Pound Cake:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Line a 10" removable tube pan with wax paper (See my Very Happy Birthday Pound Cake with directions on lining a removable tube pan with wax paper.) and spray the whole pan, including the tube, well with a non-stick butter cooking spray. (You don't want any white residue on a chocolate cake, so don't use a baking spray or butter and flour to grease the pan...also, dusting the pan with cocoa is not necessary.) Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below the one you will bake the cake on just in case the tube pan leaks a little grease. Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for 1 hr. and 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched with the finger.  Cover with a clean dish towel and cool completely overnight.  When you remove the cake from the pan, do not invert:  lift by the tube from the pan.  If you elect to frost with the cherry frosting, use half of the recipe.)

Coring The Cupcakes
  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper to hold the cake you core from the cupcakes.  (You can save these for extra bites or serve with little swirls of frosting in individual small paper cups...these would freeze very well.)
  2. Using a cupcake plunger (I used Chicago Metallic's which I found in store at Bed Bath & Beyond), hold each cupcake firmly without squeezing and center the plunger over the cupcake.  Holding the ruffled edges of the plunger, push the plunger carefully down into the cupcake, about 1/4 of the way of the plunger (before the first line).  Holding the plunger with one hand and the cupcake in the other, twist in opposite directions as you separate the core from the cupcake.  To release the core, press down on the spring. Wipe the plunger with a paper towel in between cupcakes.  (The directions that accompany the plunger are pretty good...I just don't push the plunger as far down as they suggest.)           

The Frosting
  1. If you have one, add a mixer shield to your mixer to avoid the powdered sugar from flying (or cover the top of the mixer with a clean dish towel).
  2. Beat the powdered sugar with the butter; then beat in the cherry butter and the evaporated milk until well incorporated and creamy.
  3. Using a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used the bag and star tip from Ateco No. 1465 Pastry Set), fill each cupcake with the frosting: starting with the center, build to the top and using a swirl pattern, cover the top of the cupcake without going completely to the edges of the cake.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This frosting would also be great on my Fudgy Classic Brownies or as a filling in my Brownie Sandwich-Cookie Cake!  Use 1/4 of the cherry frosting recipe for the brownies and 1/2 of the recipe for the sandwich-cookie cake. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  I have not communicated regarding endorsement with any of the brands referred to in this post.  I mentioned them because I have enjoyed their products.

Thought you would enjoy this photo taken of my precious granddaughter at her first birthday party which was held this past weekend.  She managed to look beautiful even though she was very sick. 

                                       Happy Birthday Precious...

                                Bon Bon Loves You Very Cherry Much!


  1. Your granddaughter is adorable Bonnie! I LOVE your cupcakes! Earlier this summer when we were on vacation I picked up some cherry butter at a farmer's market. I had had apple butter but had never heard of cherry butter, and I was intrigued. Unfortunately there is only about a tablespoon left or I would be making this frosting! Maybe I need to find a recipe for cherry butter!

    1. I checked out McCutheon's--their stuff sounds really good! This is where I got mine: in Door County, WI. And yes, there is a big difference between actual butter mixed with fruit and the jam type "butter" which isn't really butter at all! LOL

    2. Hey Jill...Thanks for sharing another option and further explaining the difference between the types of butter...I especially like that you explained the kind of butter I used in the frosting isn't actually butter at all (why didn't I say that?)!

    3. Hi Jill! Thanks so much...I'm a little prejudice, she's so sweet and has so much personality!
      I'd never heard of cherry butter either until my son gave me some. I highly recommend McCutheon's...I gave the link in case someone couldn't find it in's very reasonably priced; and I can assure you, well worth the order!
      I know you know difference between jarred cherry butter (more similar to jam or all-fruit spreads) and the table butter we can mix with fruit (I'm concerned some will confuse the two.)

  2. Your granddaughter is a doll! And what delectable cupcakes...the frosting to cake ratio is wonderful :)

  3. I love these cupcakes! The combo of cherry and chocolate is always perfection, but seeing the cherry frosting piped not only on top, but in the center of these cupcakes, makes me want them even more! Your granddaughter is soo precious!

  4. Your granddaughter is adorable...all dolled up for her birthday party! Like Lizzy said, she is a doll herself! And I do believe she loves her Bon Bon, too. Thanks for sharing her with us.

    Can you tell me where I can purchase square cupcake liners? Gotta make these! If I find the Cherry Butter locally I will come back here and let you know where. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary...It's so funny you asked about the square cupcake papers, because it occurred to me when I woke this a.m. that I should have pointed out I made some in a pan with square cups my daughter had given (actually my husband) us, and I baked some in the pans with round cups. The paper liner you see in the first photo is actually round, and it just kinda takes the shape of the cupcake...pretty much like when you put baked square desserts (like lemon squares) in paper liners.

      I did find an nice selection of pretty cupcake papers at Michaels craft store. They were fairly priced; but as a little hint (not that I know all their locations do this), they have items displayed before the cash register line that are really fun and good values (even better priced), including cupcake liners.

      If you find a local cherry butter, please let us know and thanks for offering!

      Oh,that little silky jumpsuit my granddaughter is wearing in the photo was a special order by her mom. Also, her mom went out of her way to go to a special kiosk at a less convenient mall to find the perfect hair bow!
      She likes to put the bow on what she calls the baby's Conan O'Brien's little sprig of hair, because she feels it lights up her face! :)

  5. These cupcakes look great but not as cute as your granddaughter :-)

  6. Cherries and chocolate are a match made in heaven! Thank you for sharing this and all the great tips. That little princess is so cute:)

  7. Oh how adorable. Her little face was such a joy to see! Thank you for sharing...and for making me crave cherries and chocolate!

  8. oh my gosh this sounds so delicious! and your granddaughter is simply precious, so adorable!