I think that Fridays are a great day to share sweet treats. I know I do a lot of my heavy baking on the weekends, so a lot of you probably do to. If you’re looking for something to make this weekend you can stop right now. You are really going to want to try these cupcakes.
I made these cupcakes for one of Jesse’s coworkers birthday, but I think these would also make a great bring along dessert for the next party you go to. Chocolate and cherry are a pretty well received flavor combination and just look how pretty they are. If you’re worried about people not liking the cherry in the middle, you can make a few without cherries, like I did.
I will admit that the flavor reminds me more of a Black Forest cake than of Coca-Cola, but the Coke is a fun ingredient and really contributes to light spongy texture of the cake. I happened to have Cherry Coke on hand, but Annie made them with regular Coke. You can use whichever you prefer. Also, I used my new fluffy vanilla frosting instead of whipped cream for two reasons. One, it’s flavor is light and fluffy like whipped cream with maybe just a few fewer calories. Two, it is sturdier and held up well to being transported in the heat.
For the cupcakes*:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup Cherry Coca-Cola
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries, stemless
For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp Coca-Cola
Frosting recipe below
* As is, this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, for 24 cupcakes double this recipe
Preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Cherry Coke, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine. (At this point the mixture was foamy and looked a little curdled, don’t be scared)
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix on low speed. Add half of the liquid and continue to mix. Repeat until all of the dry and liquid ingredients are combined (the last addition should be the dry ingredients), scraping down the bowl as needed.
Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Drop 1-2 maraschino cherries into each cupcake and push them down into the batter. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar and Coca-Cola until smooth. Drizzle a little bit over each cupcake and allow to set, frost as desired. Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.
* For an extra kick add an additional teaspoon of maraschino cherry juice to the frosting when you add the vanilla
In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens (I would compare it to mashed potatoes). It is very important to whisk continuously so clumps don’t form. This took me about 4-5 minutes, but it’s best to go by texture.
Set milk mixture aside in an ice bath and allow to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, (or bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a whisk) beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat on high for 3-5 minutes. If it looks separated, keep beating.