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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
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I made these cupcakes and they wee DELICIOUS. My boyfriend (who has never baked a day in his life) is convinced that I could mix the buttercream and cherry filling together to make a cherry-almond buttercream; I am not so sure. Thoughts? Thank you!! I love your website!!
I think a cherry buttercream would be great! I’d recommend adding it very slowly though, maybe a tablespoon at a time. I’d worry it would make the frosting too runny (you may need more powdered sugar to compensate).
can I repace the almond meal for almond paste???
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.
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.
thanks in advance.
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!
Delightful Hi Ho Cherrio cupcakes! Who wouldn’t luv to run into a plate of these?
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!
Oh my gosh, YUM! These look delicious. And I know exactly what game you’re talking about. Ah, the memories!
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:
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)
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.
thanks i think I might make these for valentines… so glad i found your site
Your marzipan cherries are so lovely ! These are gorgeous cupcakes !
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
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!
Are you aware of the fact that you’re a genius?
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 :)
Hi-Ho Cherry-O was one of my favorite games as a child! And these cupcakes look DELICIOUS.
Your game is called Hi-Ho Cherry-O! :) We had it at my grandmother’s.
You totally created the perfect cupcake, these are so cute!!
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.
Too cute! My favorite flavors mixed together! Great minds think alike too, here’s a recent wedding cake I did:
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. :)
Where do I find Almond Meal? They look fabulous and tasty and I too am Almond obsessed. I just LOVE the flavor
How danged cute are those?! I love the cherries! They are just so perfect looking! Great job girl!
Fabulous! V. impressive.
And they sound DELICIOUS TOO!
Wow, the creativity you applied to the cupcakes and to this post is amazing! They’re iconic… and vegan! Nice work.
You certainly succeeded in making the perfect cupcakes! I actually didn’t notice right away that they weren’t real cherries..lol… I love the little vanilla seeds in the frosting. Just perfect in every way!
These are so stinking cute!
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!
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!!!
Gorgeous!! These are so cute…and yes, exactly how I would imagine a cupcake!
simply perfect cupcake!
Oh my goodness. I heart, heart, HEART. :)
You could just as easily use fondant to make the cherries as well, or heck, real cherries! :)
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.