These delicious little desserts put a fun spin on cupcakes. With a hint of Cherry Coke in both the batter and the icing, and a cherry surprise hiding in the cake, these Cherry Coke Cupcakes are sure to delight the next time you need a special treat.
Time: about 1 hour (allowing for cooling time)
Makes: 24 cupcakes
- 1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix (+ any ingredients for the mix)
- 1 cup Cherry Coke (approximately, depending on cake mix)
- 24 maraschino cherries
- ½ cup maraschino cherry liquid (approximately, depending on cake mix)
- Note: Get the largest jar of maraschino cherries that you can, as each cupcake takes 2 cherries.
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2-4 tbsp Cherry Coke
- 1-2 tbsp maraschino cherry liquid
- 24 maraschino cherries
- red food coloring
- 2 muffin pans
- Cupcake liners
- Electric mixer
- 2 mixing bowls
Heat the oven to the temperature listed for the Devil’s Food Cake mix. While the oven heats, line the muffin pans with the cupcake papers. Using a mesh strainer, drain the maraschino cherry liquid into a bowl. You’ll use the liquid in the batter and the frosting, and you will want the garnish cherries to be relatively dry.
Mix the Devil’s Food Cake batter according to the directions on the box, substituting Cherry Coke and maraschino cherry liquid for the water. A good mixture will be about ¾ cup Cherry Coke and ¼ cherry liquid. Be sure to use the right amount of liquid.
Fill the lined cups slightly more than halfway with the batter. The more evenly you fill the cups, the more uniform your cupcakes will be. Too full and they will bulge out over the top; too little and they won’t rise over the edge of the liner.
Place one maraschino cherry in each cup. Avoid the temptation to press the cherry into the batter. Doing so will make the cherry sink to the very bottom of the cupcake. Although the cupcake will still be good, ideally the cherry should sit in the middle of the cake.
Bake the cupcakes for the recommended time, usually around 20 minutes. Be sure to swap and rotate your two pans halfway through your bake to insure even baking for all the cupcakes. Drink the rest of the Cherry Coke as you wait for the cupcakes to cook. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar on high speed until well mixed, about 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 2 tbsp Cherry Coke, 1 tbsp maraschino cherry liquid, and a few drops of red food coloring and mix at high speed for another 60 seconds. If the frosting seems too thick, add a bit more Cherry Coke or cherry liquid, taking care to leave it slightly stiff. Too thin and it will run off of the cupcakes. You can also add more food coloring to get the right shade of pink.
Frost the cooled cupcakes using a piping bag (if you’re going for fancy) or small spatula. Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.