Black Forest Cupcakes

Whisking Wolf
by Whisking Wolf
12 servings
47 min

Your search for the best Black Forest Cupcake is over! This recipe bakes up rich, chocolaty cupcakes filled with homemade cherry syrup and finished with a simple whipped cream frosting.

Most people know Black Forest cake is based on a German dessert. But did you know it’s against the law in Germany to bake the cake without a particular brand of cherry brandy and still call it Black Forest?

Against. The. Freaking. Law.

It’s a good thing a law like that isn’t on the books in the US because I’d be in handcuffs right now. Not that it’s my fault the local liquor store doesn’t carry Kirschwasser. (Although it might be my fault that I couldn’t ask the clerk if it was in stock without sounding like I was scream-sneezing.)

Nonetheless, one does not need an impossible-to-pronounce brandy to achieve cupcake perfection. This from-scratch recipe has it all: a decadent dark chocolate cake, black cherry syrup, fresh whipped cream frosting and dark chocolate shavings.

In fact, it’s so delicious that I whittled the recipe down to a dozen cupcakes. Trust me on this, if you made a double batch you’d eat them all in one sitting and then you’d end up in the ER and I can’t have that on my conscious today.

So, to reiterate, tip number one is don’t eat twenty four cupcakes at once. Now that we’ve established that let’s go over a few others…

Using 100% Dutch process cocoa is a must.

Cocoa clumps are not cool so be sure to sift your cocoa powder before mixing with the melted butter.

Make sure your sour cream, buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature when you begin.

Don’t buy bleached flour. Bleach is for dingy laundry not for food ingredients. Unbleached, all-purpose flour is the only way to go for this recipe.

You deserve better than canned cherries. Use fresh Bing cherries for this recipe, you’ll thank me for it.

The cherries for the syrup should be washed, stemmed, pitted and cut into quarters., Cherry pitters make fast work of the de-pitting process.

Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 17 Minutes Total time: 47 min
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Cake ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup 100% Dutch process cocoa sifted
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla pure
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder fresh
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda fresh
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt fine
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour unbleached
Cherry syrup
  • 1/2 cup cherries washed, pitted, and quartered
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Whipped cream
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 Bing cherries
  • dark chocolate shavings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Mix in sour cream and vanilla until blended.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add half of dry ingredients, mixing only until just incorporated.
Add buttermilk and mix until blended.
Add remaining dry ingredients mixing until just incorporated. Be careful to avoid overmixing.
Divide batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 10 minutes then rotate pan in oven and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Be careful to avoid overbaking.
Place cupcake pan on a wire rack until cooled completely then fill cupcakes with cherry syrup.
Cherry Syrup
Add the cherries, cornstarch, sugar and water to a medium saucepan.
Heat over medium heat, stirring until syrup thickens.
Remove pan from the heat and cool while cupcakes bake.
After cupcakes have cooled completely, use a metal icing tip to remove a hole in the center of each cupcake top. Fill with each with a tablespoon of cherry filling then pipe with whipped cream.
Whipped Cream
Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Pipe whipped cream onto cupcakes. Garnish with cherries and chocolate shavings.
Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate up to 2 days.
  • Cupcakes can be made a day in advance then filled and frosted the second day. Simply store cooled cupcakes on a plate covered in plastic wrap at room temperature.
Whisking Wolf
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