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Chocolate and cherry is one of my all-time favorite combos. It’s right up there with chocolate and peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, and hamburgers and fries. Some might opt for chocolate raspberry, which is a respectable choice, but I’ll always be a cherries and chocolate girl.

There’s just something about the extra tanginess and fruity flavor of cherries that I love. This recipe pairs cherries with dark chocolate and a sweet chocolate mousse. Needless to say, these cupcakes take my chocolate cherry obsession to a whole new level!

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The cupcakes for this recipe are from scratch, but don’t let that deter you! Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with baking-cup liners. Then, place 2 oz. chocolate, espresso powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour 1/3 cup boiling water over chocolate mixture, stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder. Add sugar, salt, and baking soda, whisking until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together canola oil, egg, and buttermilk. Add cooled chocolate mixture to buttermilk mixture. Add chocolate-buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well blended and smooth.

Pour batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin. Let cool completely.

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The chocolate mousse is a bit more involved, but the end result is totally worth it. This mousse frosting comes out rich and creamy, and it ties the dark chocolate cupcakes and tangy cherry topping together. You could have the cupcakes as they are and frost them with the store-bought stuff, but I highly recommend trying it this way first.

First, whisk together eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Then, heat up heavy cream and a few other ingredients on the stovetop. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring in between. Then pour the entire thing back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbling like lava.

From there, you’ll pour the mixture through a sieve and then cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for two hours. Check out the next steps in the recipe below!

12 cupcakes

15m prep time

20m cook time

2h inactive

5
Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 3 reviewers
Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, 60% cocoa, broken into small pieces (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
Chocolate Mousse Frosting
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, 60%
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Canned cherries or maraschino cherries for topping
Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with baking-cup liners.
  2. Place 2 oz. chocolate, espresso powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour 1/3 cup boiling water over chocolate mixture, stir until smooth; set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder. Add sugar, salt, and baking soda, whisking until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together canola oil, egg, and buttermilk. Add cooled chocolate mixture to buttermilk mixture. Add chocolate-buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well blended and smooth.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool cupcakes on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin. Let cool completely.
Chocolate Mousse Frosting:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in cornstarch until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, and vanilla extract to a scald (little bubbles around the edges of the milk).
  3. Slowly whisk about 1/3 cup of hot cream mixture into egg mixture, until incorporated. Carefully whisk in remaining hot cream mixture.
  4. Pour mixture back into sauce pan; and cook over medium heat stirring constantly with the whisk, until thickened and slowly boiling (like lava)
  5. Remove from heat, and pour mixture through a sieve. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours to cool and set completely.
  6. After cooling, bring the frosting back to room temp by stirring until smooth.
  7. Melt 3oz dark chocolate over double boiler and set aside to cool.
  8. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add cooled chocolate and 1/8 tsp. salt; beat one more minute.
  9. Reduce speed on stand mixer to low and gradually add the chocolate frosting (about 1/4 cup at a time), beating about 15-30 seconds between additions.
  10. After last addition, scrape down bowl, then beat for 1 minute until smooth and fluffy. Fill a pastry bag or a large ziplock bag with the frosting and pipe onto cupcakes. Top with cherries and dark chocolate flakes and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scone Baking.