Easy Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Cherry chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream

These cherry chocolate cupcakes are moist, dark chocolate cupcakes with cherry pie filling mixed in the batter and topped with a rich chocolate buttercream!

Cherry and chocolate go together amazingly well. These cupcakes 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 and deepens the taste of the chocolate.

This recipe is nice and easy, using a box of cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling. We spend a little more time and effort on the frosting, but I promise, it’s worth it. This chocolate frosting is rich and luxurious, practically melts in your mouth.

Ingredients for cherry chocolate cupcakes:

For the cupcakes:

  • Box chocolate cake mix-any kind you like-I’m a fan of the Devil’s food and I like Pilsbury brand (I think you get an extra cupcake or two compared to other brands)
  • Cherry pie filling-a big can-20 ounces. The cherry pie filling acts as our water and our oil to moisturize and tenderize our cupcakes.
  • Eggs-to give us lift and structure
  • Vanilla extract-for flavor

For the frosting:

  • Butter-I use salted but either salted or unsalted works great here
  • Milk chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, cocoa powder-3 kinds of chocolate, we are not messing around. Feel free to simply use all milk or semi sweet chocolate but don’t leave out the cocoa powder. Any good quality chocolate bar will do. I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bars.
  • Water-boiling water to activate the cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar-to thicken and soften and sweeten

Let’s chat for a minute about cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is what is left when chocolate is processed to remove almost all the cocoa butter. Only 10-24% remains. Because most of the fat is removed and only the cocoa solids remain, cocoa powder gives you a deep, rich chocolate flavor in your baked goods. For this case, it doesn’t matter if you use Dutch cocoa powder or regular.

Easy Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

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


  • 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

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.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @bakincareofbusiness on Instagram so I can see what you made!

If you loved this post, share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

Happy Baking!


Happy Baking!


Martha Stewart Cupcakes