Valentine’s day is just a few weeks away, so I’m starting the celebration in a timely manner.  2013 is all about love for me, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss the opportunity to share something V-day themed this year.  I think Valentine’s day is probably one of my favorite holidays to bake for – you’ll find a lot of red/pink/heart themed treats on the blog, maybe even just as many as Christmas ones.  I had these cupcakes do double duty for me last weekend because I brought them to a going-away party but photographed them with a Valentine spin.  My bestest friend (and MOH) moved to the west coast this past weekend, and if I was going to let her leave, I needed to at least send her off with a healthy dose of cupcakes.  She has always loved cherry cordials, so I took the opportunity to make cupcakes with one of her favorite flavor combinations that also fit in with the current season of love.

I am usually not a huge fan of marischino cherries, so if you like them and we’re in an ice cream shop together, you’ll be happy to have me around to give you all my extra cherries.  But when mixed with chocolate cake and chocolate ganache, the whole story changes.  Maybe they’re too sweet for me on their own (although i didn’t know that was a possibility), but the chocolate combination does wonders and the flavors compliment each other so well.  I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcakes, but you could definitely just use a boxed mix or your personal recipe.  Then they were filled with cherry pie filling and frosted with cherry buttercream and chocolate ganache.  And of course finished off with a cherry on top!

While Sara moved to California, I received news yesterday that I’ll be moving as well, but not quite so far away.  I’ve been accepted into a pediatric residency program in New York City!  It’s extremely exciting to think of the new adventures ahead, and all the craziness of interview season seems well worth it now that I’m getting closer and closer to my dream profession.  Ever since I’ve been interested in dentistry, I’ve wanted to work with kids, and now it’s becoming my reality.  Just don’t tell any of the kids that I manage a baking blog full of sugary treats on the side!

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Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcakes


for the chocolate cupcakes:
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Cherry pie filling (I used canned)

for the cherry buttercream:
16 tbsp of butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp juice from a jar of maraschino cherries
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 maraschino cherries, chopped + more for topping

for the chocolate ganache:
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream


for the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until well combined. Reduce the speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.
- With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and mix until just combined. Split the batter among the prepared pans, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, use a sharp paring knife to core out the centers of each cupcake.
- Fill each hole with cherry pie filling, then slice a piece of the removed core to cover up the filling.

for the cherry buttercream:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and cherry juice. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes until well combined. Add the vanilla and beat once again.
- Transfer buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe each cupcake with a generous swirl.

for the chocolate ganache:
- Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream on medium high heat until it reaches a boil, then pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir until mixture is completely smooth.
- Allow the ganache to slightly solidify by letting it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. Then use a spoon to dollop a bit of ganache on every cupcake. Top each with a cherry if desired.

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19 Responses to “Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcakes”

  1. #
    Nur Ain — January 30, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

    hye Erica! they look soo delish!
    I love your blog and your work and your beauty! :)
    such a nice talent. really inspired by you :)
    regards from Malaysia <3

  2. #
    Triza — January 30, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

    Those look so delicious! I definitely have to try making these! Thanks for the recipe. I just had a quick question, where did you get those adorable striped cupcake holders?

  3. #
    Dee — January 31, 2013 @ 3:11 am

    These cupcakes are just the cuties little things I’ve ever seen. CONGRATS on being accepted for your residency! My daughter is a senior in hs and has dreamed of being a dentist since the first time she went to the dentist. :) She LOVES teeth & everything dentist-y! :)

  4. #
    Liz — January 31, 2013 @ 3:47 am

    Hi Erica! I’m not a big marischino cherry fan either but I would definitely try these cupcakes! Love the chocolate ganache on top too! :)

  5. #
    Urban Wife — January 31, 2013 @ 3:47 am

    These are darling! Perfect for Valentine’s.

    Congrats on getting accepted to the residency program in NYC. :)

  6. #
    Yii-Huei — February 2, 2013 @ 1:40 am

    These are so cute! Congrats on your residency :) It would be amazing to live in New York.

  7. #
    Cupcake Ideas — February 5, 2013 @ 12:49 am

    Looks amazing, now i have to make one for 14th february !

  8. #
    Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine — February 5, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    These are too cute! What a nice combo of flavours! I agree on the cherry thing. I cant wait to try these!

  9. #
    patricia — February 13, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

    I attempted to make these and they exploded in my oven… They had not even been in 5 minutes and seriously exploded in my oven… thanks alot!

    • Erica — February 14th, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

      Patricia I’m so sorry, I have made this recipe as cupcakes many times and never had a problem. There are a few things I’m worried about – did you possibly overmix the batter? Was your baking powder or soda expired? I’m very sorry this happened but unfortunately I don’t have an answer why it occurred. I hope you still have a great Valentine’s Day!

  10. #
    trink — February 14, 2014 @ 4:13 am

    200% agree with Patricia. Exploded in my oven. Had to scrape them off my cup cake pan. And. .I doubled the batch. was going to make them for my husband and Co workers. Epic fail!!

    • Erica — February 14th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

      Trink, as I said to Patricia, I’m very sorry this happened but can’t really answer why. I have had readers email me with success with the recipe so I’m not sure what happened.

  11. #
    Melissa — February 14, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I will let you know how they turn out. I am sorry that others did not have success but to blame you is a bit harsh – you didn’t make their cupcakes explode on purpose… or did you ;)
    Thanks again for posting!!!

    • Erica — February 14th, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

      Looks like it was a mistake on my part – forgot to add the flour to the instructions part of the recipe. Typo on my fault, but the recipe should be good now! Good luck and thanks for the kind words :)

  12. #
    LC — February 14, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

    You only mention the flour during the ingredients….not during the directions. C’mon.

    • Erica — February 14th, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

      Ahh, that must be the problem people are having with the recipe. I apologize and have fixed the instructions. Sorry for the problem!

  13. #
    Crystal — February 14, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

    Worst cake recipe ever!! Burns easily and tastes awful!!

    • Erica — February 14th, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

      Wow, I’m very shocked to hear that. It is my go-to chocolate cake recipe that I’ve made over and over again without problems. I think it’s delicious and I’ve never had problems with it burning. Sorry it didn’t work out for you

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