Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

March 28, 2012 by Ali

Eeks. I’m super behind on posting this week. But so excited to share these adorable little cherry cupcakes with you!

Now while I adore fresh cherries, I have to admit that these little cupcakes feature one of my secretly favorite ingredients: maraschino cherries! I know, I know. They’re soaked in sugar, not in the fresh produce section, yada yada yada….but I admit I still get a pretty excited when they pop up in a drink or some fun dessert. Hey, all things in moderation, right? :)

The other fun thing about treating yourself to baking with maraschino cherries is that they’re of course available year-round. So if I’m craving cherry cupcakes in March??? Voila. And this cupcake recipe is doubly delicious. The cake is sweet and light, but the cherry almond frosting is lick-your-lips cherrylicious. I took these to my small group for some “taste-testing”, and they happily devoured them. Definitely a winner of a recipe.

So grab a jar of this sweet little indulgence, and enjoy!!!

Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


    Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • maraschino cherries with stems (optional garnish)
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


To Make The Cupcakes:

Allow butter and egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty-four baking cups with paper bake cups (or coat with cooking spray). In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and cherry juice until combined; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract; beat until combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

Spoon (or use a cookie scoop to transfer) batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in baking cups on wire racks until completely cooled.

Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag (with a star tip), or spread the frosting on with a knife. If desired, top with cherries.


To Make The Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in maraschino cherry juice and almond extract. Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional juice or milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Makes 4 cups frosting.

Ali’s Tip:

If you are not using a pastry bag to pipe on the frosting as pictured above, feel free to halve the frosting recipe since you may not use as much.


Slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

filed in Desserts

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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19 thoughts on “Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. I am making these today for my grandmothers birthday! I am planning to chop up some cherries and throw them in the batter. They look so gorgeous and sophisticated

    - Elizabeth Krueger

  2. Just made these. Pretty good, just the frosting was REALLY buttery. I added more cherry juice and 10x sugar to stiffen and take away the butter taste so much. Another keeper for me. BTW only made 23 for me.

    - Marybeth

  3. These cupcakes are amazing! I made them for some of the soldiers at my husbands unit and they were gone in seconds. I did notice that the batter didn’t make the full 24 count batch, but maybe I’m using a cupcake tin that is too big? Also, I whipped in a stick of cream cheese to the frosting because it was really thin and I didn’t have enough powdered sugar. It was a delicious, happy accident.

    - Chelsea

  4. I just made these cupcakes(they are cooling to be frosted). While they are delicious, of course I tried one, the batter didn’t make 24 cupcakes, I ended up with about 20; and the last 4 are tiny.

    - jamie

  5. Do you think these would hold up well with a couple maraschino cherries baked into the middle of the cupcake? I made some cherry coke cupcakes with cherries baked in the middle last weekend, and they were so good. I thought it would be fun to do that with these too!

    - Nicole

  6. These are fabulous! I have to admit that I’m not a ‘from scratch’ kind of baker, but these were fairly easy and SO tasty! My only problem is that I’m not a pro with the pastry bag, so my frosting didn’t turn out as well. Any advice ladies? I think I didn’t have the right tip for my pastry bag? The frosting on these has almost a ribbon look to it. Luckily, the cupcakes are so delicious, I don’t think anyone is going to complain about the look of the frosting!

    - Jenny Aubrey

  7. i made these cupcakes, only i used cake flour and some self-rising flour.. they turned out really dense, like a pound cake, but delicious, nonetheless. i chopped up some of the cherries and threw them in the batter, too. loved the recipe.

    - autumn

  8. This looks amazing!!

    - Maria smith

  9. I made these tonight and they were amazing!! They were really easy to make and came out tasting delicious. They were a definite crowd-pleaser and I will be making them again soon! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    - Shannon A

  10. You always have the tastiest cupcake recipes. I’m always here for some of the others so I’m sure this one will become another go-to recipe as soon as I can figure out what to do with four egg yolks! Any suggestions? These look great!

    - Karen G

  11. These cupcakes are absolutely adorable! While I’m not normally a maraschino cherry fan, these look too tasty to resist!

    - Kristen @ The Endless Meal

  12. I have made these cupcakes and they were absolutely fabulous!! Pain in the ass but fabulous….

    - Melinda

  13. gorgeous photos! these look absolutely beautiful :)

    - meg jones wall

  14. So pretty! I love these – they look so delicious! :)

    - sara

  15. These look great! I have to admit that I love maraschino cherries too :)

    - Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab