Margaret McIntyre’s Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Cherry chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream

Do you ever have those days where you look in your cupboard and think, “Why the heck do I have three cans of cherry pie filling?”  This happens to me on a startlingly frequent basis.  I am at the grocery store and I will spy a specialty ingredient and think, “Yes, I am going right home and whipping up (insert random recipe here) and it will be amazing!”  But, I get home and the laundry needs doing or the dishes need washing or I don’t have the seventeen other ingredients this random recipe actually needs so my specialty ingredient gets pushed to the back of the pantry until I have no actual food and just a conglomerate of random baking ingredients.

This is where old school recipes come in.  The ones where you take a box of this and a can of that and you have something great just by cleaning out your pantry.  Margaret McIntyre was the pastor’s wife at my parents church like a zillion years ago (or at least before I can remember).  She, and her cherry chocolate cake, were quite loved.  Last year we put together a church cookbook and this cake made it in the book.  When I was flipping through, trying to figure out what to do with so much cherry pie filling, this recipe popped right out at me.  The original recipe called to make it in a bunt pan, so if bunts float your boat, feel free to pour the batter into a greased 12 cup bunt pan and increase the baking time to about 50 minutes give or take.

These cuppies do not have a strong cherry flavor, so don’t worry if you have cherry phobes in your family like I do.  The cherry flavor is subtle, the pie filling mostly adds moisture to the  cake, making it nice and tender.


Margaret McIntyre’s Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • 1 box chocolate cake mix I used Pillsbury
  • 1 20 ounce can of cherry pie filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment.
  • Dump ingredients in a bowl. Mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes. .
  • Line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.  Pour batter into the prepared cupcake wrappers, filling them about 2/3 full of batter.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Servings 24 cupcakes
Author Heather


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature or slightly cooler
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  • Chop the milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate up and place in a microwave safe bowl.
  •  Melt chocolate in microwave, running the microwave in 20 second intervals and stirring the chocolate between each interval until fully melted. Allow to cool slightly. 
  • In another small bowl, mix together cocoa powder and boiling water into a thick paste. Set aside.
  • In yet another bowl (Martha Stewart seems to be a big fan of dirtying as many bowls as possible), beat together powdered sugar and butter until smooth. Dump in chocolate paste, beat until combined. Pour in melted chocolate and beat to combine.


You may need to allow the frosting to cool for a few hours or overnight if you are intending to pipe the frosting.  I typically use this frosting as a simple, spreadable frosting rather than a piping frosting.