Chocolate cherry cupcakes are the very definition of indulgence. Go ahead. Look it up in the dictionary. I’ll wait. Or you could just make this tasty cupcakes recipe and find out for yourself — they are amazing!
These cherry chocolate cupcakes are filled with cherry pie filling and topped with a silky chocolate frosting. And guess what? They’re made without eggs or dairy.
I know chocolate and cherries are amazing together. It’s one reason we all love the chocolate cherry dump cake and chocolate-covered cherries, using fresh cherries and delicious dark chocolate. Now we can add these cupcakes to the list.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- A simple vegan chocolate batter yields delicious, fluffy chocolate cupcakes
- Scooping out the top of the cupcakes makes room for cherry pie filling, yielding a dramatic surprise to everyone who eats them
- A generous swirl of chocolate frosting on top covers these cupcakes perfectly!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Flour — I use all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (different than whole wheat flour).
- Sugar — I use granulated sugar for this batter.
- Cocoa powder — I recommend using natural cocoa powder.
- Baking soda — A powerful force when combined with vinegar, baking soda creates lofty baked goods like cupcakes.
- Salt — Adding salt to cake batter enhances the flavor of the sweet.
- Vegetable oil — Any neutral oil will work here, such as canola oil.
- Vinegar — I use apple cider vinegar, but you can use white vinegar.
- Vanilla Extract — I find vanilla adds a subtle flavor.
- Cherry pie filling — You can use regular or light cherry pie filling.
Frost the Cupcakes
The real star of the party is that silky chocolate frosting. I used a Wilton 1M frosting tip for the swirl on top. Fill the piping bag with frosting and pipe the frosting around the base of the cupcake and move your way up to create a beautiful swirl.
I love these suggestions on How to Frost the Perfect Cupcakes. These are particularly helpful if you’re not used to using piping bags.
More Vegan Frostings
When it comes to frosting, you have options. For example, any of these would be a winner on these cupcakes:
More Vegan Cupcakes
If you love fruity vegan sweets like chocolate cherry cupcakes, you should try these tasty Vegan Patriotic Cupcakes. So festive! Here are even more vegan cupcakes you can make:
That’s it for these chocolate cherry cupcakes. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, stir together water, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- After the cupcakes have cooled, spoon out a hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with one or two cherries and some of the sauce from the cherry pie filling.
For the Silky Chocolate Frosting
- Cream vegan butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and salt and cream again. Then add powdered sugar and mix on low until it's incorporated. Then beat on high until it's fluffy.
- Add one tablespoon of plant-based milk at a time, stirring in between until you reach a desired silky consistency.
- Use a Wilton 1M frosting tip to add a decorative flute to the top of each cupcake (or feel free to spread on with a butter knife).
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.