cooking Time
20 minutes
serves
20
preparation Time
1 hour

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black forest cakes are made up of a rich and delectable combination of flavours, but there are so many ways to take the traditional elements and make fresh new desserts and treats. This year, I decided to turn this Christmas favourite into my own creation: Black Forest Cupcakes!

My version is made with a standard chocolate base, a little (more if you like) kirsch, fresh and tinned cherries and thick, dark chocolate ganache. The recipe doesn't call for any whipped cream, instead using a cherry-flavoured buttercream that can be made in advance. In fact, all of the elements can be made ahead of time, and either frozen for up to a month or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

As usual, this recipe is vegan but will be loved by everyone, and is ideal for Christmas parties, picnics and celebrations.

Ingredients for the cupcakes
  • 200g morello cherries
  • 290g caster sugar
  • 40ml kirsch
  • 20ml water
  • 400ml soy milk, or dairy-free milk of choice (soy is best!)
  • 40ml vinegar
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs coffee powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 160ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for the buttercream
  • 250g vegan butter
  • 300-400g icing sugar (add more as needed, to taste)
  • 1 tbs soy milk
  • 100g cherry jam (I used a locally-made sour cherry jam)
  • Kirsch, to taste (optional)
Ingredients for the ganache
  • 100ml soy milk, or dairy-free milk of choice
  • 70g vegan dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Ingredients for the topping
  • 20 fresh cherries
  • Coconut flakes, to taste
Instructions for the cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to approximately 190 degrees Celsius and set aside 2 cupcake tins and 20 cupcake liners.
  • Combine cherries, 50g of the sugar, kirsch and water in a saucepan and cook for 10 minutes over a medium-high heat. Set aside.
  • Combine milk and vinegar in a jug and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, remaining sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until there are no lumps.  
  • Combine oil and vanilla, then slowly start adding milk and oil mixture into the dry mixture, mixing until just combined.    
  • Finally, carefully incorporate cherries into mixture until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Instructions for the buttercream
  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment ready, or in a bowl with a handheld mixer at the ready.
  • Whip until mixture is smooth, scraping down the edges of the bowl as needed.
  • Spoon into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice. I chose a large round one because the jam I used had nice chunks of cherries throughout!
  • Pipe onto cupcakes and place in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
Instructions for the ganache
  • Heat milk until hot but not boiling.
  • Pour over chocolate and leave for 1 minute, then start mixing until smooth.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the refrigerators and drizzle ganache over the buttercream.
Instructions for the toppings
  • Top with coconut and cherries and store in an airtight container. If it's hot, keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve, otherwise they can be kept at room temperature.

Did you try these already?