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Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cupcakes
130 g (1 cup / 4.5oz) plain (AP) flour
1/2 cup (40g / 1.4oz) cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
113 g (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) caster sugar
1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk
For the cherry filling (notes)
3 cups frozen black cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar (notes)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (notes)
Cream Cheese Frosting
113 g (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
225 g (8oz) cream cheese
2 cups Icing (confectioners / powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
1 tablespoon whole milk or thickened cream (notes)
Chocolate sprinkles or jimmies
Leftover cherry jam
For the cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F 160C fan forced. Line your muffin tins with paper cases.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well to combine.
In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined… just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.

Fill the cupcake cases only to just over half full. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven half way through to make sure they bake evenly. When a skewer inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
For the cherry filling
In a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch, for around 20 minutes or until the liquid has almost disappeared.

Allow to cool.

Once the cupcakes and jam have cooled, use a knife to cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake (just under an inch round).

Fill the holes with about 1 teaspoon of the cherry jam.

If you like (as I do) you can replace the little rounds of cupcake that you removed and gently push them down on top of the cherry jam

For the cream cheese frosting

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and 1⁄2 cup of the icing sugar until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

Add the cream cheese and beat well until thick and creamy. Scrape down the bowl again.

Add the vanilla and salt and beat through.

Add the sugar 1⁄2 cup at a time and beat well after each addition. Finally, add the milk or cream and beat for a final couple of minutes. The mixture should be pale and creamy.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Top with extra cherry jam and chocolate sprinkles and any leftover cherries

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