These Black Forest Cupcakes are stuffed with a tart cherry filling and finished with cocoa frosting and a cherry on top. After one bite, you'll be convinced that no party is complete without a batch of chocolate-cherry cupcakes!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using a spoon, 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.
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.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
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.
Cocoa Butter Frosting
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
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.