Light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes filled with macerated cherries and topped with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream and chocolate shavings
These black forest cupcakes are my rendition of the popular Black Forest cake, a delicious chocolate and cherry cake originating in Germany. This super fluffy chocolate cupcake is filled with cherries macerated in kirsch, or rum, and sugar for a sweet and juicy filling. To make these even better they are topped with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream and chocolate shavings to create the perfect bite.
These cupcakes are perfect to celebrate the fresh cherries that are available in Australia now, if you don't have fresh cherries available where you are in the world feel free to use maraschino cherries. Black forest cakes are originally made with those, so it won't feel unfamiliar at all!
What is a black forest cake?
A black forest cake is a chocolate layer cake made of layers of chocolate sponge soaked with Kirschwasser, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and maraschino cherries. The cherries give the cake a tartness that goes perfectly with the sweet chocolate layers and whipped cream.
Originating from Germany, this cake, aka Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, was named after the alcohol Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser. This liquor is made from distilled cherries in the Black Forest mountain range of Germany and gives the cake its distinctive flavour and name! Of course, this liquor may not be as available in your part of the world, so rum works perfectly too. If you are making this for children feel free to leave out the alcohol altogether and use a splash of vanilla extract instead.
The ingredients needed to make these black forest cupcakes are super simple! If you can get your hands on some Kirsh they would make these the perfect black forest recreation, but rum works perfectly too.
- Flour: Plain flour works perfectly here, and is needed to form the structure of the cupcake
- White sugar: The sugar will give sweetness and a lightness to the cupcake. Don't reduce the sugar as it will affect the texture.
- Cocoa powder: Both dutch processed and regular cocoa powder will work in this recipe, but I like to use dutch processed cocoa powder as it gives it a richer chocolate flavour
- Salt: A pinch of salt is essential to balancing out the flavour of these cupcakes!
- Baking powder: Baking powder is needed as a leavening agent as it helps the cupcakes rise
- Baking soda: It acts as an alkaline base for the cocoa powder to react to, if you are using regular cocoa powder. This prevents the cupcakes form becoming bitter as well as giving them rise.
- Egg: The egg is used to bind all the ingredients together and give the cupcakes some rise
- Vegetable oil: I like to use vegetable oil in my cupcakes as it keeps them softer and moister for longer!
- Whole milk: Whole milk gives the cupcakes a little more body and richness. If you don't have milk, or want these to be a little lighter in flavour feel free to replace this with boiling water.
- Boiling water: This is the secret to a super moist cupcake, the boiling water adds moisture and tenderness to the chocolate cake.
- Whole cherries: Pit and quarter whole cherries for a sweet and juicy fillling
- Kirsh or Rum: Rum works perfectly, but Kirsh is used for a more authentic black forest rendition. This adds an extra depth of flavour to your cupcake. If you aren't a fan of alcohol feel free to leave it out.
- White sugar: Sugar helps to draw the moisture out of the cherries to create a sweet cherry flavoured syrup. When added to the cupcakes this adds extra cherry flavour and sweetness, plus a touch of moisture!
- Thickened/heavy cream: Thickened or heavy cream works best here to whip up a more stable whipped cream frosting
- White sugar: Sugar is needed for sweetness here! Adjust the sugar level as you like.
- Vanilla bean paste: Vanilla adds another layer of flavour to these to create a delicious cupcake! Vanilla extract would work perfectly here too.
Tips on the perfect cupcakes
A couple of tips for you to create the perfect black forest cupcakes!
- Whisk or sift the dry ingredients together: Cocoa powder has the tendency to clump up if not sifted or whisked well first. By doing this it prevents large bitter chunks of cocoa powder in your batter.
- Use dutch processed cocoa power: Both regular and dutch cocoa powder will work in this recipe, but dutch-processed cocoa powder gives a deeper chocolate flavour.
- Use boiling water: Boiling water is the secret to a perfectly moist and fluffy chocolate cupcake. The boiling water helps to dissolve the cocoa powder and sugar, prevents too much gluten from forming and adds extra moisture.
- Don't overbake: Cupcakes are easy to overbake becuase they are so small. Keep and eye on them and check with a toothpick at 20 minutes. The toothpick should comes out with a few moist crumbs. The cupcakes may be overbaked if the toothpick emerges clean.
- Fill the cupcakes with cherries and syrup: Extra sweetness and moisture is added when filled with the cherries and syrup. Make sure to add some of the syrup while adding the cherries for a delicious cupcake!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these in advance?
Yes, you can definitely make these the day before and they will hold up perfectly!
How long can these be stored?
These can be stored for up to 3 days. However, they won't last as long as they are iced with whipped cream. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.
Do these keep at room temperature?
These don't keep very well at room temperature as they are iced with whipped cream. Leave these in the fridge until they are just about to be served. They'll keep for about an hour in cool weather, but I can't guarantee when it's warmer!
Do I have to use alcohol?
Nope! If you don't like alcohol, or if these are for kids, replace it with a splash of vanilla extract for a little extra flavour.
Let's Get Baking
If you liked this recipe make sure to leave me a comment and rating down below, I would love to know how you went.
Also, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @catherine.desserts and hashtag #cattycakes so I can see and share your desserts. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and TikTok for more of my baking creations and updates! Until next time... happy caking!Print
Black Forest Cupcakes
Light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes filled with macerated cherries and topped with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 Cupcakes 1x
- Category: Cupcake
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: German
- 110g Plain flour (¾ cup 2 tbsp)
- 175g White sugar (¾ cup 2 tbsp)
- 45g Cocoa powder (6 tbsp)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 1 Egg
- 60ml Vegetable oil (¼ cup)
- ½ cup Whole milk
- ½ cup Boiling water
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 400ml Thickened/heavy cream (1 ⅔ cup)
- 65g White sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste, or extract
- 200g Whole cherries, pitted and quartered (7 oz)
- 25g White sugar (2 tbsp)
- 2 tsp Rum
- 12 Whole cherries, to decorate
- Semi-sweet chocolate, shaved
- Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cases
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt baking powder, and baking soda together into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix on low until well combined
- Add the egg, vegetable oil, milk and boiling water to the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined
- Divide the batter among the lined cupcake tine and bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick energies with a few moist crumbs
- Remove from the oven and cool completely
- Combine the cherries, white sugar and rum together in a small bowl, stir to combine
- Set aside to allow the cherries to marinate while the cupcakes cool
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- Combine the thickened cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachement
- Whisk on medium speed until stiff peaks
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip
- Cut a small cavity in the centre of each cupcake and fill with rum cherries
- Pipe a dollop of whipped cream on tip of the cupcakes and sprinkle over the chocolate shavings
- Top with a cherry and enjoy!
Keywords: cupcake, chocolate, black forest, whipped cream, vanilla, cherries