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Cherry-Filled Almond Cupcakes

Cherry-Filled Almond Cupcakes

Close your eyes. Picture a cupcake. The cutest cupcake you can think of. What does it look like? Slightly domed on top, with a huge swirl of buttercream frosting. And a cherry on top. Right? It’s like a cupcake cliche, or something… with a cherry on top. Because when do you ever see a REAL cupcake with a cherry on top? Like, never? I secretly think someone got confused between a cupcake and an ice cream sundae. Because those have cherries.

But I set out to make the ideal image of a cupcake anyway. Cherry and all.

Cherry Filled Almond Cupcakes with Marzipan Cherry Topper

You should know by now I am almond-obsessed, and these are (no surprise) almond cupcakes. But the secret is what’s inside… cherry filling. Yes, almond cupcakes with ooey gooey sweet cherry filling. Topped with an almond and vanilla bean buttercream, and a marzipan cherry… well, it’s the perfect cupcake inside and out.

Almond Cupcakes with Sweet Cherry Filling

I made the cherries out of marzipan. The stems are simply floral wire (though I can’t tell you how long we racked our brains trying to find an edible solution for the stem, it just wasn’t happening). And they are so stinkin’ cute, yet incredibly simple. Just a ball of marzipan, molded into the typical cherry “butt” with a rounded toothpick. Stick in the stem and voila. Cherry.

Cute Marzipan Cherry Cupcake Toppers

Does this remind you of anything? There was a game… with all the little plastic cherries… that you picked? Yes! You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s almost eery… plastic cherries… aaah memories of childhood.

Psst! Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla. And be sure to vote for these cupcakes while you’re at it!

Cherry-Filled Almond Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cherry Filling:
1 cup frozen sweet cherries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cranberry or pomegranate juice, or water
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Vanilla Almond Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring (optional)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or soy creamer


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together oil, coconut milk, vanilla bean, and almond extract. Add sugar and mix until incorporated. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth (batter will be slightly lumpy). Fill cupcake liners with 3 tablespoons of batter (papers should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

To make filling, add frozen cherries to medium saucepan along with sugar and juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally and slightly mashing some of the whole cherries. Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon cool water with cornstarch in a small dish and set aside. When cherry mixture starts bubbling, add cornstarch mixture and stir until filling is thickened and is no longer milky. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Move to refrigerator and chill until ready to use.

For frosting, cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. Add vanilla bean, almond extract, and food coloring and mix until combined. Add creamer and mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add more creamer and/or confectioners' sugar as necessary to achieve proper consistency.

To assemble, cut a cone-shaped piece out of the tops of cooled cupcakes, approximately 3/4" in diameter and set aside. Fill cavities with cherry mixture, and replace tops of cupcakes. Pipe on frosting, covering the seams. Top with a marzipan cherry, if desired.

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34 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On December 11, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Oh my god. These are ADORABLE! I am seriously impressed. You make it sound so easy that I’m tempted to try it. I’m not a marzipan fan, but I think it would be worth buying just to make cupcakes this cute.


  2. 2
    Posted On December 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    You could just as easily use fondant to make the cherries as well, or heck, real cherries! :)


  3. 3
    Posted On December 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Oh my goodness. I heart, heart, HEART. :)

    So charming!!


  4. 4
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 11:17 am

    simply perfect cupcake!


  5. 5
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Gorgeous!! These are so cute…and yes, exactly how I would imagine a cupcake!


  6. 6
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, gosh, these are amazing! I can never ever ever get my cupcakes to look so perfect. I’m bookmarking this and practice, practice. This would be wonderful for a holiday dessert party!!!


  7. 7
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    You are a real marvel. As a marzipan fan, these sound right up my street, but I would never have the patience to be as creative as you. Shall just enjoy looking at yours and hope my rather plainer cupcakes taste good anyway!


  8. 8
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    These are so stinking cute!


  9. 9
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    You certainly succeeded in making the perfect cupcakes! I actually didn’t notice right away that they weren’t real… I love the little vanilla seeds in the frosting. Just perfect in every way!


  10. 10
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, the creativity you applied to the cupcakes and to this post is amazing! They’re iconic… and vegan! Nice work.


  11. 11
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm


    And they sound DELICIOUS TOO!


  12. 12
    Posted On December 12, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Fabulous! V. impressive.


  13. 13
    Posted On December 13, 2009 at 1:31 am

    How danged cute are those?! I love the cherries! They are just so perfect looking! Great job girl!


  14. 14
    Posted On December 13, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Where do I find Almond Meal? They look fabulous and tasty and I too am Almond obsessed. I just LOVE the flavor


  15. 15
    Posted On December 13, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Jeanette – Health food/specialty stores often have it. We get ours at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find it, just very finely grind some almonds in a food processor. May be slightly coarser than meal, but it’s practically the same thing. :)


  16. 16
    Posted On December 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Too cute! My favorite flavors mixed together! Great minds think alike too, here’s a recent wedding cake I did:


  17. 17
    Posted On December 14, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I found almond meal at regular grocery stores in the baking ingredients aisle, called simply “blanched ground almonds”. It looks like off-white course flour, and it’s worked great for me.


  18. 18
    Posted On December 14, 2009 at 10:37 am

    You totally created the perfect cupcake, these are so cute!!


  19. 19
    Posted On December 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Your game is called Hi-Ho Cherry-O! :) We had it at my grandmother’s.


  20. 20
    Posted On December 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Hi-Ho Cherry-O was one of my favorite games as a child! And these cupcakes look DELICIOUS.


  21. 21
    Posted On December 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Those cupcakes are beautiful! So impressive. And the cherries are just perfect.

    Hi ho Cherry Oh, is the game your are thinking of. My preschooler loved it :)


  22. 22
    Posted On December 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Are you aware of the fact that you’re a genius?


  23. 23
    Posted On December 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

    These are just so sweet! There’s something about the satisfying round shape and vibrant red of those marzipan cheeries that is so pleasing to the eye. Not to mention your great photography … I’m sure they tasted amazing!
    Thanks for the eye candy!


  24. 24
    Posted On January 8, 2010 at 9:38 am

    now i remember why i stopped coming to this blog… makes. me. too. hungry.


    seriously beautiful and the worst of it is, everything looks delicious


  25. 25
    Posted On January 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Your marzipan cherries are so lovely ! These are gorgeous cupcakes !


  26. 26
    Posted On February 10, 2010 at 12:36 am

    thanks i think I might make these for valentines… so glad i found your site


  27. 27
    Posted On June 6, 2010 at 9:22 am

    This recipe is delicious just as it is, but for fun you could try turning these into chocolate/almond cupcakes… I had a bunch of random ingredients left over after my first year of college, so I threw them together kind of like this:

    Dry Ingredients:
    1 cup All-Purpose Flour
    1/3 cup Cocoa Powder (I used dutch process)
    1/3 cup Almond Meal (or a bit more – this goes for the cocoa as well)
    1 tsp Baking Powder
    Pinch of Salt
    1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
    1/2 cup Granulated Sugar (I sifted the sugars in with the dry ingredients)

    Wet Ingredients:
    1 Ripe Banana, mashed (it was lying around in the kitchen, so I figured why not)
    1 cup Coconut Milk
    1/3 cup Oil
    1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract (I used 2, but that might be too much for some people)

    Mix up both sets of ingredients, add the wet to the dry, mix again. Normally at this point I would pour into a muffin pan lined with muffin/cupcake liners, but I was all out of those guys, so instead I buttered each well, mixed equal parts flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl, and lined each well with some of that. I baked them for about 16-17 minutes at 350°F, and they all came out perfectly clean.

    At this point I decided it was probably time to go back to studying for my Linear Algebra final, so I spread a thin layer of nutella on top of each one and called it a day.


  28. 28
    Posted On November 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Oh my gosh, YUM! These look delicious. And I know exactly what game you’re talking about. Ah, the memories!


  29. 29
    Posted On November 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    LOVE these! SO pretty and those lovely vanilla flecks are simply gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic creation with our readers. Best of luck in the contest!


  30. 30
    Posted On November 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Delightful Hi Ho Cherrio cupcakes! Who wouldn’t luv to run into a plate of these?


  31. 31
    Belle Zimet
    Posted On February 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    These tasted amazing. I made them for Valentine’s today and put a cherry jub jel heart on top. Not quite as cute but the taste was fantastic!


  32. 32
    shannon marie
    Posted On August 25, 2011 at 4:52 am

    hi, firstly your cupcakes are amazing!

    i made these tonight and they tasted FANTASTIC!
    however, they stuck to the cake wrapper when cooked, crumbled and broke apart, when removed from the patty pan.
    any suggestions?

    thanks in advance.


  33. 33
    Posted On December 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    can I repace the almond meal for almond paste???


    • Posted On December 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      No – almond meal is a finely ground almond product, flour-like in texture. Paste is, well, paste. If you can’t find almond meal you can use very finely ground almonds, or replace it with just plain flour and then up the almond extract to make up for the lost flavor.

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