black forest cupcakes with a cherry on top on porcelain plate
Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

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These black forest cupcakes are fluffy and moist, and filled with a jammy cherry compote. Topped with light as clouds whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and more cherry compote. They are like mini black forest cakes! The cupcakes are rich, fluffy, and moist, thanks to the buttermilk and the cherry compote.

The liquid from the stewed cherries seeps into the cupcakes ever so slightly to give them extra flavour and more moisture. I add a bit of golden rum (optional) into the cherries to give it that signature black forest flavour. If you want to go authentic I would definitely use Kirsch! And the simple whipped cream topping is very easy to make and balances the cupcakes perfectly. 

The chocolate cupcakes are so easy to make! They are a one bowl recipe and whip up super quickly. They turn out perfectly fluffy and moist every time. Honestly, they’re just too good! You’ll only make chocolate cupcakes from scratch after this. 

If you will be traveling with these black forest cupcakes, I do recommend making a stabilized whipped cream so that it will hold up better for a longer period of time. A simple whipped cream like the one I made in the recipe works really great if you won’t be transporting them anywhere. 

bitten chocolate cupcake with cherry filling, whipped cream, and fresh cherry on top

FAQ

How do I get the fluffiest chocolate cupcakes?

Make sure you properly measure your flour. Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.

Do not overmix the batter after adding the flour. You want to stop folding as soon as you stop seeing dry streaks of flour. If you overmix you will develop too much gluten and the cupcakes will be hard and dry after baking.

Why should I add coffee into my chocolate cupcakes?

Coffee really brings out and enhances the rich chocolate flavour. If you are a hardcore chocolate lover like me, this makes all the difference between a regular chocolate flavour and a deep and rich chocolate cupcake. You don’t taste the coffee, it just amplifies the chocolate. You can find decaf instant coffee or use half a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the place of the hot water and instant coffee.

Why should I use vegetable oil instead of butter in my chocolate cupcakes?

Vegetable oil will give you the softest chocolate cupcakes. I like to use canola or grapeseed oil. Any neutral tasting oil will do! I have tried to use butter but the chocolate cupcakes would always become too dry. I do not recommend using coconut oil because it will also be very dry (it solidifies like butter). I do prefer butter in vanilla cupcakes though!

Why is my whipping cream not whipping to stiff peaks?

The cream has to be very very cold in order to whip up to stiff peaks. You can also chill your bowl and whisk in order to make sure that you get thick, stiff peaks. Make sure that your cream is labelled as whipping or 35% cream. You do not want to use a cream with a lower milkfat content than 35%.

What if I overwhipped my whipping cream?

Make sure to keep a very close eye on your whipping cream as you whip it because it can become overwhipped at any second. You will know it is ready as soon as it stands at stiff peaks. If you accidentally overwhip it, you can rescue it.

chocolate cupcake with cherry syrup drizzle

Key Ingredients

Full ingredients and recipe are in the recipe card below. Read through this section for all the ingredients substitution and baking tips!

Sweet cherries: You want pitted sweet dark cherries for the filling. You can use fresh or frozen cherries, they will get simmered down anyways. 

Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will brighten up the filling a bit, making it taste even better. 

Almond extract: This will give the cherries that subtle candy cherry flavour that is so characteristic of sweet dark cherries. It makes the filling even more flavourful. 

Golden rum: I like to use golden rum for the filling. It’s more accessible than kirsch (traditionally used in black forest cakes) and gives the cherries a more complex flavour. 

Instant coffee: Just a touch of instant coffee is used inside the cupcakes to really amplify that rich chocolate flavour. If you don’t have instant coffee, you can replace the hot water with hot brewed coffee. Or you can leave out the instant coffee!

Large egg: You only need 1 egg to bring the batter together and help bind it.

Buttermilk: this will give the black forest cupcakes lots of moisture and acidity to help make it super fluffy. If you can’t find buttermilk you can use kefir instead or make your own buttermilk by combining ½ cup of room temperature milk with ½ tbsp white or apple cider vinegar and letting it sit for 5 minutes to get thick.

Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil will give you the softest chocolate cupcakes. I like to use canola or grapeseed oil. Any neutral tasting oil will do! I have tried to use butter but the chocolate cupcakes would always become too dry. Coconut oil isn’t a good option because it will also be very dry (it solidifies like butter). Butter works better in vanilla cupcakes though!

All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.

Natural cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder will give the black forest cupcakes a rich chocolate flavour. I don’t recommend using dutch processed cocoa powder because it isn’t acidic and won’t give you the best texture in the case of these cupcakes. Natural cocoa powder reacts with the baking soda in this recipe to give you a super fluffy cupcake. 

Heavy cream: You need whipping cream or 35% cream for the whipped cream topping. Don’t buy the stuff in the cans, it will melt very quickly and you can’t pipe it on nicely. 

black forest cupcake with cherry on top

Filling

You can make the compote a day before because it needs time to cool and chill completely. 

Combine all ingredients except for the rum in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it comes to a simmer and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until cherries soften. 

Transfer to a non-metal container to cool and add rum (optional) while it is still hot. The non-metal container is essential because it prevents the compote from acquiring a metallic taste from the pot. I like to use a glass container. Let cool to room temperature and chill to cool completely. 

Cupcakes

Add instant coffee into the hot water and mix until dissolved. Set aside. You can also just use half a cup of freshly brewed coffee instead. 

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugars, salt, and vanilla until it lightens in colour. You can use a wire whisk for this, you just want to break everything up.

Add buttermilk, oil, dissolved coffee and whisk to combine. 

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda right into the bowl. Fold until just combined. You want to stop folding as soon as you stop seeing streaks of dry flour. Do not overmix or the cupcakes will be firm and tough.

Scoop batter into the lined muffin tin ¾ of the way full. They may overflow if you fill then all the way up. This recipe gave me 12 cupcakes but it might give you 12-14 cupcakes depending on the specific size of your muffin tin and liners. 

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Be careful because it’s very hard to tell if a chocolate cupcake is browning or beginning to burn because they are so dark.

Let the cupcakes cool completely inside the muffin tin. I don’t recommend transferring them to a cooling rack because they’ll be very soft and hot coming out of the oven. 

Assembly

The day of assembly, combine cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl or standmixer. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Transfer into a piping bag and use immediately (or within the next 20 minutes).

Cut the middles out of cooled cupcakes with an apple corer or a small knife. Set the middles aside. 

Fill the cupcakes with cooled cherry compote and place the cut out pieces back on top. The whole piece might not fit back on top so I will generally break the bottom portion off and eat the bites as a snack. 

Pipe a tower of whipping cream onto each cupcake and drizzle extra cherry compote juice, chocolate shavings (or mini chocolate chips), and a fresh cherry. Enjoy!

The black forest cupcakes are best enjoyed the day of assembly but will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. They will stay moist and delicious during storage because of the moisture in the filling and the vegetable oil in the cupcakes. You can eat the cupcakes cold or let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to warm up slightly. 

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Happy baking! xx

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black forest cupcakes with a cherry on top on porcelain plate

Black Forest Cupcakes

Mary
These black forest cupcakes are fluffy and moist, and filled with a jammy cherry compote. Topped with light as clouds whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and more cherry compote. They are like mini black forest cakes! The cupcakes are rich, fluffy, and moist, thanks to the buttermilk and the cherry compote.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American, German
Servings 12 cupcakes

Equipment

  • 12 hole muffin tin

Ingredients
  

Cherry compote

  • 1 cup pitted sweet cherries fresh or frozen
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp golden rum or kirsch, optional

Chocolate cupcakes

  • ½ cup water hot
  • ½ tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil I used canola
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 120g
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder 43g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Whipped cream

  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream 35% cream, cold
  • tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Assembly

  • ¼ cup chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips
  • 12 sweet cherries fresh

Instructions
 

Cherry Compote

  • For the compote, combine all ingredients except for the rum in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it comes to a simmer and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until cherries soften.
    1 cup pitted sweet cherries, ½ lemon squeezed, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 2 tbsp water, ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Transfer to a non-metal container to cool and add rum (optional) while it is still hot. Let cool to room temperature and chill to cool completely.
    2 tbsp golden rum

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Put liners into a 12 hole regular sized muffin tin.
  • Add instant coffee into the hot water and mix until dissolved. Set aside.
    ½ tsp instant coffee, ½ cup water
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugars, salt, and vanilla until it lightens in colour.
    1 large egg, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, ⅛ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Add buttermilk, oil, dissolved coffee and whisk to combine.
    ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda right into the bowl. Fold until just combined.
    1 cup all purpose flour, 6 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda
  • Scoop batter into the lined muffin tin ¾ of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely inside the muffin tin.

Whipped Cream

  • The day of assembly, combine cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl or stand mixer. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
    ⅓ cup powdered sugar, 1 ½ cup heavy cream, ⅛ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Assembly

  • Cut the middles out of cooled cupcakes with an apple corer or a small knife. Set the middles aside.
  • Fill the cupcakes with cooled cherry compote and place the cut out pieces back on top.
  • Pipe a tower of whipping cream onto each cupcake and drizzle extra cherry compote juice, chocolate shavings, and a fresh cherry. Enjoy!
    ¼ cup chocolate shavings, 12 sweet cherries

Notes

The cupcakes are best enjoyed the day of assembly but will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. They will stay moist and delicious during storage because of the moisture in the filling and the vegetable oil in the cupcakes. You can eat the cupcakes cold or let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to warm up slightly.
Keyword Black forest, chocolate cherry, Chocolate cherry cupcakes

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