Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

Few desserts compare to the rich, luscious flavor of a chocolate cupcake. They're an all-time favorite and can certainly be paired with everything from classic vanilla or chocolate frosting to even more unique options such as peanut butter frosting or Oreo frosting. Another exciting option? Mimic the flavor of chocolate-covered cherries by whipping up a batch of chocolate cherry cupcakes.

These darling cupcakes feature a moist, chocolate cupcake paired with bright, fruity maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries bring great flavor and the prettiest pink hue to the frosting. They also bring a hint of childhood nostalgia to the mix, while serving as the sweetest garnish. 

Chocolate cherry cupcakes are the ideal cupcake to bake for your sweetheart for Valentine's Day, or to simply dish up for your next upcoming gathering. And the best part? With just 15 minutes of prep time and the same amount of baking time, you'll have these from-scratch cupcakes in the oven and ready in no time. Once they're ready, all that's left to do is dig in! 

Gather the ingredients for chocolate cherry cupcakes

Ready to dive in on making these adorable treats? First, grab all of your ingredients ahead of time to make the process that much smoother.

For this recipe, you'll need white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, one egg, oil, milk, and hot water. To make the cherry buttercream frosting to go on top of the chocolate cupcakes, you'll need one stick of unsalted butter, softened, along with powdered sugar and a jar of maraschino cherries. 

Mix the dry ingredients to start the cupcake batter

Once your ingredients are ready to go, it's time to get to baking! First up, preheat your oven to 350 F. 

In a mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Add in the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a hand mixer to mix the dry ingredients until well-combined and free of any large chunks. If you don't have a hand mixer, a regular spoon is fine, but you'll want to make sure the ingredients are well-combined. 

Add in the wet ingredients to finish the batter

With the dry ingredients mixed, it's time to add in the wet ingredients to finish off the chocolate cupcake batter.

First, mix in the egg, then mix in the oil. Next up, mix in the milk until the batter is smooth. Once the batter comes together, it will be thick, but don't worry about that. The last step is to stir in ¼ cup hot water, which will thin out the batter and add great moisture to the cupcakes. 

Fill cupcake pan and bake the cupcakes

Once the batter is prepped and ready, it's time to bake! Prepare a cupcake pan by lining it with paper liners. If you don't have paper liners, generously spray each well with cooking spray to prevent the cupcakes from sticking.

Scoop the prepared batter into the pan, filling each well halfway full. After dividing the batter and filling each well, place the pan in the oven and bake the cupcakes for 14-16 minutes. Once the tops are fully set, remove the cupcakes from the oven and set them aside to cool while you make the frosting. 

Top the cupcakes with maraschino cherry frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, take the opportunity to make the frosting. First, add one stick of softened butter into a mixing bowl and whip it until fluffy. Next, add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ½ cup of juice from the maraschino cherries. Continue to whip the mixture, gradually adding powdered sugar along the way until the frosting thickens. Once the frosting comes together, turn the speed up on the mixer to whip it until light and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, top them with the maraschino cherry frosting. Garnish them with chocolate sprinkles and add a maraschino cherry on top.  

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe
5 from 65 ratings
Mimic the flavor sensations of chocolate covered cherries with this surprisingly easy chocolate cherry cupcakes recipe. It's perfect for Valentine's Day.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chocolate cherry cupcakes
Total time: 29 minutes
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries with juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients with a hand mixer to combine.
  3. Add in the egg and mix. Add in the oil. Add in ¾ cup milk, and mix until just combined. Stir in the hot water to thin out the batter.
  4. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners or spray it with cooking spray. Scoop the chocolate cupcake batter into the pan, filling each well halfway full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 14-16 minutes until the tops are fully set. Once baked, remove cupcakes from the oven and set them aside to cool completely.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Add one stick of softened butter into a mixing bowl. Whip it until fluffy, then mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar along with 2 tablespoons of milk. Add in ½ cup of juice from the maraschino cherries. Continue to gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until the mixture thickens and the frosting comes together. Turn the speed up on the mixer to whip until fluffy.
  7. Top the cooled chocolate cupcakes with the cherry frosting. Top the cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles and a maraschino cherry for garnish.
Calories per Serving 433
Total Fat 13.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 35.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 78.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 69.1 g
Sodium 216.8 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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