Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Yield
24 cupcakes

As sweet as love's first kiss, our chocolate and cherry cupcake is special. One bite and you'll fall in love, and all with a cherry on top!

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cocoa and 2 cups boiling water in a large heatproof bowl, stirring until blended and smooth; cool completely. Beat butter with a mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract.

Step 2

Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not cool.

Step 3

While cupcakes are still warm, press 1 chocolate kiss into the center of each. Let cool completely.

Step 4

To prepare cherry frosting, beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Makes 3 cups.

Step 5

Frost each cupcake with Cherry Frosting using metal tip no. 2D.

Step 6

To prepare ganache, cook cream in a heavy nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until it begins to steam (do not boil); remove from heat. Place chocolate in a glass bowl. Slowly add hot cream to chocolate, beating with a whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is well blended. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Makes about 2 cups.

Step 7

Dip cherries in Chocolate Ganache, and place 1 on top of each cupcake.

Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes; Dreamcakes Bakery

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