These soft chocolate cupcakes are infused with delicious dark cherry Cheerwine soft drink. Use a 1/4 cup measure to accurately fill the cupcakes, and use a small rubber spatula to effectively scrape out the batter from the measuring cup into the liner (you should get an even dozen this way). If you’re not a fan of a tall serving of buttercream, halve the frosting recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with baking papers.
To a small saucepan, add the cocoa powder, butter, and sugars. Pour in the soft drink. Place over medium heat and whisk until the butter is melted, the sugar is dissolved, and the ingredients are well mixed, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool until barely warm. Whisk in the egg.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together. Gently stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
Use a 1/4 cup measure to pour batter into the cupcake papers. Bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes or until cakes spring back when pressed in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until crumbly. Dribble in the Cheerwine soft drink one tablespoon at a time while beating at medium speed. Add the cherry juice and cherry flavor. Whip on high speed until light and fluffy. If mixture is too thick to spread, beat in additional Cheerwine one tablespoon at a time. The froting should be pale pink after whipping. Beat in food color if desired.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe a generous double swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake, sprinkling with white nonpareils after each cupcake is piped. Garnish each cake with a single maraschino cherry.
Serve as the perfect ending to a southern dinner, especially a barbeque dinner. However, these need no special occasion.
The chocolate cupcake recipe was adapted from Baked! New Frontiers in Baking (2008, Stewart, Tabori & Chang).Increase the frosting's cherry flavor to taste by adding more drops of flavoring oil or more cherry extract.
Keyword american buttercream, Cheerwine, maraschino cherries, unsweet cocoa powder