My sweet, sweet Mara just turned six. For her birthday dinner she asked for McDonald's (of course) and Cherry Chocolate cupcakes for dessert. She adores Maraschino Cherries. So I decided to use the cherry juice in the frosting and my Grandmothers amazingly easy and delicious chocolate cherry cake recipe for the cupcakes. If you like cherries than you'll love this. If you don't then just move on there's nothing to see her. I must warn you though it is sweet. The frosting was divine and Mara ate it with a spoon and didn't even touch the cupcake.
My grandmother's cherry chocolate cake recipe is too easy and it's a little too delicious. I actually prefer it just with homemade whipped cream on top because it's very moist and sweet. But because my sweet Mara asked for Maraschino cherries I had to go with the cherry frosting.
I love to make recipes from scratch but some recipes I just don't mess with. If it ain't broke I don't fix it. The other thing that I love about this cake recipe is that it only has three ingredients and you don't have to measure anything. It has less ingredients than the frosting. It's so easy and quick you couldn't mess it up if you tried. So don't blink when you read the ingredients list.
That's it. Just chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling and three eggs, done. Told ya not to blink.
This is the hardest part. Dump all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. It's all down hill from here. Then mix it until everything is just combined. You don't want to over mix or the cherries will break up.
It will look something like this. See the bits of cherries in there?
Now fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You will know they are done when the cupcake bounces back when you touch it and it will smell wonderful.
They should look something like this. You can still see the bits of cherry. Yum.
Let them cool completely while you whip up the frosting.
The first thing you should always do with frosting is beat the butter and shortening really well in an electric mixer. You need to mix it for 3 to 5 minutes until it turns a pale yellow and looks kind of fluffy and smooth and luxurious.
Then add the *sifted* powdered sugar to the lovely smooth butter. Mix it slowly at first so the sugar doesn't fly out of the bowl all over your shirt (yes I've done this a few times). When the sugar is mixed in add the almond extract and maraschino cherry juice and turn the mixer up to medium/high for about 2 to 3 minutes.
You'll see the frosting turn into this lovely fluffy, pink cloud in your bowl. I just love this color. Once the cupcakes are cooled you can frost them. I recommend adding a cherry on top. That's not always necessary, but it sure is cute.
Now wouldn't these be perfect for Valentines day? So sweet and pink with a cherry on top.
Or you can make them for a sweet little girls Birthday.
Happy 6th Birthday my Sweetie Pie. How time flies.
Here is the full recipe along with a printable recipe card.