Desserts & Sweets

Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

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I’ve never been much of a dark chocolate fan.  It’s usually so bitter – which really turns me away from it.  However, as I’m getting older and trying to get healthier, I have found a new respect for dark chocolate.  And when it’s paired with a tart and sweet fruit like maraschino cherries, you have a winning combination!  Plus, when you add coffee to any chocolate batter, it really brings out those chocolate flavors so much more.

I like creating recipes that you guys can mimic – no fancy skills needed or weird ingredients. Starting with a boxed cake mix is the easiest way to start.  So let’s get started! 🙂

What you need:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 20 maraschino cherries (finely chopped)
  • 2 XL Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar (4.5 ounce) or any dark chocolate bars

Maraschino Cherry Buttercream

  • 2 cups butter (softened)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
  • 8 Tablespoons juice from maraschino cherry jar (plus more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup melted milk or dark chocolate
  • Maraschino cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare the muffin pans – I prefer the mini cupcakes, (this silicone pan is AMAZING).  I spray mini muffin cups with olive oil.  Place cupcake liners in the cups if you make standard cupcakes.

Combine the cake mix, oil, sour cream, eggs, water, coffee and chopped cherries in your mixing bowl.  Coarsely chop the two chocolate bars and add to batter.  Mix until just combined.  Don’t over mix, or your cupcakes will sink.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter, and bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cupcakes sit for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.


As always, I recommend using a COLD bowl for buttercream.  I stick my mixing bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes before making it.

Beat softened butter in a large mixing bowl until completely smooth and fluffy.

Gradually beat in about two cups of powdered sugar.

Beat in the maraschino cherry juice and vanilla extract until completely combined.

Gradually beat in the rest of the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time.

If your frosting is too thick, beat in additional maraschino cherry juice one teaspoon at a time.

Frost the cupcakes, then top with melted chocolate and cherries!

Want more?  How about these chocolatey treats, too?


Jeni’s Disclaimer: I’m just a regular girl.  I love to drink wine while I bake.  I’m by no means a professional baker or pro photographer. My creations aren’t staged, they just are what they are, and that’s probably obvious from the pictures.  I create my recipes from inspiration of scents and flavors around me. I also repurpose my grandma’s old recipes. If you love to bake and your food ends up looking like REAL food, and not like something you’ll see on Instagram, you’re in the right place.


  1. Dana Rodriguez Reply

    Oh wow.. these looks delicious and so easy! I pinned this!

  2. Amazing. And the chocolate drizzle on the top makes all the difference in making them a WOW

  3. Mary Gardner Reply

    I need to make these for my daughter and I. She loves cherries and I love dark chocolate.

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