These black forest cupcakes start with the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. They’re moist, fluffy, and light and boast a bold chocolate flavour that you’re sure to love. What’s more, they’re seriously so easy to make! No creaming of the butter is necessary — simply mix up the batter in one bowl without any special equipment.
- Filled with homemade cherry jam.
- Topped with a light vanilla Chantilly cream.
- Perfect for parties and get-togethers.
- They’re so easy to make that I have to mention it again!
Those who know me know that I don’t often say that my recipes are the “best,” but I stand by the fact that these are the best chocolate cupcakes ever. It’s the only recipe I use now, and it’s been featured on every chocolate cupcake recipe on my blog, including my raspberry chocolate cupcakes, salted caramel chocolate cupcakes, and these classic chocolate fudge cupcakes.
Similar to a mini black forest cake, consider making these the next time you’re expecting company. They’ll be so impressed — don’t be surprised if someone asks you for the recipe for black forest cupcakes.
This recipe was first posted here on 10th of May, 2018. It has been updated with new photos, info and a more authentic whipped cream topping.
Never Miss a Recipe!
Get the latest recipes straight to your inbox!
Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Flour: Use plain flour (aka all-purpose flour) as the base for this black forest cupcake recipe.
- Cocoa Powder: Opt for Dutch-processed cocoa powder or plain, unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Both will ensure that your cupcakes rise perfectly with a slight dome.
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter here.
- Sugar: You’ll need granulated white sugar, brown sugar, and icing sugar (powdered sugar) to make both cupcakes and the whipped cream topping.
- Eggs: Most cakes require eggs, and this mini black forest cake recipe is no different.
- Vanilla Extract: Did you know, vanilla extract actually intensifies the chocolate flavour and it adds balance?! Please use extract and not vanilla essence which is a synthetic flavouring.
- Buttermilk: My secret ingredient. It adds extra flavour and moisture, plus helps keep the cupcakes so tender.
- Cherries: The centre of each cupcake is filled with a tangy but sweet homemade cherry filling. You could use a store-bought cherry jam or cherry pie filling, but I encourage you to try homemade at least once. It’s actually very easy (just cook it all in a pan until thick — you only need to give it a stir every few minutes). You can use fresh or frozen cherries. And for topping, you can use fresh or maraschino cherries.
- Kirsch: Tastes great in the cherry jam. If you want to get more of that flavour in, brush the tops of the cupcakes too (adults only of course). You can also use cherry brandy. If you want to make these alcohol-free, just use lemon juice in the cherry jam instead.
- Powdered Gelatine: Unflavored gelatin powder is key to making the stabilised Chantilly cream topping. It helps it keep its shape.
- Thickened Cream: You may call thickened cream heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
- Dark Chocolate: Top these with ganache for the ultimate decadence or just use chocolate shavings. They’re easier to make while keeping this recipe authentic. Just run a vegetable peeler down the edge of a block of chocolate to create them.
How to make black forest cupcakes (step-by-step)
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
Making the black forest cupcake recipe
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and mix to combine.
- Combine the other ingredients: In a separate bowl, beat the melted butter, white granulated sugar, and brown sugar together with a mixer until smooth. Incorporate the eggs, then the vanilla extract, and mix again. Add the flour mixture (photo 1) to the butter and sugar and combine, then the buttermilk (photo 2). Don’t overmix!
- Bake the cupcakes: Fill the cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full (photo 3). Bake for 18-24 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Making the cherry filling
- Simmer: Add the cherry jam ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer (photo 4).
- Cook: Stir as the cherry mixture simmers. Allow it to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until it thickens and there is almost no remaining liquid (photo 5). Let it cool while you work on the whipped cream.
The cherry jam will thicken as it cools. If you feel it’s too thick, you can add a dash of water but don’t add too much – too much liquid and it will make the cupcakes soggy.
Making the homemade stabilised Chantilly cream
The light and fluffy stabilized whipped cream topping is slightly sweetened and has a little vanilla flavour. It’s delicate and rich all at once and, being stabilised, it will hold it’s shape on top of the cupcakes, unlike plain whipped cream.
- Prepare the gelatine: Soften the gelatine in water first then warm it just slightly in the microwave to melt.
- Beat: Add the cream to a large mixing bowl and beat until it starts to thicken. Slowly incorporate the icing sugar and vanilla and beat to combine (photo 6).
- Add the gelatine mixture: Keep the mixer running and pour in the gelatine mixture (photo 7). Beat for another 10-20 seconds until stiff peaks form (photo 8).
Assembling the cherry filled cupcakes
- Cut holes in the cupcakes: Use a paring knife or a cupcake corer (or even an apple corer) to cut a hole in the centre of each mini black forest cake (photo 9).
- Add the filling and topping: Fill each cupcake with cherry jam, then add the chantilly cream topping (photo 10). Chill the cupcakes in the fridge while you make the chocolate ganache (if using). Find detailed instructions on how to make it on the recipe card below.
- Add your garnishes: Top your black forest cupcake recipe with dark chocolate shavings and ganache (photo 11). Enjoy!
You know those little cores you cut out of the cupcakes? They’re the chefs treat. Munch on those while you finish making the black forest cupcakes.
Tips and tricks
- Weigh your ingredients for the best cherry filled cupcakes. You can use measuring cups and spoons if you don’t have a kitchen scale, but I am a firm believer in weighing instead of measuring – it will always give a better result.
- Don’t overmix the cupcake batter or you’ll end up with dense or dry black forest cupcakes.
- Different muffin pans will affect the baking time. I use my silicone muffin pans for this recipe because I love the tall look it gives the final results. That said, they can take 23 minutes or so to bake. A regular metal muffin pan will cook quicker — 18-20 minutes — as they are wider and the metal heats quicker (and retains heat better) than the silicone.
- Be careful when you whip the cream. Go slower as it thickens. If you overwhip, it will turn grainy. On the upside, you’re on your way to making butter!
Black forest cake is a traditional German dessert. It’s named after the Black Forest region, known for its dense forests and rich culinary traditions. The cake is typically made of several layers of spongey chocolate cake soaked in cherry liqueur or syrup, filled with whipped cream and cherries, and garnished with chocolate shavings.
Yes. If you’re not a fan of whipped cream or prefer a different frosting, you can certainly substitute it in your Black forest cupcakes. Cream cheese frosting is a popular alternative that pairs well with the chocolate cupcake and cherry jam flavours.
As you can see, while this recipe is easy to follow, it does require quite a few steps. You can make them ahead of time to save some preparation time on the day that you serve them.
You can bake the cupcakes in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months. However, it’s best to add the cherry filling and whipped cream toppings just before serving to maintain their freshness and texture.
Yield and storage
This black forest gateau cupcakes recipe will give you 12 cupcakes.
I recommend that you store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. It’s best if you let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before eating.
They must be stored in the fridge due to the whipped cream topping, however they’ll happily sit out of the fridge for 2 hours and the topping won’t melt or slide (unless it’s super hot where you are).
Did you try this recipe for black forest cupcakes?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- 130 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 cup / 4.5oz)
- ½ cup dutch processed cocoa powder (or plain unsweetened) (40g / 1.4oz)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 113 g unsalted butter, melted (½ cup / 1 stick)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk, room temp
FOR THE CHERRY JAM
- 3 cups fresh or frozen pitted cherries
- ⅓ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Kirsch (or lemon juice) (note 1)
FOR THE STABILISED WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 teaspoons unflavoured powdered gelatine
- 2 tablespoons water (note 1)
- 2 cups thickened cream (heavy cream) (500ml)
- ⅓ cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 g dark chocolate (50-70%), finely chopped (or 20g choc shavings)
- ⅓ cup thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 12 fresh cherries notes
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Line your muffin pans with paper cases.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined… just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy-handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
- Fill the cupcake cases only to about ⅔ full. Bake in the oven for around 18-24 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through to make sure they bake evenly (baking time will depend on the type of muffin pan you use). When a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
- FOR THE CHERRY JAM:In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch, for around 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has almost disappeared. Allow to cool.
- FOR THE STABILISED CHANTILLY CREAM (once the cupcakes have cooled so you can use it immediately):Place the gelatine into a small bowl or jug and pour over the water. Let it soften for a couple of minutes.
- Heat in the microwave for 7-10 seconds and stir to dissolve the gelatine into the water. If it’s not liquid, you can microwave again for 3 seconds at a time, just until it’s dissolved and liquid enough to stir. Don’t overheat the gelatine or it will lose it’s efficacy. Set aside to cool slightly. If it hardens too much you can microwave for 3 seconds at a time until it’s fluid again.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream until it starts thickening. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat until it just reaches soft peaks.
- With the mixer running on low, gradually pour in the gelatine mixture, beating for another 10-20 seconds, just until it reaches stiff peaks. Don’t overwhip or it will turn grainy.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a 1cm/½ inch opening.
- ASSEMBLE:Use a small knife or cupcake corer to cut a hole in the centre of each cupcake.
- Fill each hole with 2 teaspoons of the cherry jam.
- Pipe the cream over the top. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the ganache.
- FOR THE GANACHE:Place the chocolate in a small heatproof dish. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until its bubbling, then pour it over the chocolate. Give the dish a gentle shake so all the chocolate is submerged. Leave for a minute, then stir to a smooth glossy ganache.
- Transfer to a small squeeze bottle and squeeze gently over the top of your cupcakes, letting some drizzle down the side. Top with fresh cherries and serve.
- If you want to just top with chocolate shavings, just run a vegetable peeler down the edge of a block of chocolate and scatter them over the tops of the cupcakes.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- You can use substitute frozen cherries or maraschino cherries for the fresh ones on top.
This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission for my referral, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Sugar Salt Magic.