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Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

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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!!!

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Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x


Introducing a bright and cheery dessert for any occasion that is quick and easy to prepare.You will love this sweet Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes recipe!



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, store-bought or homemade
  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.


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.

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37 comments on “Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes”

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

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

  3. gorgeous photos! these look absolutely beautiful :)

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

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. This looks amazing!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    • Hi Jenny!
      I’m a Baker& find Amazon very helpful for locating suppliers of plastic disposable bags (I’d begin with @ least 16-18 inches), and buy the large tips. I could find good sales on a variety of 4 tips (5 day sale) for $5.00. I would recommend You learn a lot from the King Arthur Flour Website. They’ll show how to measure ingredients, etc. time will pass quickly in KAF I ❤️ there. If You need help I’m on fb Patricia Welch shows I’m retired, just Friend me. Joy!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. I used cake flour and made mini-cupcakes. The recipe was great. Very easy. Sort of an angel-food like consistancy. Was a hit at work.

  17. I made these delicious cupcakes a couple of years ago for my granddaughter’s birthday party. This year I am making a large cake instead and wonder if I could double this recipe and also do you think it would stand up under fondant frosting? I am questioning using this recipe because it contains 4 egg whites and no yolks. Could I use 2 whole eggs instead? I don’t have time to practice besides the fact that I don’t want all this cake around since I am trying desperately to cut back on sugar. I have no willpower lately.

    • Hey Patty! We do think you could double the recipe to make a large cake, but we really aren’t sure about the fondant (neither one of us has much familiarity or experience with it.) If you’re concerned about the cake holding up to to it, you probably could use whole eggs instead. We hope that’s helpful!

  18. I just made these for a friend birthday, and they were a huge hit! The first 12 came out flat, so I added some flour to the second batch and they came out perfectly. I added some chopped maraschino cherries.(Which was probably why it needed more flour plus high altitude maybe??)  The taste is exactly what I was looking for. They’re perfect! Thank you for the yummy recipe, I’m going to make another batch soon! 

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed these Erika! As for why some of them came out flat, hmmmm, we wonder if it could have been altitude-related. We’re glad you liked them though! :)

  19. Can I use Trader Joe’s Morello Cherries in Light Syrup instead of the maraschino Cherries?

  20. Really good, easy cupcake! The texture of the cake is perfect, tender but firm. Nice light cherry flavor. So pretty!

  21. I love the recipes you make !!!

  22. This recipe made 18 cupcakes for me. I haven’t iced them yet but they look great.

  23. I made these cupcakes for 4th of July last year, they were amazingly good! I want to make mini’s, can you recommend a cook time?