Do you love chocolate and sweet cherries? If so, you'll love these decadent black forest cupcakes! These delicious treats are made with chocolate cake and cherry filling, and they're topped with luscious buttercream frosting. They're the perfect dessert for any occasion with no need to share yours!
Moist black forest cupcakes are perfect for any occasion, be it a birthday, Christmas, or office party - you name it, they will be appreciated!
Although the Black Forest Gateau is traditionally German, it is loved all over the world, especially in the United States, United Kingdom, and India, where it can be purchased in numerous bakeries and stores - however, never as perfect as homemade.
This recipe is very easy to prepare and it has been tweaked to be able to accommodate more dietary requirements, without compromising on taste.
Black Forest Cupcakes Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour, Granulated Sugar, Cocoa Powder: These are the dry ingredients for the flour mixture that create the Black Forest sponge.
- Oil and Water: Wet ingredients for the sponge.
- Soda Bicarbonate, Salt, and Vinegar: These are the ingredients that will help the sponge raise and fluff!
- Maple Syrup: This is a great alternative flavoring to vanilla extract and will add sweetness and depth to both the sponge and the buttercream frosting.
- Sour Cherries: One of the best ingredients in the recipe!
- Cornstarch and Milk: Combined, these two ingredients will create the hardening agent for the maple syrup buttercream frosting.
- Unsalted Butter and Sugar: The perfect start to any buttercream frosting.
How to make Black Forest Cupcakes
- Start by sifting the cocoa and flour in a large mixing bowl.
- To the sifted cocoa powder and flour, add the granulated sugar, salt, and soda bicarbonate and mix until you obtain a uniform mix.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a separate jug.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones a bit at a time mixing well in between. Once they are well incorporated you will have the cupcake batter ready, which will be quite liquid compared to a traditional cake batter and this is normal as you have no butter nor eggs in the mixture.
- Line the cupcake trays with liners and fill them with the batter; the batter should not fill more than halfway each liner.
- Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. The oven will need to be preheated to 350F (180C FAN oven).
- It is important that before the next step you cool completely the moist chocolate cupcakes; if you have one, use a wire rack.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled down completely on a rack, make a small hole on the top of each of them and add a sour cherry, a bit of juice and a few chocolate chips to it.
How to make Maple Syrup Buttercream Frosting
- In a small saucepan, add the cornstarch and the milk and bring to a boil; keep the mixture simmering, while continuously stirring, until you reach a thick consistency.
- Allow the thickening agent to completely cool down; should you want, you can move the mixture to a bowl and cover it with some cling film, and put it in the fridge.
- In a food processor with blades, add the butter and granulated sugar, and allow to mix until the sugar completely melts in the butter; this may take up to 15 minutes.
- Add the completely chilled hardening agent and the maple syrup and continue mixing until the buttercream frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Use straight away for best results; should you need to use it later, store it in the fridge in an airtight container and remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to needing it.
Decorate the Black Forest Cupcakes
People also ask [FAQs]
The dessert is named after the characteristic liquor of the Black Forest region, Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser), which is made from tart cherries, rather than the mountain range of the same name in southwestern Germany.
In the grocery store, you will find multiple brands of vegan butter, and sometimes it is hard to choose. To start, make sure you chose an unsweetened version and one that is not made specifically for baking.
Great brands are Miyikos which is a European-style cultured vegan butter and Country Crock Plant Butter.
The buttercream can be stored in the fridge for up to four days once prepared, or in the freezer for up to three months. Remember to use an airtight container to store the remaining cream whether you are just refrigerating it or freezing it.
Black forest cherry cake, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, originates from the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany.
This gateau is known for its layers of chocolate sponge, tart cherries, and cream and it has a very distinct profile, as the tart and sweet flavors blend.
The sponge for this cake is quite dry, as it is traditionally made with very little fat, and then made moist with the use of cherry syrup; the layers are fluffed up with heavy whipping cream and then decorated with chocolate shavings or chocolate curls.
This recipe for black forest cupcakes revisits the whole concept, maintaining the whole flavor profile, but making it more accessible by making each step very easy to follow and a bit more modern and light (and easy to transport it has a light fluffy frosting rather than whipped cream!).
What are the best cherries and liqueur for Black Forest Cherry Torte?
Many cherries are suitable for this German black forest cake.
If you have whole cherries, you can make a quick instant jam with them [homemade cherry filling]; dark cherries and black cherries give the best results as they are sweeter.
To make the instant jam, remove the pit from the fresh cherries and chop them in quarters (or smaller if liked); in a small pan on low to medium heat, add the cherries and a bit of sugar. As you cook the fresh cherries, they will release some cherry juice, which will mix with the sugar to create a delicious cherry jelly. A cooled cherry filling will be thicker than when it is still hot, so allow it to cool down before using.
Maraschino cherries are not the best choice for this recipe, given their flavor and texture; should you still want to use them, I’d recommend choosing them as a decoration rather than filling.
Authentic Black Forest Cake has a dry chocolate flavor sponge (when compared to traditional American sponges, which are quite rich in butter and therefore richer and moister), which is made moist with the use of some cherry liqueur.
There are many great options to do so, however, cherry brandy tends to be one of the most popular choices as it works well with the layers of chocolate cake; if you do not have cherry liquor, then chocolate flavored liquor is another great option.
As I often prepare this to be shared in the office, I tend to wet the sponge with some of the cherry juice from the Morello cherries or I use some milk or milk alternative if going vegan.
Tips and tricks
- Fruit: if you are not a fan of cherries, we all know a rich chocolate cake works with almost anything! Good alternatives are raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, however, the cherry filling can also be exchanged for some chocolate spread, such as Nutella.
- Freeze: if you are preparing these cupcakes with buttercream, you can easily freeze them and defrost them when you want to eat them. As there is buttercream on top, you won't be able to use the microwave but will have to take them out of the freezer a couple of hours in advance to allow them to naturally thaw.
- Frosting: there are quicker and easier toppings to add if in a rush. Whipped cream frosting or simple fresh whipped cream work well if serving the cake the same day.
- Black forest cake recipes: there are many different recipes out there that claim to be the best or original version; this recipe is not the original one from the Black Forest region of Germany, but it maintains all of the flavors.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Jay likes me to prepare these for his birthday most years and no matter what, he never gets fed up... could this be your new family favorite? Let me know!
- If you liked this Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe, you may want to check out:
Black Forest Cupcakes
For the vegan sponge cake
- 300 g All-Purpose Flour Plain Flour
- 300 g Caster Sugar
- 60 g Cocoa Powder
- 2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 120 ml Sunflower Oil or a flavorless oil, like vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoon Cider Vinegar
- 360 ml water
For the Cherry Jam Filling
- 24 Sour Cherries in Syrup
For the Maple Syrup Buttercream
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 240 ml Milk Oat or Semi Skimmed
- 250 g Butter Vegan or Dairy
- 250 g White Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 50 g Dark Chocolate Chips
Prepare the sponge
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (FAN), 350 Fahrenheit FAN, gas 6, or static oven 200 degrees Celsius or 400 Fahrenheit.
- Start by adding in a large bowl the sieved all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well until you obtain a dry black forest cake mix.
- In a jug, mix the oil, water, vinegar, and maple syrup, then start adding it a bit at a time to the dry mix; mix well with the fork and continue doing so until all of the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients are well mixed together, in a uniform, homogeneous mix.
- Divide the vegan Black Forest cake batter into cupcake tins and bake in the center of the oven for 16-18 minutes; once the cupcakes are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down completely. Using a cooling rack greatly helps with speeding up the cooling downtime for the cupcakes.
Prepare the cherry filling
- To place the cherry filling in the cupcake, make a hole from the top using the top of a vegetable peeler, the metal part of a sac a poche, or anything that can remove a circular part of the top without breaking the entire cake.
- Once you have made the hole on the top of the cupcake, add a teaspoon of the cherry syrup, a cherry, and a few chocolate chips.
Prepare the maple syrup buttercream
- To start, prepare the thickener by mixing the cornstarch with the milk in a small saucepan and bring it to a very light simmer on low-medium heat; keep on mixing the milk, as as soon as it starts simmering it will start to thicken.
- Once you achieve a thick consistency, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the thickener to a small bowl and allow it to cool down completely; you can cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put the mix in the fridge.
- In the food processor, using the metal blades attachment, add the sugar and butter and mix until the sugar completely melts in the butter; this may take up to 15 minutes on a low to medium speed, but it is a very important step.
- Next, add the thickener and the maple syrup and mix again until stiff peaks form; the buttercream will be very creamy and it should be used straight away once ready, as storing it in the fridge will harden it (that is why it is great for transportation and parties!).
Decorate the cupcakes
- To decorate the cupcakes, add the maple syrup buttercream to a piping bag and decorate as liked. For your pastry bag, you can choose any tip, however, wider tips may be easier to use as the buttercream is quite thick.
- Once the buttercream has been applied, you can further decorate the Black Forest cupcakes with edible decorations and chocolate flakes as preferred.
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