These black forest cupcakes are decadent and delicious! Moist chocolate cake filled with homemade cherry filling, topped with whipped cream, chocolate flakes, and a maraschino cherry! Black forest cake in portable form is the best kind of dessert.
Ingredients for Black Forest Cupcakes
- Dark cocoa powder – I love using Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Chocolate chips – Dark or semisweet chocolate chips.
- Boiling water – To boil water, I use a glass liquid measuring cup that is microwave safe. The water boils in about 90 seconds.
- All-purpose flour – Be sure to level your measuring cups!
- Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
- Baking soda – Leavening agent to help the cupcakes rise.
- Salt – Salt enhances the flavor of the cupcakes.
- Eggs – Room temperature.
- Vegetable oil – You could also use canola oil or another neutral baking oil.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract also enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
**If you do not want to make your own homemade cherry filling, canned cherry pie filling is a great substitute
- Frozen sweet cherries – Frozen cherries are picked at the peak of freshness and work perfectly for cherry filling.
- Water – Water helps create the sauce.
- Granulated sugar – For a bit of sweetness.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed if you have it. The lemon juice brightens the flavor of the cherry filling.
- Cornstarch – A bit of cornstarch combined with water creates a slurry to thicken the cherry filling.
Stabilized whipped cream frosting
- Unflavored gelatin – Unflavored gelatin is the key ingredient to stabilize the whipped cream.
- Water – Water helps dissolve the gelatin.
- Heavy cream – You can use either heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Be sure it is cold!
- Powdered sugar – For sweetness. Use a bit more or a bit less to suit your taste.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract adds great flavor to the whipped cream.
- Maraschino cherries – Maraschino cherries add a pop of color and flavor. You could also use fresh cherries.
- Chocolate shavings – I highly recommend using Merckens chocolate to make the chocolate shavings as there is no need to temper it!
Baking the Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- Combine dark cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and boiling water. Mix and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Add in vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Portion the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the cupcakes bounce back when gently touched or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Make Cherry Filling
- Combine frozen sweet cherries, water, granulated sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan.
- Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until the cherries are soft.
- In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and additional water. Mix to create a slurry.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and whisk immediately to prevent lumps from forming.
- Transfer the cherry filling to a heatproof bowl and cool to room temperature.
How to Make Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
- Combine unflavored gelatin and water. Mix and set aside.
- Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a bowl. Mix on low speed until combined and then slowly turn the mixer to medium speed.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
- Microwave the gelatin for about 15-20 seconds until the gelatin dissolves.
- Slowly drizzle the gelatin into the whipped cream mixing on medium speed.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Assembling the Cupcakes
Core the cupcakes. Add a spoonful of the cherry filling into the cored cupcake. Pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcakes immediately after making it for best results. For these cupcakes, I used a piping bag with a Wilton 1M piping tip. Sprinkle the cupcakes with chocolate flakes and add a maraschino cherry!
Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe Tips
- Check out my baking tips blog post on 10 Tips for Baking Perfect Cupcakes to learn some easy tips and tricks on baking the best cupcakes.
- I love using an apple corer to create space in the cupcakes for filling. Plunge the corer into the center of the cupcake about 2/3 of the way down. Do not push to the bottom of the cupcake. If you do not have an apple corer, you could also use a small paring knife to carefully carve out the center.
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using Merckens chocolate as it does not need to be tempered. If you are using chocolate chips or a chocolate bar, you will need to temper the chocolate first. Another easy option would be to sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips!
- Be sure to drain and pat the maraschino cherries dry. This will prevent them from bleeding into the whipped cream frosting.
- Black forest cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. The cupcakes are best enjoyed chilled because of the whipped cream frosting.
Black Forest Cupcakes
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz. frozen sweet cherries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup chocolate melting wafers
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl or a glass liquid measuring cup, stir together chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and boiling water until the cocoa powder is dissolved and the chocolate chips are melted.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until just combined.
- Add vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined and smooth.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back slightly when touched.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan, combine frozen sweet cherries, granulated sugar, ¼ cup water, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Cook the cherry mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 2 tbsp water. Stir to combine.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour cornstarch slurry into the cherry mixture and stir immediately to prevent lumps.
- Transfer the cherry filling to a heatproof container. Cool to room temperature.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine unflavored gelatin and water. Mix to combine and set aside for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, add in heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or an electric hand mixer, mix the cream mixture on low speed. Slowly turn the mixer to medium speed and whip until soft peaks form.
- Place the bowl with the bloomed gelatin in the microwave and heat for about 10-15 seconds until the gelatin is dissolved.
- With the mixer on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the gelatin mixture.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally to ensure that all of the cream is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Add chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Pour the melted chocolate onto a large piece of parchment paper. Spread the chocolate in an even, thin layer using an offset spatula.
- Chill the chocolate in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes until firm.
- Once the chocolate is firm, quickly break the chocolate with your fingers to create small chocolate flakes.
Assembling the Black Forest Cupcakes
- Core the center of the cupcake with an apple corer. You could also use a small paring knife to cut a hole into the center of the cupcake.
- Use a small spoon to fill the cupcake with the cherry filling.
- Pipe the stabilized whipped cream frosting onto the top of the cupcake. For these cupcakes, I used a Wilton 1M tip.
- Sprinkle chocolate flakes onto the top of the cupcakes and add a maraschino cherry.