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Choco-Cherry Cupcakes (Or, the Steve-laboratory, birthday cupcake)

Choco-Cherry CupcakesSo as I mentioned before I’ve had a really, really busy week. For some crazy reason I had planned a party for last Saturday in the midst of it all. It was only supposed to be a small gathering, but magically as if out of nowhere the numbers grew…. grrrrrreat! :)


So, through it all, I promised that I would feature another “specialty” cupcake this week. Like I said, I had a little gathering of friends on the weekend, and it just so happened to be one of our guy-friend’s birthdays. This guy wants to go to med-school and works in a lab collecting and testing blood. So, I created a novelty cupcake to “represent” him.


This cupcake is made of a really nice chocolate cake and is filled with BLOOD! Okay, that would be disgusting… it isn’t REAL blood. I took cherry pie filling and pureed it to the consistency of blood. Really though, when you make them for yourself you will call it “cherry filling” and not blood. Unless you are strange like me, or are making them for Halloween. I topped them with a decadent and shiny ganache and then drew little “blood types” on them. You know; A+,B-,AB and so on. Yes, a dorky little novelty from one science student to another, but what can you do?


If I confused you, here is the short version of what these cupcakes are all about. A delectable, moist chocolate cake, filled with a pureed cherry filling, topped with a decadent chocolate ganache. Does it get any better than that? I really don’t think so.


The best thing about these cupcakes is the fact that they are REALLY easy. You have the ability to take many short cuts. And because I know a lot of you are so busy, I will post the “short” version of this recipe. The long version would be using your own cake recipe and making cherry pie filling from scratch (which really only nuts like me do on Saturdays right before they throw a party… dumb!) But seriously, make these. They are sinful and are to DIE for. And you do not have to decorate them with blood types, no decoration or just little “swirlies” will be fine. And will probably be more well-received… hahaha.


Without further ado, I give you:




Ingredients (short cut version only)

Box of “Devil’s Food” cake mix.

Can of cherry pie filling

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)

1 cup of heavy cream

White chocolate for decorating (optional!)


Making the Cupcakes

Go out and buy a box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix. This is your “short cut, cheating” week! Get a nice darker, fudgy one you like. Fill your cupcake tins 2/3 of the way and bake them!

Now, place the entire can of cherry pie filling into your blender. Puree the cherries until they are nice and smooth. HOLD ON TO THE LID. Do not let the cherries explode all over your kitchen. You will regret this as the cherry pie filling will try to stain EVERYTHING!!!

Filling Your Cupcakes

Now you are going to fill your cupcakes (once they are cooled of course) I don’t like the fill the cupcakes without removing part of the centre first. This is a hefty filling, and can’t just be piped in to the centre of the cupcake. Unfortunately, that would displace too much of the cake and cause it to leak out from somewhere else.

So, you must cut a “cone” out of the centre of the cupcake with a small yet sharp knife. This is really easy to do. Just put your knife in the off-centre of the cupcake and cut around in a circle, making a cone. Then you are obviously left with a little chocolate cone. You just cut off the inside bit, leaving the centre top whole. If you didn’t cut a large enough hole in the cupcake just move your finger around in there, or use your knife. Remove a little more of the cake if you need to. Now place a teaspoon or more of the filling in the cupcake right up to the top and replace the top centre piece of the cake. Easypeasy!


Now I usually make a chocolate ganache. However, if you like you can buy some nice chocolate frosting to top these with, or even cream cheese icing. A ganache is a shiny chocolaty coating that really makes your cupcake luxurious and decadent. And, you can actually whip the ganache to make a nice icing if you like. It is up to you!

Chocolate Ganache Coating

Take your chopped chocolate and place it in a decent sized bowl. Now on the stove heat the cream over medium heat. Bring it just to a boil, but don’t over boil it… you will regret the mess you cause! (Been there, done that!) Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and stir it up. Let it cool a bit before you use it to pour or frost on the cupcakes. I like it to be decently thick and cooled before I work with it. If you want it to be a “perfect” coating you wouldn’t let it cool as much. Once it has cooled a bit you can actually whip this with your beaters. It makes a lighter coloured chocolate frosting and is also to die for. This will make more of a traditional cupcake.

The Perfect Ending

Once the ganache is set and hard you can decorate with a melted white chocolate if you like. I find that white chocolate against dark is so appealing.

If you make this for any event people will be begging you for the recipe. And if you just make it with these short cuts it barely uses up any of your time! So really, why WOULDN’T you make these cupcakes? Clearly you would be insane. Chocolate and cherries were made for each other.


Also, if you have kids, these cupcakes would be PERFECT to send off to the class for Valentine’s Day! You could decorate them with little hearts. Just a little suggestion :) Enjoy your cupcakes, I know I did.. a few too many.

Ciao for now!



5 Responses to “Choco-Cherry Cupcakes (Or, the Steve-laboratory, birthday cupcake)”

  1. Etak Says:

    Mmm… Me thinks that my Valentines Day cake assignment for class will have the cherry filling on this. But maybe not the blood types, I think that might be pushing it :)

  2. Stephen Winfield Says:

    I was very touched, I’m a phlebotomist at the hospital while I go to school working towards medical school. I thought it was a great idea, not to mention they tasted fantastic…..even with beer!

  3. Rick Ogilvie Says:

    Hey Cupcake,

    Here is one for you to try.

    Carrot Cupcakes with Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting
    Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
    The cream cheese frosting on these moist carrot cupcakes is intentionally undersweetened to compensate for the sweet caramel topping.

    Cupcakes Ingredients:
    8 carrots (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and coarsely shredded (4 cups)
    1 cup golden raisins
    1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 cups canola oil
    2 cups sugar
    4 large eggs, at room temperature

    Topping Ingredients:
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons water
    Few drops of fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 pound cream cheese, softened
    2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with the raisins and pecans. Onto a large sheet of wax paper, sift the flour with the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the canola oil with the sugar at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the carrot mixture.
    Spoon the batter into the cups, filling them three-fourths full. Bake the cupcakes for about 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Meanwhile, make the topping: In a small, deep saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down the side of the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and cook without stirring, until the caramel just begins to color around the edges, about 5 minutes. Gently swirl the pan and simmer until the caramel turns a medium amber color, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Using a long-handled wooden spoon, stir in the heavy cream. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
    In another bowl, beat the cream cheese at low speed until smooth. Beat in the butter, then beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth.
    Spread 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese frosting over each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip with the remaining frosting. Pipe a ring around the top of each cupcake, leaving an empty space in the center. Spoon the caramel into the centers. Transfer the cupcakes to a platter and serve.

    Rick’s Tip:
    Make Ahead: The cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

  4. Tanya Says:

    YUM! These sound so good!! And you make it sound so easy! …Must get cherry filling on my way home!

  5. Sar Says:

    This is a great idea! Creative, and so cool! I can’t wait to make them for all the med students on my dorm floor!

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