Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes

I’m not sure if you are like me and my friends, and have been watching Game of Thrones every single week, anticipating what’s next, and discussing for days on end why George R. R. Martin hates weddings and (based on the number of my favorite characters that have perished), I have to assume he also hates joy? If not, get to Best Buy, log onto Amazon, download the series, whatever it takes to get access to the show, and for even more fun, read the books.

Anyway, my friends and I have been having weekly parties here where 20 of us gather to watch the show in absolute silence (mandatory) over pizza and chicken sandwiches, and then discuss at length. We’re all quite sad that these weekly parties are coming to an end, so I decided to celebrate the last episode with a cupcake so we could drown our sorrows in sugar, clearly the greatest idea ever. I decided to do a take on a Black Forest cupcake, which to be honest, I’ve never tried, so I got to have fun experimenting with it. These turned out great!

dark chocolate cherry cupcakes

Now, before I tell you a bit more, if you really want to make truly inspired GoT cupcakes, then visit Booze, Sugar and Spice, as she has an outstanding series on Game of Thrones inspired cupcakes that are absolutely incredible. Basically I’ve bookmarked every recipe, as they are super creative and look amazing.

So, for our party in honor of Game of Thrones, I decided that any cupcake must absolutely have some type of filling that gushes out when you bite it, and what’s better for the bloodbath that so often is GoT but a cherry filling? I unfortunately don’t have access to fresh cherries where I live, so had to make do with a canned cherry pie filling, which honestly worked perfectly. However, if you want to go all from scratch, I included a link to recipe that seems super easy and delicious!

Also, once you core the cupcakes, you will have some extra frosting as well, so you can make cake balls! Back with that recipe soon!

Enjoy, whether watching GoT or not, whether debating theories about Jon Snow’s parentage, reading one more time about the Battle of the Blackwater, or, you know, for any occasion whatsoever! 🙂

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook

Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 2oz dark chocolate
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or to substitute: 1/2 tsp lemon mixed with 1/2 cup milk and allowed to sit for at least five minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit / 180 celsius. Fill cupcake pans with 12 liners.

Using a microwave or a metal bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, melt the chocolate and the butter together. Once the chocolate and butter have fully melted and there are no lumps remaining, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.

In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until fully combined. Once the chocolate/butter is cool to touch, mix in with the sugar mixture and whisk together until smooth.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two separate additions, mixing each time until the flour mixture is just combined.

Fill each cupcake liner evenly with batter, and place in the oven. Cupcakes should bake between 18-22 minutes. At 18 minutes check the cupcakes and stick a toothpick or skewer in the top to check for doneness – the cupcakes are finished once the toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven once done, and carefully remove each cupcake from the pan right away and place on wire racks to cool.

Cherry Filling

For this, as noted above, I used one can of cherry pie filling, which works great! However, if you have access to fresh cherries (super jealous over here!) and want to make your own, here’s a link to an easy recipe from My Baking Addiction.

Cherry Buttercream

2 sticks butter (226 g), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cherry jam or preserves – I love the Bonnie Maman brand. Also make sure to avoid any jam or preserve that has high fructose corn syrup, as it will make these taste more artificial and not as good!
pinch of salt
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk (as needed)

In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the cherry preserves and salt, and beat well. Then, begin adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating the mixture after every cup until combined. Feel free to stop when you’ve reached the desired consistency, which might be after 5 cups, but may require 6. If you add too much powdered sugar, then add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, if you would like the frosting to be less stiff. If you add too much milk, you can add a bit more powdered sugar until you’re happy with the frosting consistency.

To Assemble

Using a cupcake corer (such as this one), or using a sharp knife, core each cupcake and set the cores aside.

Just coring cupcakes. Nbd.
Just coring cupcakes. Nbd.

 

Using a spoon, fill each cupcake with cherry pie filling. It’s okay to spill over, it will be covered with the frosting, and it’s just more cherry goodness in the cupcake!

Filling cupcakes up with cherry goodness.
Filling cupcakes up with cherry goodness.

Then, pipe or spread on the cherry buttercream – and enjoy!

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