Black Forest Cupcakes


These Black Forest Cupcakes are stuffed with a tart cherry filling and finished with cocoa frosting and a cherry on top.

Prep Time:
1 hr 45 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
18 mins
Cool Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins

If classic black forest cake is your go-to dessert, plan on serving this cupcake version at your next party. Start with a basic chocolate cake before making a from-scratch cherry filling that is perfectly tart and sweet. We like elevating the flavor of the filling with a bit of cherry brandy, but you can use water if that's not your thing.

When making the whipped cream for the topping, our Test Kitchen recommends using a chilled bowl for the fluffiest results. After one bite, you'll be convinced that no party is complete without a batch of chocolate-cherry cupcakes!  

Black Forest Cupcakes
Scott Little


  • cup butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ¾ cup sugar

  • 3 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup Kirsch, cherry brandy, or water

  • 1 recipe Tart Cherry Filling or one 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

  • 1 recipe Cocoa Butter Frosting (optional)

  • Chopped or grated semisweet chocolate (optional)

  • 1 recipe Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • Maraschino cherries with stems

Cocoa Butter Frosting

  • cup butter

  • 4 ¼ cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Milk

Tart Cherry Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch

  • cup water

  • 3 cup fresh or frozen pitted tart red cherries

  • 4 teaspoon Kirsch or cherry brandy

Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ cup whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour twenty-five 2-1/2-inch muffin cups (or line with paper bake cups). In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in Kirsch.

  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each half to two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.

  4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

  5. Using a spoon or small melon baller, scoop out an indentation about 1 inch deep from the center of each cupcake (leaving a 1/2-inch rim around the edge). Spoon about 1 tablespoon Tart Cherry Filling into the center of each cupcake, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the outside. Cover and chill until serving time.

  6. Just before serving, pipe or spread Cocoa Butter Frosting on the center of each cupcake. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate. Place Sweetened Whipped Cream in a large pastry bag fitted with an open star tip. Pipe a star on top of each cupcake and add a cherry to each. Makes 25 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.

Cocoa Butter Frosting

  1. Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and unsweetened chocolate beating well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Slowly beat in additional powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk until frosting reaches a piping (or spreading) consistency. Makes 2-1/4 cups.

Tart Cherry Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Add tart red cherries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in Kirsch or cherry brandy. Cover surface with plastic wrap; cool. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

  1. In a chilled small mixing bowl combine whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Do not overbeat. Makes about 3 cups.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

269 Calories
13g Fat
36g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 25
Calories 269
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 119mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1.8mg 9%
Calcium 30.3mg 2%
Iron 1.3mg 7%
Potassium 92mg 2%
Folate, total 24.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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