cherry cupcakes with love ♥

And just in time for Valentine’s Day! I am on a baking frenzy with this new KitchenAid mixer!

(Forget about the matcha chiffon cake. It’s gone with the wind because we’re cake-eating beasts who finished it in like a day.)

Actually, it’s just a happy coincidence that I picked a red fruit so close to Valentine’s, but let’s not quibble on the details.  We’ve had some cherries in the fridge for awhile now. They were starting to go soft, which is why I thought cherry cupcakes would be a good idea. I was able to use them up without having to eat them all in one sitting.

When I lived alone, my standby solution for fruit that was starting to lose life was to make a quick sangria. I would chop the fruit all up, macerate with sugar, and pour a bottle of wine over it. This was a great solution because sangria helps the fruit last a little longer. The wine doesn’t have to be expensive or of particularly great quality, so it’s also a way to save a sub-par bottle of wine. And well, I also lived next door to a winery, which was handy.

Unfortunately, I no longer live next to that winery, so why not make cherry cupcakes instead? I found a recipe online and I must say, it’s turned out delicious. It’s borderline muffin-like, but it’s definitely still a cupcake in consistency. And Mommy really likes it because it’s not too sweet and has fruit in it.

The recipe asks for buttermilk, which I never have, rarely use, and for which I always end up creating a substitute. While looking up buttermilk online, I learned that it is actually the liquid left over after butter is churned. Apparently its function in baking is as an acid, and it is used to soften the texture of the final product by working at the gluten in your mixture. I decided this wasn’t something the recipe could do without, so I set about for a substitute that I could make based on my supplies.

According to this website, I mixed 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar into a glass bowl and topped it off with milk until it reached 1 cup. The website says to use 1 percent milk, but I only use skim milk at home (we can get into my lactose-somewhat-intolerance in another post). I wasn’t sure if the fat content mattered, so I used a mixture of milk with half & half in case it did. I’m not sure if that even makes sense. But it curdled after a few minutes, so I assume it was acceptable.

Changes I made: aside from using a buttermilk substitute, I omitted the almond extract due to not having any. I also did not frost them because, let’s face it, I don’t like frosting and I’m lazy.

What bothers me about this recipe: it didn’t rise as much as I had anticipated, so unfortunately I under-filled several of the cups and managed to get 18 cupcakes instead of 16. Usually filling them halfway to three-quarters full achieves the right height without muffin-topping out of the paper cup liner. With this recipe, definitely fill at least three-quarters full, if not a little more.

The original recipe is from here:



  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (substitute: 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar + 1 cup milk)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pitted cherries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with 16 paper cup liners.

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder, and salt).

In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix until smooth.

Alternate mixing in dry ingredients and buttermilk until incorporated; be sure to start and end with dry ingredients.

Fold in cherries.

Fill paper cup liners with batter. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Yield: 16 cupcakes