Black Forest Cupcakes
These Black Forest Cupcakes are made with a moist chocolate cupcake, homemade cherry filling and fresh vanilla whipped cream on top! Delicious for fresh cherry season! Black Forest isn’t a flavor I really had at all as a kid. I only discovered it a few years ago and as soon as I tried it, I fell in love. The combination of the chocolate with the cherries and whipped cream is so good! While the traditional German Black Forest Cake calls for a hefty dose of kirsch – a brandy made from cherries – these cupcakes skip the alcohol so that everyone can indulge.
The cupcakes themselves are fairly straightforward to make. A little creaming of the butter and sugar, then the addition of some other ingredients and you’ve got tasty, moist chocolate cupcakes.
The filling is homemade, which is nice. You could of course buy a pre-made filling if you don’t have a lot of time, but this homemade version is quite simple to make. You’ve got your cherries, sugar for sweetness, cornstarch for thickening and little water for some liquid to pull it all together. You just want to cook it on the stove until things are thickened, then set them in fridge to firm up. You could easily make it a day or ahead, if you wanted.The topping is fresh vanilla whipped cream. There’s nothing quite like a fresh whipped cream. Sometimes it can be tempting to reduce the amount of powdered sugar used, but in this case you’ll want to be sure to use it all. It helps to stabilize the whipped cream so it doesn’t wilt. The whipped cream will stay firm for days!Finish off the cupcakes with some chocolate and additional cherries and you’ve got a delicious cupcake that will be the hit of the summer!
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk
For the Cherry Filling:
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 ⅔ cups pitted and quartered cherries
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, cold
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate, for grating
Cherries, for topping
Make the Chocolate Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended.
In a separate bowl, combine vanilla extract, water and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth.
Add chocolate mixture to batter and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the batter. Begin by adding half of the dry mix, then mix well. Add the milk and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 way. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
Allow cupcakes to cool about 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Cherry Filling:
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to melt.
Add the cherries and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture.
Continue to cook until the cherries start to soften and let out juices.
Remove from heat when cherries are juicy and the juice has begun to thicken. Pour the mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until cool.
Once cool, remove the centers from the cupcakes with a cupcake corer or knife.
Fill the centers with the cooled cherry filling.
Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Pipe swirls of whipped cream on top of the cupcakes using a large round piping tip. Finish them off with some grated chocolate and a cherry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.