Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes
After seeing these Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes, I knew I had to try them.  I love Coke and cherries and cupcakes.  If you add Christ and the Chicago Cubs that pretty much makes up the five "C's" of my life.  When I went to the cupboard to see what ingredients I needed to buy, I found my Cherry Dr. Pepper dessert topping (which is delicious) and wanted to experiment.

I took these to our house church last night and one person said it "was the best cupcake he had ever tasted."  I don't know about that, but they were pretty good.  As with most of the cupcakes on here, I have lightened this one up from the original version which called for 2 sticks of butter.  In general, butter is not the best fat for cakes because you want them moist.  To make (and keep) a cake moist, your fat should should be a liquid at room temperature which is why I used vegetable oil.  I also wanted to lighten it up some by using half oil and half unsweetened applesauce.  The batter didn't look very good, but they baked up beautifully, which is what counts, right?!

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Step 2
In a mixing bowl, weigh flour and cocoa powder, then add baking soda and salt.  Stir together to combine.

Step 3
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs and buttermilk.  Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add Dr. Pepper and vanilla and wait for the foam to go down then mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.  Slowly add flour mixture and mix on medium for 1 more minute.  The batter will look nasty.  It will be like a thin gravy with lumps in it (see the picture above).  Don't worry, you didn't mess it up.

Step 4
Scoop batter using a 2 oz scoop and bake for 18 minutes.  Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of an inner cupcake.  If it comes out clean, they are done.  If not, bake another minute and try again.  Wash out your mixer bowl and put it in the freezer while these bake.  We want it nice and cold for making the frosting.

This is what they look like fresh from the oven
Step 5
Chop up your can of cherry pie filling (I used one with more fruit and no high fructose corn syrup).  I used a Pampered Chef food chopper and it worked very quickly and easily for this task.  You could also chop them by hand or pulse it just a couple times in a food processor.  You want it to be the consistency of a really chunky salsa (see picture above).  Set aside.

Step 6
Using a paring knife, cut out a little cone of cake in the middle of each cupcake.  A good, sharp knife works best.  You now have little cake bites for hungry taste testers, or yourself.  No judgement.

Step 7
Spoon a small spoonful of pie filling into the hole you have created.

Step 8
Using your Dr. Pepper Cherry Dessert Topper, squeeze a little on top of each cupcake as shown in the picture below.  You can leave it like this, or I like to spread mine around a little with my finger to give a nice even coat across the entire cupcake.

How to drizzle
Step 9
Remove your mixer bowl from the freezer and fit it with the whisk attachment again.  Add heavy cream and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until it starts to get a little foamy, like the picture above.  Then add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on medium until it is incorporated.  Crank it up to high speed and beat until a stiff peaks forms when you lift up the beater, about 1 minute.  If you over beat it, it will turn to butter.  You just want it light and fluffy like whipped cream.  Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and top with a maraschino cherry.  This frosting doesn't hold up very long and needs to be refrigerated, so if you need your cupcakes to be a little more stable, I would use a buttercream frosting instead.  The one I used for the Strawberry cupcakes would work well.  Just omit the strawberry preserves and food coloring.

4x6 photo recipe card
Click on image then right click and choose "save image as"

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