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!

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!


  • ¼ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ c. canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks, room temperature
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ c. full-fat sour cream or buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ c. water (warm)

For the filling:

  • 16 oz. dark sweet cherries OR maraschino cherries, stems removed
  • 1/4 c. 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 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Chocolate shavings or curls
  • Maraschino cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard size cupcake pans with 18 liners, set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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