Every once in awhile, I totally rock this mom thing. It isn’t often, and it isn’t always repeatable, but every once in awhile… I do it. It generally involves food, I’ll admit.
This time around, it was a half birthday – Mister Man’s half birthday, to be specific. I realized yesterday that I’d yet to ask him what he wanted for his half birthday dinner and cupcakes. Fortunately, he went with his go to birthday dinner meal – pancakes and bacon (of all the things I make… go fig!) – but then he asked for cherry cupcakes.
Hmm. I haven’t done those before, but it couldn’t be too much harder than the strawberry cupcakes I’d made awhile ago, though this time I was determined to use no Jell-O to cheat. My only comments? Yum.
Oh, and yes, I did make this a dairy free recipe, though I’ve provided the recipe as it would be were you not subbing out a dairy free butter alternative and rice/soy milk for the milk. My most proud moment? I even made them look pretty, and I never succeed at that!
Cherry Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
1/2 c butter (or Crisco or Earth Balance, etc to make dairy free)
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 c milk (rice or soy or almond to make dairy free)
2 t vanilla
2 c frozen cherries (or fresh if they’re in season)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar until it is lightened in color and texture. Don’t skip this, as it adds so much lightness and yumminess to your baking. Add the eggs one at a time while the mixer is still going.
(A side note: As I was making this, I was mentally composing some of the post in my head. Things like “Yes, I do actually crack the eggs into the batter while the mixer is going. It’s not like you drop shell into the batter or anything.” And so of course I did. While the mixer was going. The good news is that I have fast reflexes and turned off the mixer quickly. And luckily, the egg shells were still in large pieces, but I had to dig carefully through the batter to find them. That’ll teach me to be cocky!)
Beat the eggs for a minute or two on high, as you truly want the batter to be well combined at this point. Mine looks like this:
Add the salt and baking powder and mix well again. Add half the flour and gently stir together. Add the milk and vanilla and stir again until incorporated. Add the remainder of the flour and stir slowly and gently again. Note that it’s ok to still see a little flour, as shown below.
Now, the cherries. I love the frozen pitted cherries. They taste great, adn they bake up really well, in addition to being wonderfully consistent. But they’re awfully big for a cupcake, don’t you think?
So just chop them up some. You don’t have to get even pieces, but you just want it to be something easy to bite and chew in a cupcake.
Add the cherries to the batter, and use a spatula to gently fold in the fruit. You want to be gentle and not mix too much – if you do, you’ll get air bubbles in your cupcakes and they’ll be tough.
Fill your cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full. I use a large cookie scoop and could have been more generous, but they were yummy anyway. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cook the cupcakes before frosting them.
Frosting requires no exact measurements. It’s just butter (or the substitute), milk (or the substitute), vanilla, and powdered sugar. I start with a good sized dollop of butter (1/4-1/3 cup?) and mix it with powdered sugar until it starts to look dry. Then I add a splash of vanilla – maybe a teaspoon? – and mix again. I’ll add a tablespoon or two of milk, and then some more powdered sugar until it gets to the consistency I want. Mix it well to get it nice and airy, and then frost your cupcakes.
Don’t forget to blow out your candles!
Enjoy this and more with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, hosted at The Well this week.