Friday, February 3, 2012

Black Forest Cupcakes

For this week's cupcakes, I was tasked with making cupcakes to celebrate a 40th anniversary party.  The only parameters I had been given was that they needed to be chocolate and I thought this was the perfect time to try out the black forest cupcakes that I'd been dying to try.

I quickly consulted my favorite food blog Annie's Eats and noticed that her black forest cupcake recipe used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe as a base!  I was very happy with this.  Until I decided to only make 11 cupcakes (there were only 8 of us at the party...) So I took the recipe and divided it by three, and it just didn't work.   The cupcakes were drier then i would have liked and with the cherry filling, they kinda just fell apart.  They were REALLY good, just completely collapsed.    So next time I would just stick to the recipe and give away the extra cupcakes. 

Can you tell I love this recipe?

Ready to fill!
I was really pleased with the way the filling came out except i would make the cherry pieces smaller.  They made it really tough to do the filling since they took up a lot space.    I tried to cut them up as much as possible, but it was really tough.   I had to use the cone method rather than the injecting method.   I used  a spoon and was worried about digging to deep or making the whole so big that it broke the wall.  I recently bought a cupcake plunger to hopefully avoid this issue in the future. 

This was my first ever whipped cream icing and I was told that it was some of the best icing ever!  One person (for whom I made an entire tub of buttercream icing on their birthday) told me it was their 2nd favorite... after the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.   I added a little extra powdered sugar because I tend to like my icing sweeter.  I really wanted to decorate using chocolate sprinkles, but for some reason I couldn't find them.  Shocking that my cupcake cabinet was such a mess I couldn't find something... OK not really!  But I was able to use my heart sprinkles again since I was celebrating an anniversary (Thanks Jeanette!).   

Definitely will be making these cupcakes again... and I'm very excited to try out other uses for the whipped cream icing!

Makes 22 cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature  
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.  
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  
  6. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  
  7. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  
  8. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
  9. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
  10. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  
  11. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cherry Filling
  • 16 oz. frozen cherries, thawed*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. kirsch (optional)
  1. Drain the thawed berries, reserving the juice in a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough water so that the total liquid equals 1¼ cups.  
  2. Add the liquid to a medium saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch.  
  3. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  Continue whisking so no lumps form.  
  4. Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice.  Fold in the drained cherries with a spatula.
  5. Cover and chill until ready to use.  Dont worry if it looks thin... I promise it will get thicker!
Before it thickened
After thickening for a while

The filled cupcake with the thickened cherry mixture after sitting in the fridge all weekend.
Whipped Cream Icing
  • 1- 3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 8 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  1. Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  
  2. Start beating on medium-low speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to medium-high speed.  
  3. While the cream is being whipped, gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar a spoonful at a time.  
  4. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  (Be careful not to over beat!)  Fold in the vanilla extract.
  1. After the cupcakes have cooled, use the cone method to remove the center of the cupcake
  2. Spoon in the cherry filling
  3. Ice with your favorite icing tip and garnish how you please.  I used sprinkles and a cherry! 
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

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