Cherry Chip Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes

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Homemade Cherry Chip Cupcakes are not only absolutely delicious, they are gorgeous, too. If you like the boxed cherry chip cake mix you will just love this recipe because it takes all those flavors and turns them into homemade goodness.

Cluster of close up cherry chip cupcakes with maraschino cherries on top of each one.
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Cherry chip cupcakes are pink and fun with just the right amount of cherry flavor.  They are way better than a box of cherry chip cake mix and not quite as bold as just plain maraschino cherries.

Do yourself a little favor and keep track of this recipe for the next time you need a dessert. And for more cupcake inspiration, check out Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, Easy Chocolate Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Cupcakes with Whipped Cinnamon Icing. You will not regret it! 

Cluster of cupcakes on a white countertop with white subway tile backsplash in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The combination of cherries, vanilla and almond give these cupcakes just the right amount of deliciousness. 
  • Homemade cupcakes are a little healthier than store-bought cake mix because there are no food dyes, seed oils, or preservatives involved. 
  • The frosting is a wow – with tons of flavor, it’s the perfect fluffiness for these cupcakes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Maraschino cherries: Adding chopped cherries and some of the juice from the jar is what gives these cupcakes good flavor and that gorgeous pink color. 
  • Butter: To get the perfect flavor, use unsalted butter. 
  • Egg whites: Using only egg whites helps the cupcakes stay light pink and still have a nice rise.
  • Vanilla and almond extract: These two flavorings in addition to the Maraschino cherries really make for a lot of flavor in the finished cupcakes.
  • Buttermilk: This is the secret ingredient to help the cupcakes be extra moist and fluffy.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

All of the ingredients for cherry chip cupcakes on a white background.

How to Make Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Homemade cherry chip cupcake batter being mixed.

Step #1: Beat together the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes until they are light and fluffy.

Homemade cherry chip cupcake batter being mixed.

Step #2. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each one. Then add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir to combine.

Homemade cherry chip cupcake batter being mixed.

Step #3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. And in another bowl, combine the buttermilk and reserved cherry juice. 

Homemade cherry chip cupcake batter in the process of being mixed.

Step #4. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture in a few portions stirring to combine before adding more. 

Homemade cherry chip cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.

Step #5. Add the chopped cherries and gently fold them into the batter.

Raw homemade cherry chip cupcake batter in the tins ready to bake.

Step #6. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

Baked cherry chip cupcake with buttercream frosting piped on top.

Step #7. Put all the icing ingredients in a stand mixer and mix on low with the whisk attachment until all the ingredients come together. 

perfect picture of a cupcake

Step #8. Mix on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Put the icing in a pastry bag and pipe it onto cooled cupcakes. 

Recipe FAQs

How can I tell when the cupcakes are done?

You’ll know that they are done when you press lightly on the top and the cake springs back (no indent is left) or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Should I use all-purpose flour or cake flour in cupcakes?

All-purpose flour works better in cupcakes so the cupcakes will have a slightly denser crumb. This helps hand-held treats stick together when eating them. Cake flour is traditionally used in full-size homemade cakes.

How full do I fill the cupcake liners?

I like to put 1/3 cup of batter into the prepared muffin cups. If you use too much batter, they will overflow as they bake and the finished cupcakes won’t look quite as nice as what is pictured here. 

How do I get the icing just right?

To achieve maximum fluffiness, I recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. You can find more tips on what you are looking for and how to achieve that texture and consistency on the Classic Chocolate Buttercream Icing post. 

Baked and frosted cherry chip cupcakes in a muffin tin on a white counter.

Expert Tips

  • If you don’t have buttermilk on-hand, you can make an equivalent ingredient by combining 1 and ⅓ cup of milk with 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. 
  • Using ⅓ cup of batter for each cupcake is just the right amount so the cupcakes don’t overflow when they are baking. 
  • Mix the batter just until it’s combined, being careful not to overwork it. Overmixing can cause your cupcakes to become tough. 
Homemade cherry cupcake on a white plate cut in half on a white counter.

More Dessert Recipes to Consider

cluster of close up cherry chip cupcakes with maraschino cherries on top of each on
5 from 3 votes

Cherry Chip Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Icing

Homemade Cherry Chip Cupcakes, not only are they absolutely delicious but they are just gorgeous to look at too.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients 

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 10- ounce jar maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

For the vanilla frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
  • Drain the maraschino cherries and reserve the juice. Chop the cherries with a sharp knife.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (stand mixer or hand mixer work great here), this should take 3-5 minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir to combine.
  • In a medium bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together.
  • In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the reserved maraschino cherry juice.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, and then the rest of the buttermilk mixture, and finish with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing after each addition. Stir in the chopped cherries.
  • Put 1/3 of a cup of the batter into each of the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cake is done. You'll know that they are done when you press lightly on the top and the cake springs back (no indent is left) or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • When they are done, remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove them from the pan onto a wire rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

For the icing:

  • Add all of the icing ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer (with the whisk attachment on). Mix on low until the ingredients start to come together and then increase the speed to high. Mix on high for 4 to 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Place the icing in a pastry bag with a 2A tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
  • Enjoy now or store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Notes

  • This recipe calls for all-purpose flour over cake flour to create a denser cake so this hand-held treat doesn’t fall apart for eating. 
  • Use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to make the frosting. You can get more tips on making light and fluffy frosting on the Classic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container after they have cooled completely. Thaw frozen cupcakes at room temperature and frost if you would like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 24 cupcakes, Calories: 308kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 132mg, Potassium: 47mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 419IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 1mg
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23 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Z says:

    5 stars
    These were light, fluffy and delicious! I was surprised how much I loved them. Honestly, I’ll be using these as my go to Vanilla cupcake as well. I did use my own buttercream and added almond extract and cherry juice. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Deb says:

    I’ve made these many times. They are delicious but every time they take much longer to bake than what is listed and they always sink in the middle. I’ve tried different oven temps but have the same results. Any ideas!

    1. Melissa says:

      That’s so strange, are you cooking at a high elevation by chance?

  3. Casey says:

    Could this be made into a cake instead of cupcakes?

    1. Melissa says:

      I’m high altitude so I don’t have great luck making homemade cake (it always sinks in the middle), so I’m not sure. In theory it should!

  4. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    These were DELICIOUS! I added a little bit of cherry juice to the icing…amazing. Will definitely make again.

    1. Melissa says:

      Ohhh excellent idea! Thank you for sharing your tip!

  5. Tammie says:

    Has anyone tried making these cupcakes with more of a liquid type cherry preserve? I just watched the kids baking challenge and one young man used just that. He got rave reviews from both Duff and Valerie. After viewing the episode I went on a search for a recipe and yours was the closest I came to finding such a recipe. I’m not too big on using extracts, fruity ones I should say, for the same reason why your husband isn’t a fan. If anyone can help with the type of recipe I’m looking for, I’d really appreciate it…

    1. Melissa says:

      Sounds delicious! If I see anything that might work I’ll be sure to pass it your way!