Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes

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Drawing Inspiration from Past Memories

Before I start baking or cooking, I always start with that one key ingredient that I want to incorporate into my cooking, and then try to come up with other ingredients that would go well with it. Most often, I draw from my pot of memories regarding food I have tasted with this key ingredient. 

This time, my key ingredient was Amaretto.

Amaretto is an almond-based liquor. It is very sweet and has a very distinct almond flavor and scent. 

The first time I had Amaretto was when I had Cherry Amaretto flavored ice cream from Haagen Dazs. It was absolutely divine.

I think the reason why cherries and Amaretto goes so well together is because cherries are sour and it complements the sweetness of Amaretto. They also both have a strong scent that are just perfect with each other.

The second time I had Amaretto was in a Christmas market. They were serving Belgian Hot Chocolate with liquor and I chose to have mine with Amaretto. It was just what I need to combat the cold winter night.

So, I started with Amaretto as my key ingredient, then combining my two memories of having this delightful liquor — I came up with cherries and chocolates as my other two ingredients.

Since I was craving cupcakes at the time, I decided it was about time I made Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes!

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes

I based this recipe from my previous Red Velvet Cupcake recipe because I really like the way my cupcakes turn out when I follow that recipe.

See, that’s the beauty of cooking and baking. As long as you have one go-to recipe, you can tweak it to create an unlimited amount of recipes!

I hope you enjoy baking these Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes as much as I did!

Happy Baking :)

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes
A delightful cupcake that combines the essence of cherries and almonds in one bite
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
For the cupcake
  1. 1 1/2 cups of cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  2. 1 to 2 cups of Amaretto
  3. 1 3/4 cups flour
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 1 large egg, room temperature (You can soak it in warm water to bring its temperature down.)
  7. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
  8. 1 ounce white, milk or dark chocolate chips
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  11. 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup of milk + 2 teaspoons of lemon)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  13. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  14. 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
For the Frosting
  1. 8 ounces cream cheese (regular or whipped), softened at room temperature for at least 1 hour
  2. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup whole milk
  6. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions for the cake
  1. Combine the coarsely chopped pitted cherries and Amaretto in a pan and simmer for a few minutes until the cherries are soft and the liquid has reduced to just a small amount. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  3. In a small bowl, sift flour and set aside.
  4. If using milk and lemon to make buttermilk, combine the two in a small bowl and set aside until milk curdles.
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg into butter sugar mixture until well incorporated.
  6. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and almond extract. Add to the batter and beat well.
  7. In a measuring cup, stir the salt with the buttermilk. Add one-third of the buttermilk to the batter, and then one-third of the flour, making sure not to over beat (repeat three times).
  8. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda (it will sizzle a bit!) and add to the batter (this chemical reaction is what makes the cake soft and moist).
  9. Fold in your cherries drenched in Amaretto and your choice of chocolate chips until well incorporated.
  10. Pour batter on cupcake pan with cupcake liners and bake in pre-heated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes.
  11. Cool cake before frosting, then top with slivered almonds and chocolate chips (if you want).
Instructions for the frosting
  1. If your cream cheese is still too cold, put it in a bowl and on the microwave on high for 15 - 30 seconds until it gets soft.
  2. Whip cream cheese for a few minutes until it's smooth and set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan, combine the flour, sugar, salt. On low to medium heat, gradually add the milk. Whisk continuously so no lumps appear until it become a smooth thick paste.
  4. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl. Mix continuously for about 5 - 10 minutes to lighten. Set aside to cool, or keep whipping!
  5. When the flour milk mixture becomes lukewarm, add the whipped cream cheese and almond extract, and keep on whipping until the two are well incorporated.
  6. Use to frost cake immediately, or if you want it to be firmer, put it in the fridge for about an hour before frosting.
Happy Oven Mitts http://happyovenmitts.com/
Also, as a bonus, here is an awesome hack of how to pit cherries without a pitter — using chopsticks and an empty wine bottle!

Comments are much appreciated!