One of my favorite things about baking is using seasonal ingredients. Pumpkin in the fall, peppermint in the winter...now that it's summer and there are so many fresh fruits available, I really wanted to make a cupcake with cherries!
I took a basic vanilla cupcake, filled it with a homemade cherry puree and topped it with a vanilla buttercream with a bit of freshly squeezed cherry juice. The flavor combination was light, fruity and slightly sweet, making it a perfect summer dessert.
They were easy to make but were a tad time consuming due to the cherry chopping, juicing and puree-ing. Important note: cherries leave permanent stains, so make sure to change into clothes you don't care about before baking these!
Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 14 cupcakes
For the cupcakes...
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake pans with 14 liners
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes, until it's light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl of your standing mixer, followed by half of the milk. Mix until well incorporated. Repeat until all ingredients are well mixed.
- Scoop the batter into the liners with a 1/4 cup measuring spoon. Fill almost to the top.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
For the filling...
- about 35-40 cherries, chopped and pitted
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- While the cupcakes are baking, throw the cherries and sugar into your food processor and pulse until well mixed and thick.
- Store in the refrigerator until the cupcakes have cooled.
- Once cupcakes have cooled completely, use a cupcake corer to make holes in the center of each cupcake.
- Using a small spoon, carefully fill the centers up with the puree until it reaches the top.
For the frosting...
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4-5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed cherry juice
- To get the cherry juice, throw a bunch of cherries (about half a bag) with the stems removed into your blender (or food processor if you don't have a blender.) It's okay to leave the pits in.
- Puree/pulse the cherries for a few minutes. It will be really loud because of the pits!
- Strain out the juice with a mesh sieve - it will catch all of the cherry bits and pits so you are left only with juice. Save 1/4 cup for your frosting, and drink the rest! ;)
- Now, on to the buttercream. Beat the butter in the bowl of your standing mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and cherry juice until well combined.
- Beat in the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Then beat an additional 3-4 inutes.
- Fill up a piping bag, frost away and top with a cherry!