These Black Forest Cupcakes are so decadent! Made-from-scratch chocolate cupcakes are filled with cherries and topped with a fluffy white chocolate frosting.
What’s in Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes?
These chocolate cupcakes are filled with cherry pie filling, then topped with a homemade frosting and chocolate shavings. It makes for a show-stopping dessert for holidays and parties of all kinds.
- Unsalted Butter: Makes these cupcakes rich and tender
- Sugar: Granulated sweetens the cupcakes, while powdered sugar sweetens the frosting without making it gritty.
- Eggs: Give the cupcakes structure and richness.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness of the cupcakes.
- All-Purpose Flour: Gives the cupcakes structure.
- Leavening: A combination of baking soda and baking powder helps these cupcakes rise to become light and fluffy.
- Cocoa Powder: Adds rich, chocolatey flavor.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the chocolate flavor of the cupcakes.
- Milk: Adds moisture and richness.
- Cherry Pie Filling: Store-bought canned pie filling is an easy way to get a punch of cherry flavor in these cupcakes, but you could use homemade cherry pie filling too!
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Forms the base of the frosting.
- White Chocolate Pudding Mix: Gives the frosting structure and flavor. Make sure to use instant pudding mix, not cook and serve.
Pro Tip: Top each cupcake with shaved chocolate and Bing cherry!
Variations on a Black Forest Cupcake
While cherry is the classic Black Forest flavor, you could try making these cupcakes with a different berry, like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries!
Black Forest is a flavor that combines chocolate and cherries (rich and tart!). It’s most traditionally in the form of a cake, but these cupcakes are a great mini version of that. “Black Forest” refers to a region in Germany, where this cake first became popularized.
Yes! You can use frozen (thawed) cherries or maraschino cherries.
While you can use any unsweetened cocoa powder you prefer, I like to use natural cocoa powder here because the baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity of natural cocoa powder, letting its rich flavor shine.
I like to make the cupcakes a day ahead of time to make sure that they are fully cooled before adding the cherry filling and the frosting. You can make them on the same day, just make sure that the cakes are fully cooled before filling and frosting.
There’s nothing worse than a dried-out cupcake! Follow these steps to make sure you have the perfect bite each time:
– Let the cakes cool completely before frosting them.
– Store them in an airtight container.
– Store them at room temperature rather than in the fridge.
– Enjoy within 2 days.
Stick a toothpick into the center–if it come out clean (no liquid batter, just a few crumbles), they are done.
Use a vegetable peeler to gently shave the narrow side of a chocolate bar.
How to Store
Whether the Black Forest cupcakes are frosted or unfrosted, they will keep well for 2 days before they start to dry out. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container to keep them as fresh as possible.
How to Freeze
You can freeze the unfilled, unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely before freezing in a freezer-safe container. Thaw at room temperature.
Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 42 grams, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
- 2 large eggs 100 grams
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 grams
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 120 grams
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder 6 grams
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 42 grams
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup milk 170 grams
For the Filling
- 1 cup cherry pie filling 255 grams
For the Frosting
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream 454 grams
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar 38 grams
- 3.3 ounces white chocolate instant pudding mix 93 grams (1 box)
For the Toppings
- 1 chocolate bar shaved
- 12 bing cherries stemless and pitted (from 1 jar)
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Cupcake Tin
- Stand Mixer (optional)
- Hand Mixer (optional)
- Piping Tip Set
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers or spray the wells with a nonstick baking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time; mixing in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Set aside.3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture. Pour half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk, mixing until combined after each addition. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk, and mix until everything is combined.¾ cup milk
- Scoop batter into each of the cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 17-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before moving onto the filling.
For the Filling
- To fill the cupcakes, use a knife and carve out a shallow well from the center of the cupcake. Don’t go down too far or the filling will make a mess. (You could also use a melon baller or spoon.) Fill each of the wells with the cherry pie filling. (I was able to fit 3-4 cherries into each cupcake) Set aside to prepare the frosting.1 cup cherry pie filling
For the Frosting
- To start, place a stainless steel mixing bowl into the freezer for 20-30 minutes before preparing the frosting.
- Once chilled, add the heavy cream to the bowl and mix on high just until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Don’t overmix.2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until it comes together, stopping just before it starts to form stiff peaks, about 1 minute.⅓ cup powdered sugar
- Add the pudding mix and continue mixing on a low speed for another 30 seconds, just until it’s all combined. Take care not to overmix, as the frosting can quickly curdle.3.3 ounces white chocolate instant pudding mix
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip). Frost the cupcakes as desired.
- For the chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler and run it along the side of a chocolate bar. Top with a bing cherry.12 bing cherries, 1 chocolate bar
- These would be great to make a day ahead to allow for complete cooling. They can be made same day, just make sure they are fully cooled. The problem with filling them before cooling is how crumbly the cake is while warm.
- If you can’t find bing cherries, use maraschino instead.