These black forest cupcakes combines rich, moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes with a boozy cherry filling, and cream cheese whipped cream frosting. All topped with a cherry, chocolate shavings, and cherry sauce.
These are a delicious upgrade to the classic black forest cake. Tender, fudgy chocolate cupcakes, homemade sweet, tangy and boozy cherry filling and light and fluffy cream cheese whipped cream frosting. So. Much. Yum. These black forest cupcakes are a must bake.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This chocolate cupcake recipe is one I've been using for years and it's pretty much the *perfect* chocolate cupcake. It's fantastically fudgy and chocolate-y with a light, fluffy crumb, and is the perfect chocolate cupcake to accompany all sorts of fillings and frostings.
- The cherry filling is delicious and delightful, not too sweet, and full of cherry flavor.
- This cream cheese whipped cream frosting is essentially a whipped cream frosting stabilized with cream cheese, so the frosting doesn't weep and melt. It's so good and the best frosting for these black forest cupcakes.
- Easy to follow recipe with step by step photos for successful cupcakes every time.
Sweet or sour cherries - fresh or frozen
Cherry brandy (Kirsch) - alternatively you can use brandy or cognac
Dutch processed cocoa powder
Coffee, or espresso
All purpose flour
Fine sea salt
Heavy whipping cream
Before beginning the recipe, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Prepare the cherry filling first so that it has time to cool. Combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan.
- Cook until reduced and thickened. Stir in the Kirsch and vanilla. Cool completely.
- Combine the cocoa and coffee, whisking until smooth.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Melt the butter in the microwave, about 30-60 seconds. Whisk in granulated sugar.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Whisk in the vanilla.
- Beat in the cooled cocoa/coffee mixture.
- Beat in the dry ingredients, until just combined.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- Divide the batter into the cupcake liners. They should be about ¾ full.
- Bake 16-19 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with few crumbs. Cool.
- Cut a cone shape out of the center of the cupcakes with a small knife.
- Divide the cherry filling among the cupcakes, reserving some of the sauce for drizzling.
- Cut the cake off of the cone, leaving about ¼" to place back on top of the cupcakes.
- Combine the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla.
- Beat until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Stream in the cream and whip until stiff peaks. Don't over beat.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
- Decorate the cupcakes. Top with a fresh cherry, cherry sauce and shaved chocolate.
- While there is Kirsch (alcohol) in the cherry filling recipe, you can omit it for an alcohol free version. If you don't have or don't want to buy Kirsch, any cherry liqueur works, but also brandy or cognac can be used.
- The cherry filling I used is made with sweet cherries because it's hard to find sour cherries where I'm located, but you can use either. Fresh or frozen cherries will work here. Increase the sugar to ⅓ cup if using sour cherries.
- Make sure you beat the cream cheese until completely smooth so you don't end up with lumpy frosting. Lumps cannot be beaten out later after the cream is added.
Storage and Freezing
Because the frosting recipe contains cream cheese and heavy whipping cream, the cupcakes need to be refrigerated. Store them in an airtight container to keep them from drying out. All the components of this recipe - the cupcakes, cherry filling and frosting can be made in advance. Store the cherry filling and frosting in the refrigerator for up to two days. Cupcakes can be made up to 1 day in advance.
I do not recommend freezing the assembled cupcakes. Both the cupcakes and cherry filling can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months. The frosting cannot be frozen.
Coffee cannot be tasted in this recipe. It's used to enhance the chocolate flavor of the cupcakes, but if you can replace the coffee with hot water.
This can be remedied by adding additional cream to the frosting. Slowly stream in cold cream, a little at a time, while whipping on low. Once the frosting smooths and restores its fluffy texture, it is ready to use.
I don't recommend making these cupcakes into cakes for a couple reasons. This recipe is formulated to dome on top, which means baking this as a cake also will dome. Try these chocolate cakes that are also my go-to recipes. They are delicious, fluffy and bake up flat, for easy layer cake stacking.
Oil based chocolate cake recipe
Butter based chocolate cake recipe
If you make these black forest cupcakes, let me know! Leave a comment in the comment area below and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes!
More Cupcake Recipes To Try
Black Forest Cupcakes
- 2 cups cherries, cut in half, stems and pits removed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cherry brandy (Kirsch)
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons hot espresso or coffee
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup cream cheese
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.2 cups cherries, cut in half, stems and pits removed, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Use a wooden spoon to break up the cherries as they cook.
- Let the mixture simmer over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the cherry brandy and vanilla extract. Cool completely.1 tablespoon cherry brandy (Kirsch), ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and espresso and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside to cool.¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder, ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons hot espresso or coffee
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.1 ½ cup all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Combine the melted butter and granulated sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until well combined.¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.2 large eggs, room temperature, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Beat in the chocolate coffee mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the sour cream, mixing only until just combined after each addition.½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom to make sure that all the ingredients are fully mixed.
- Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, ¾ full. Bake the cupcakes for 16-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a whisk attachment, on medium speed, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl a couple times with a spatula.1 cup cream cheese, ½ cup confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- On medium low speed, stream in the heavy cream.2 cups heavy cream
- Once the cream has been added, increase the speed to medium and whip until stiff peaks form. Once the frosting starts leaving tracks from the whisk attachment, watch closely to not over mix.
- Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with your preferred piping tip. I used a Wilton 2D.
- Use a small knife to cut a cone shape out of each of the cupcake centers.
- Fill the cupcakes with the cherry filling.
- Pipe the cupcakes with the cream cheese whipped cream frosting, drizzle with some of the cherry syrup and top with a cherry.