Tag Archives: cupcakes

Culinary Adventures: Easy Pineapple Cupcakes with Spicy Coconut Topping

Culinary Adventures: Easy Pineapple Cupcakes with Spicy Coconut Topping


One Saturday, my attempt at a Pinterest cupcake recipe failed miserably (who writes a recipe with all the dry ingredients in a recipe in cups except for the flour anyway?).  I needed cupcakes to bring to a party that I was heading to and was running out of time.

Looking at what I had in my pantry to work with, I found a Pillsbury yellow butter cake mix and some pineapple juice. It’s just not my style to bring boring, run-of-the-mill vanilla cupcakes to a party, so I took a small yet calculated risk–I substituted the pineapple juice for water.

For the frosting, I took a bit more of a creative license. The basis of every buttercream frosting is about a half cup of butter (softened), and about 3 cups of powdered sugar, and about 1/4 cup of a liquid. These ingredients can be adjusted to create the right consistency.

I used pineapple juice as the liquid in the frosting, along with a dash of salt, about 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper.

Finally, for the topping: I had this:

Indonesian fried spicy coconut
Indonesian fried spicy coconut

I have a habit of going to the local Asian markets and buying things I’ve never heard of with absolutely no plan for its use. A while back I’d found this little bag of Serungdeng Indonesian fried spicy desiccated coconut. It enticed me, and I had to have it. I also had no idea what I was going to do with it. I decided that today was the day to give it a shot.

I opened it and tasted. It was sweet, but also savory and really spicy. I thought it might be a bit too savory to use as a cupcake topping by itself, so I toasted some sweetened shredded coconut and mixed it together with some of the Indonesian spicy coconut.

When I frosted my pineapple cupcakes and added the topping, the result was fantastic.

Pineapple cupcakes with spicy coconut topping
Pineapple cupcakes with spicy coconut topping

Easy Pineapple Cupcakes with Spicy Coconut Topping:


1 box yellow butter cake cake mix

3 eggs

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)

1 cup pineapple juice


Make cupcakes according to directions on the box, substituting pineapple juice for the water.




1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

dash of salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Mix ingredients together with an electric mixer, adjusting by adding more of any ingredient to desired consistency and taste.


1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut–toasted

3 tbsp Indonesian spicy desiccated coconut

Directions: mix the sweetened toasted coconut with the spicy Indonesian coconut in a bowl. Adjust ratios to desired taste. Sprinkle/spoon onto freshly frosted pineapple cupcakes.


Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from product links on this site.

Culinary Adventures: Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes: rich, buttery, sweet and citrus cupcakes, great for a spring get together.

The market near our house had some awesome local organic strawberries with some great flavor, so I thought I’d try some to make some strawberry margarita cupcakes for a spring party we were going to. First I googled a recipe for strawberry margarita cupcakes, and found one on The Baker Chick’s blog. I opted to skip her filling recipe and make my own frosting instead, but I used her cupcake recipe.


**Note: The recipe yields about 11 cupcakes, so I doubled it so that I would have enough to bring to the party. Recipe below is original for 11-12 cupcakes. 

Receipe from http://www.thebakerchick.com/2014/04/strawberry-margarita-cupcakes/

1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 small limes, zested and juiced
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk- room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

The cupcakes turned out rich and dense. A little denser than I like, but I think the denseness comes from all the buttermilk and butter in the cupcakes (not the healthiest, I know, but fat is flavor right?). The buttermilk together with the lime juice gave them that tangy lime citrus flavor that they needed.

For the frosting, I pureed some strawberries in the food processor with lime juice and a quality silver tequila, and used that for the liquid to mix in with the 1 and a half sticks of butter and about 2/3 of a 32 oz bag of powdered sugar. (I never measure stuff with frosting, I just make it to taste based on those ratios of powdered sugar and butter and a liquid mixed in to the right consistency and taste).

I have made strawberry frosting before with fresh strawberries, and one word of warning is that the heavy fruit does make the frosting loose its shape. You don’t want to add too much more powdered sugar to make it stand up better, because then the frosting will be too sweet and too stiff. My motto is that it’s always better to have it taste good than look pretty.

**Note: be sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting, or your frosting will melt all over the place. 

The pretty  frosting pouf that I piped on with a pastry tip deflated a bit, but the frosting tasted good. I don’t think I put enough tequila and lime in the frosting, however because you could taste the citrus in the cupcake and the strawberry in the frosting but the margarita concept seemed lost to the party guests gobbling the cupcakes. They were tasty though, and I got lots of compliments on them.

strawberry margarita cupcakes
strawberry margarita cupcakes

I think that next time, I will add more tequila and lime to the frosting, and some candied lime slices and maybe little drink umbrellas sticking out of the cupcakes. The cupcakes were good, but they were pretty much just strawberry lime.

Another note on using fresh strawberries as a topper: They begin to mold very quickly, so only top as many strawberry margarita cupcakes with fresh strawberries as you think will be eaten, and remove the strawberries from any leftovers.

Overall I would recommend this recipe for strawberry margarita cupcakes. They are a welcome sweet addition to any summer BBQ.


Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from product links on this site.

Culinary Adventures: Green Tea Cupcakes with Lychee Frosting

Culinary Adventures: Green Tea Cupcakes with Lychee Frosting. Asian-inspired cupcakes with subtle green tea flavor for the Lunar New Year.


Some friends of ours were having a Vietnamese Lunar New Year dinner and I wanted to bring something fun to contribute. I found this green tea cupcakes recipe on a baking blog called Sprigandflours.com created by baker Connie Choi. I’m not talented enough to make up my own baking recipes, and hers looked like a great one to try out.

In retrospect, I wish I would have doubled the recipe. It only made 11 cupcakes, and the dinner party we were going to was larger than 11 people. Fortunately the host had a cake as well, and we stopped and picked up some Chinese almond cookies at the Asian market on the way just to make sure we were bringing enough treats. If you are making this for an event, double the cupcake recipe. The frosting recipe portion makes a good batch of frosting, more than needed for the cupcake portion. (I do now notice that Connie’s recipe says “serves 12”)

I went to a local Asian market (our neighborhood is blessed with many lovely Asian markets) and picked up the matcha green tea powder and a can of lychees. If you don’t have an Asian market near you, you might try a Whole Foods or health food store for the matcha, and they may have lychees as well. Or you can always order on Amazon.

green tea cupcakes
Matcha green tea powder, green tea, and lychees from the local Asian market

Green Tea Cupcakes with Lychee Buttercream Frosting

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Author: Connie Choi http://www.sprigandflours.com/
Serves: 12
For the cupcakes:
  • ⅔ cup boiling water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon lychee juice
For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line one 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups.
  2. In a small cup, combine the water and tea bag. Let it steep for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bag. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract then the eggs, one at a time.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and green tea powder. Stir together.
  6. Slowly add the dry mixture and the green tea to the wet mixture.
  7. Pour the batter into 12 cupcake tins about ⅔ filled.
  8. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

The matcha powder turns the cupcakes a subtle  but pretty mossy green color.

green tea cupcakes

For the frosting:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter, lychee juice, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low speed — one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of juice at a time.
  2. When the ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed to medium and mix for another 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Spread or pipe the frosting on top of cooled cupcakes.

I didn’t completely follow the exact frosting recipe, because I always just make frosting to taste. I used 1.5 sticks of butter and about 1/3 of a bag of powdered sugar, and poured the lychee juice out of the can into the mix a little at a time until the right consistency was reached. The lychee juice was really sweet, so I added a pinch of salt (in addition to the salted butter) to even it out a bit.

Aside from the recipe making a smaller batch of green tea cupcakes than I’d wanted (my fault for not reading the yield on the recipe), they turned out great. Everyone seemed to like them. I thought the green tea was a nice subtle but identifiable flavor, and the lychee frosting was a nice compliment to it without overpowering the green tea. The two flavors worked well together.

green-tea-cupcakes-with-lychee-frosting (3)

green tea cupcakes with lychee frosting

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from product links on this site.

Culinary Adventures: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes: Guinness chocolate cake with a chocolate whiskey ganache filling and Bailey’s frosting. Get ready for St. Paddy’s Day!


I found this Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker and made these for a St. Paddy’s Day party a couple years ago. They were a huge hit, and rich enough to help absorb all that beer and whiskey everyone is drinking. They were also my inspiration for the Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes I made last summer.


For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

**For the frosting and cupcakes, I used salted butter, the salt adds a richer flavor to the frosting in my opinion.


1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

**I just used a knife to cut out the holes, they don’t have to look perfect, they’re covered with frosting anyway. This is the “bomb” part of the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Irish car bomb cupcakes

I decorated the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes with just a light sprinkle of green sugar. There were no leftover cupcakes at the party we went to. I haven’t found a better St. Paddy’s Day cupcake recipe yet.

Culinary Adventures: Chinese Five Spice Cupcakes

Chinese five spice cupcakes with ginger frosting: A fun Eastern twist on the classic carrot cake, perfect for Chinese New Year.

Some friends of ours throw an annual Chinese New Year party every year, complete with all kinds of dumplings and delicious Chinese food. I wanted to bring something unique to add to the buffet table, and after a little internet searching came up with this Chinese five spice cupcakes recipe from SavorySpiceShop.com. It basically takes the classic carrot cake recipe and adds the twist of Chinese five spice and crushed pineapple. The pineapple didn’t add a strong flavor, but gave it a subtle tangy sweetness that complimented the five spice very well.


  • For cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 x eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3-4 medium sized carrots)

**For the shredded carrots I took the easy route and used a bag of julienned carrots and chopped them up into smaller pieces. You don’t want the carrot shreds to be too large, otherwise they may not cook all the way through.


For cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Chinese five spice. In another large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and carrots. Then slowly add the flour mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer until just combined, about 2 min. Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with batter. Bake until the Chinese five spice cupcakes are set, about 20 to 22 min. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes
  • For frosting:

  • 1 x 8oz packet cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger (see my note below)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

**I used the ground ginger as the recipe stated, and found that I couldn’t taste it at all after it was blended in. I added about a tablespoon or so of pureed ginger (found in the refrigerated produce area next to the fresh herbs–it comes in a tube) and it really made the frosting perfect.

For frosting: In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and ground ginger. Blend the ingredients with an electric hand mixer until a creamy consistency is reached, while slowly adding the powdered sugar.

I piped the frosting onto the Chinese five spice cupcakes using a large decorating tip, and topped them with red sugar sprinkles and a fortune cookie. The fortune cookies looked and tasted great, but towards the end of the evening they began to absorb the moisture from the frosting and lost their crispness.

Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes
Chinese five spice cupcakes


Overall I think this Chinese five spice cupcakes recipe is a keeper. Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year


Culinary Adventures: Champagne Cupcakes

Culinary Adventures: Champagne cupcakes. Cupcakes with subtle champagne flavor perfect for New Years, Christmas, bridal showers, or any celebratory event


The holidays always put me in a sparkly mood. So I decided to try making some cupcakes that were equally festive. These champagne cupcakes are super easy, and add a unique flair to a holiday gathering or any other celebration. Everybody likes champagne.

To make these all you need is a white cake mix, eggs and oil as called for on the box, and champagne.

Prepare cupcakes as directed on the box, but sub out champagne for the water. The champagne will cause the batter to fizz a bit, don’t worry–it’s just reacting to the baking soda in the mix.  Bake as directed. Voila!


For the frosting, I made it up as I went as I usually do with frosting, but here is approximately my ingredient ratios:

1 stick of butter (1/2 a cup), softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

champagne –start with about 1/2 a cup and add until frosting is the right consistency.


With an electric mixer, beat butter, half the sugar and 1/2 cup of champagne until mixed. Add vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add champagne and powdered sugar as needed until frosting is firm but spreadable. Pipe onto cupcakes using a large pastry decorating tip.

I added sugar pearls and silver sugar sprinkles to look like champagne bubbles. For a bridal shower or a girly event, you can use pink champagne and a little red food coloring to make them pale pink.

Champagne cupcakes
Champagne cupcakes
Champagne cupcakes
Champagne cupcakes

Happy New Year!


Culinary Adventures: Broken Glass Cupcakes

Culinary Adventures: Making “bloody” Broken Glass Cupcakes for Halloween

I had seen these Broken Glass Cupcakes on Pinterest and really wanted to try them out for our annual pumpkin carving party this year. I wasn’t sure how making the glass would go, as I’ve never made hard candy before. I found Martha Stewart’s recipe for the sugar glass (she calls it caramel, which makes no sense to me) online, and tried it out:


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water


Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until mixture just starts to turn pale gold around edges. Remove from heat, and immediately pour caramel onto a rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, tilt pan to spread caramel to edges to make a very thin layer. Let cool to harden.

I added the sugar and water to a pot and began bringing it to a boil. I wasn’t sure about the “cook until mixture starts to turn a pale gold around the edges” part of Martha’s instructions, and there were no photos to show what that looked like, or any reference to about how long this would take.

I am familiar with reducing liquids down to thicken, so I figured the consistency would need to be pretty thick for it to make the glass candy.

broken glass cupcakes  (21)

how to make broken glass cupcakes  (21) (1)
Bringing water and sugar to a boil

It took quite a while, about 20 minutes or so. Definitely watch it and stir on occasion. Eventually, it reduced down and very little steam was coming off of the syrup any more, it was mostly just bubbling. I tested it with a spoon, and it was a honey-like consistency. It looked like this just before I took it off the burner and poured it onto the cookie sheet:

how to make broken glass cupcakes

I poured it onto the cookie sheet as instructed, quickly tilting it to spread the syrup in a thin sheet. It was really bubbly at first and I was worried that the bubbles would end up in the candy. Once it spread out, the bubbles quickly disappeared and it formed a clear, glossy sheet.

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

I let it harden while I made the cupcakes. You can use any recipe you want, really–but I would recommend using a white frosting for contrast with the “blood.” I used chocolate cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. Red velvet cupcakes would be a good idea too.

When the sugar glass was hard and my cupcakes were frosted and ready, I used a metal spatula to break the sugar glass apart. To my delight, it worked out perfectly and looked just like broken glass.

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

I added cherry pie filling to the tops to look like blood. (Tastes good too).

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

I inserted the sugar glass shards into each cupcake, and ended up having some leftover. The recipe makes a large batch.

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

how to make broken glass cupcakes

I had originally planned on making the sugar glass a day or two before the party, because I figured it would keep fine and I wanted to make sure that I could do it without screwing it up. I’m glad that I ran out of time and waited until the day of–the day after the party the sugar glass turned frosty and began to disintegrate a bit. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.


  • The sugar glass for the broken glass cupcakes will take about 30-40 minutes, plus at least 1-2 hours of cooling time
  • The syrup is ready when there is little steam coming off of the syrup anymore, and it is thick like honey, forming glassy frothy bubbles while boiling
  • Make it the day of your event, do not make ahead of time to keep your glass looking clear and realistic.

Our pumpkin carving party was a success, and everyone seemed to like my broken glass cupcakes. They weren’t as difficult as I thought they’d be, and the effect was delightfully gruesome.

Happy Halloween!

how to make broken glass cupcakes for Halloween

Culinary Adventures: Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

Culinary Adventures: Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes, a great recipe for our outdoor movie party.


We were planning a summer outdoor movie party in our backyard, and I wanted to come up with some appropriate snacks. Food Network Magazine had a pretty genius recipe for “Golden Butter Popcorn Cupcakes in their September 2013 issue, so I thought it would be perfect for the party.

The genius part (in my opinion), was that they simply took a golden butter cake mix, and subbed out the water required for canned corn juice. Easy-peasy and it creates a great buttered corn flavor in a cupcake. I know that sounds weird, but it was really good.

Buttered popcorn cupcakes (2)

The frosting part of the recipe was where I deviated a bit. They called for frosting made from two cups of heavy whipping cream with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, beaten into whip cream. I wasn’t so into that, so I made up my own:

7 tbsp butter

2.5 to 3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Dash of salt

I did follow Food Network’s directions for the popcorn with the frosting, however. I used Pop Secret Home Style popcorn, and mixed it in a bowl with about 4-6 ounces of melted Ghiradelli white chocolate chips.

Buttered popcorn cupcakes (3)

I took a handful of the white chocolate popcorn and crushed it up a bit (make sure you don’t put any un-popped kernals in the frosting), then added it to the frosting mixture

Buttered popcorn cupcakes (4)

I frosted the cupcakes and added the rest of the white chocolate popcorn to the top of each cupcake.

**Note: always make sure that cupcakes are cool before frosting

Buttered popcorn cupcakes (5)

Buttered popcorn cupcakes (6)
Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes


I’ve seen some “popcorn cupcakes” on Pinterest where a regular cake mix was used and the popcorn was mini marshmallows painted lightly with yellow food coloring around the edges. While those cupcakes look cute, these are the real deal and the sweet buttery popcorn flavor will trump any mini marshmallows. (Side note: I also think that painting food coloring on mini marshmallows sounds like a lot more work.)


Buttered popcorn cupcakes (8)
Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes
Buttered popcorn cupcakes (9)
Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

So there you have it–super easy and tasty Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes, guaranteed to be a hit at your next movie party. Our party guests kept making a point to come up to me during the party and tell me how good they were. There weren’t any leftover.



Culinary Adventures: Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes

Culinary Adventures: Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes Recipe

We were hosting an outdoor movie party in July in which the movie feature was The Runaways. I love a good theme cupcake, so I came up with Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes and  they were awesome (not to pat myself on the back or anything). Very rich, but in a good way.

I Frankensteined this receipe together with parts of two other recipes. For the cake part, I used the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe, which is on the back of the Hershey’s baking cocoa can. Hershey’s may not be high quality chocolate, but their cake recipe is. It’s the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve found, and I think the secret ingredient is the cup of boiling water added at the end.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 075


**For the Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes, I subsituted out the vanilla extract for almond extract.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use almond extract for Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  • 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings. VARIATIONS: ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
  • THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
  • BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
  • CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


To make the “bomb” part of the Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes, I used the ganache recipe from an Irish Carbomb Cupcakes recipe that I made for St. Paddy’s Day last year, sans whiskey:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped (I just used Ghiradelli chocolate chips
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter at room temperature

Put the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl such as ceramic or glass. On the stovetop, heat the cream until simmering (don’t scorch!), then pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it rest for a few minutes.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 076

After it has rested and melted the chocolate chips, stir it together and add in the butter. It should be rich and creamy and a little glossy.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 077

Cool the ganache so that it is thick and not runny, but can still be piped like frosting and still slides off of a spoon.

Make sure your cupcakes are cool, then cut holes in the middle. Some people suggest using a metal frosting tip to punch out the holes, I just used a butter knife. The holes don’t have to look perfect, no one will see them. They just have to be somewhat uniform in size.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 083

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 084

When the ganache is thick enough from cooling, spoon or pipe it into the holes in the cupcakes. The Irish Car Bomb Cupcake recipe says to pipe it in, but that just sounds like too much extra work for something that people are going to taste and not see. I’ll save piping for frosting.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 087

For the cherry buttercream frosting, I did my usual buttercream base of powdered sugar and salted butter, adding maraschino cherry juice as the liquid. You can adjust ingredients to taste, but this is roughly my amounts:

4.5-5 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks salted butter

6 tbsp maraschino cherry juice

Beat until spreadable consistency with an electric mixer.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 088

I piped the frosting on top of the cupcakes (for these, definitely pipe and not spread with a knife. The chocolate ganache will smear into the frosting if you try to spread the frosting on).

I sprinkled a little pink sugar sprinkles on top, and finished with a maraschino cherry.

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 089

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 095

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 098

Chocolate cherry bomb cupcakes 102


There you have it–Chocolate Cherry Bomb Cupcakes. I bet  Cherie Currie would be proud.