Black Cherry Cupcakes

It’s my mom’s birthday!  I always love to make new recipes, and I often experiment on my family (thanks family!) – so.. today I made Black Cherry Cupcakes for my mom.

I chose this recipe b/c it has been one that I have been wanting to make for a long time.. I just didnt know which one to make!  I wanted certain things in this cupcake.  First, I wanted to make a brand new chocolate cake.  I have made so many different chocolate cakes, and I wanted something new (love new things!)  Next, I wanted to experiment with dipping the cupcake in ganache – something I have always feared doing (not sure why, really), but I wanted the challenge.  Lastly, I wanted a filling.  Didnt care if that filling was frosting.. or something else, but I wanted a filling!

I searched for a Black Cherry cupcake for a long time.  Finally found this one:  Black Cherry Cupcakes.  I thought this would be the perfect recipe to make my new cupcakes!  The only thing that I changed about this recipe was the buttercream.  I have tried other buttercreams.. and I just havent found that that compares to Wilton’s Buttercream Icing.  So, I changed out the buttercream and used the maraschino juice in place of milk.  (It was delicious!)

But first.. the cupcakes.

Side note / vent.  I hate my oven.  When we first moved in this house 3 years ago, my oven was awesome!  Then, the heating element went out.  Ever since then, the temperature isnt right in the oven.  Everything cooks faster than what the recommended time is, AND more importantly, my cupcakes are often burned.  I have experimented with turning down the temperature 25 degrees to compensate for the over heating, but it severely messes with the time the cupcakes need to bake, and they dont bake right.. and still get burned on the bottom.  Damn heating element.  I hate my oven!

Anyhow, I wasnt about to burn these cupcakes – my baking reputation is on the line here with so many people getting them!!  So, I did two things.  First, moved the oven rack from the middle up one more notch.  Second, I double lined my cupcakes.  It worked this time!  Yippie!  The cooking time was still off – they were only in the oven for 14 minutes (vs. the recommended 18-22 minutes!) – but they turned out so beautifully, look at these beauties:

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So pretty!  After they cooled completely, I cored them and filled them with a black cherry fruit spread:

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This fruit spread was strong!  I was a little worried about it, but it was very nicely complimented with the sweetness from the cake and frosting.  After I filled them, came the cherry buttercream.  Remember, this is from Wilton – the only change I made to the recipe, and it was so delicious.  Loved the cherry flavor!

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Next game the part I was fearing – well, I shouldnt say “fear”, just reluctant.  I mean, I live in TX – it is hot and humid here!  I was so afraid that the ganache wouldn’t “stick” to the buttercream, or just melt it, or – not sure what I was thinking.  But, I had nothing to fear!  I put the cupcakes in the frig for about 20 minutes to harden the frosting enough to withstand the warm ganache.  I dipped them – straight down, twist, pull out, and ta-da!  Yay!

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Lastly – the garnish.. cherries!  They are so pretty, loving the way they turned out.  And, for the record, they taste sooo yummy!  They arent burned (double yay!), the flavor is delicious and the frosting with the chocolate ganache.. so yummy.

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Another angle:

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And… one more, just a closeup of one:

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So pretty!

Lastly, I needed a card for my mom!  I didnt have a lot of time to spend on making a card.  Heck, I didnt even have time to make a card for a close friend of mine earlier this week who also had a birthday!  (Yes, I made her cupcakes too.. peanut butter ones, just no pictures of those since I’ve done it before!) – So.. I had to make a quick, simple, easy card.  This is what I came up with:

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Meh – simple, but decent.  Her favorite color is purple.. and I like the way the gray accents the purple.

Keri needed a card too!  So.. This is her with her card she made for grandma.  Inside the card she drew herself, grandma, a cat (of course!) and wrote “I Love you” – so cute 🙂

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And that’s it!  Now.. to deliver the cupcakes.  I ate one.  I have one set aside for the husband.. or me, we’ll see about that (ha!) – and the rest go to friends 🙂  Six for my neighbors, six for a friend at nursing school as a belated birthday gift (her birthday was this past week too), four for a playgroup friend who couldnt come to the pool party we had this past Friday, and the last six for the whole reason why I made these cupcakes in the first place.. My Mom.  Happy Birthday Mom!

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