Black Forest Cupcakes

These black forest cupcakes have a moist chocolate base, homemade cherry filling and a freshly whipped cream topping. They’re light yet decadent!

Simple Black Forest Cupcakes

Black forest cake was never really my thing, until I had it at a local bakery and kind of fell in love. These cupcakes are a simplified version of that cake. They start with a moist, tender chocolate base and are filled with a homemade cherry filling. On top there’s a pillowy cloud of whipped cream frosting, chocolate shavings and a bright red cherry. If you’re looking for a way to use up all of those sweet cherries that are popping up in grocery stores and farmer’s markets, give this recipe a try!

Delicious Black Forest Cupcakes made from scratch!

While the cupcakes are baking, you’ll want to make the cherry filling. You have two options here. Ok, more like three. If you REALLY love canned pie filling, by all means, use that. If you’re totally smitten my maraschino cherries, you can made a homemade version using them. But if you’re a real deal or nothing kind of person, use those ripe sweet cherries that are in season right now!

Homemade Black Forest Cupcakes

Fill each of the cooled cupcakes with a generous amount of filling. Even though it’s relatively thick, it still has a lot of liquid in it, which means the cupcake will absorb a little as it sits. I like to use a teeny tiny jam spoon to really pack it in there. Using a piping bag fitted with an extra large tip, pipe the fresh whipped cream “frosting” on top, then garnish with chocolate shavings (or curls) and a cherry.

These cupcakes will be the hit of your summer BBQ’s and get togethers! Simple, sweet and surprisingly light!

Homemade Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe

These black forest cupcakes have a moist chocolate base, homemade cherry filling and a freshly whipped cream topping. They're light yet decadent!
5 from 5 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 331kcal
Print Recipe


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter - melted
  • 1/2 cup canola oil - OR vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate - (we like using 60% bittersweet), melted
  • 2 eggs - room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks - room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder - sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream - OR buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water - warm
For the Filling
  • 16 oz dark sweet cherries - OR maraschino cherries, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar - (more or less depending on personal tastes)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Topping
  • chocolate shavings - OR chocolate curls
  • Maraschino cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard size cupcake pans with 18 liners, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla extract and melted chocolate until smooth. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sifted cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients along with the sour cream (or buttermilk) and the warm water. Mix just until combined. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Divide batter evenly among cups, filling ⅔ of the way full (I like to use a large scoop, a #20). Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake! Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool completely before using.
  • To prepare the frosting, in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on low, then gradually turn speed up to high. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  • To assemble, using a cupcake corer or a paring knife, cut a hole in the center of each cupcake. Add cherry filling, then spread or pipe the whipped cream "frosting" on to the cooled cupcakes.
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings or curls and top with fresh or jarred cherries.


  • You can use a can of cherry pie filling instead of making your own.


Serving: 18g | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 579IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. These turned out gorgeous Natalie! I love that you added the chocolate shavings – more chocolate is always a bonus. I want to bite into one right now!

    1. I am not sure if I would make them too far in advance. Just because I wouldn’t want the frosting to start coming down. It’s pretty thick, but you never know. The morning of might be ok 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Made this the first time and everbody loved it. The cupcake itself tastes good. Not too sweet but you can taste the chocolatey flavor. I used canned cherry pie filling instead. The whipped cream frosting is just perfect match. Over all, this blackforest cupcake recipe is 5star. Will bake this again. Yummy!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the yummiest cupcake that I have made in a long time. Cherry and Chocolate paired together is an absolute favorite. It is so beautiful too. They look professionally made.

  4. 5 stars
    Amazing! Love the bold, red cherry on top & the frosting is so smooth & creamy. The more chocolate the better!