The Best Homemade Cherry Chip Cupcakes

These are cherry chip cupcakes from scratch made with maraschino cherries and cherry juice mixed into the pink cake. They’re topped with maraschino cherry juice whipped into pink buttercream frosting.

A side view of cherry chip cupcakes; one cupcake is sitting on a white pedestal with a bite taken out of it showing the inside of the cake with pink cake

These are also called maraschino cherry cupcakes, cherry cupcakes, cherry almond cupcakes, and so on. They go by many names but have the same great ingredients and flavor.

Most people know maraschino cherries from drinking Shirley Temples because they’re typically topped with a maraschino cherry.

They’re perfect as a summer treat, Valentine’s Day sweet, for a special occasion like a baby shower, holiday party, or birthday. They have a sweet cherry flavor and they’re one of my favorite cupcake flavors.

I always loved Betty Crocker’s boxed cherry chip cake mix, but they discontinued selling it in my area. I had to come up with my own homemade version and they’re absolutely delicious!

An overhead view of cherry chip cupcakes topped with maraschino cherries on a round plate

When I hear cherry chip cupcakes, it sounds like they’re made with cherry chip morsels. However, there are no cherry chips in them at all.

The “chips” are chopped maraschino cherries that are blended into the cupcake batter. I chopped mine with a food processor to get the pieces really fine, but they can also be chopped with a knife.

In the end, they are baked and softened so that you do not even notice the pieces of fruit as you take a bite.

What are maraschino cherries?

They are typically made from yellow Rainier cherries that are then soaked in brine, preserved, and sweetened with sugar. They taste like candy and are often put on ice cream sundaes.

This recipe does not use fresh cherries, instead, chopped maraschino cherries are placed in the batter along with some of the cherry juice. The juice is also used in the frosting to give it a sweet cherry flavor.

A round white bowl of maraschino cherries

Ingredients for Cherry Chip Cupcakes

  • Butter, room temperature
  • Shortening
  • White Sugar
  • Almond Extract (Can be substituted with vanilla extract)
  • Whole Milk
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Egg Whites
  • Jar of Maraschino Cherries (Reserve syrup/juice for batter and frosting)

Ingredients for Cherry Frosting

  • Butter, room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Almond Extract
  • Reserved Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • Whole Milk
  • Pink Food Coloring or Icing Gel
  • Sprinkles or Maraschino Cherries
A vertical image of cherry chip cupcakes and round white bowl of maraschino cherries

How to Make Classic Homemade Cherry Chip Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin or cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.
  • Open jar of maraschino cherries and drain juice into a small bowl or glass, set aside.
  • Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add almond extract, milk, and 1/3 cup maraschino cherry liquid into the creamed butter mixture.
  • Sift or whisk flour and baking powder together to break up any lumps. Add flour mixture to the batter. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add egg whites and beat for 2 minutes at low speed.
  • Chop 16 maraschino cherries finely with a knife, or add to a small food processor and pulsate until cherries are small pieces. Fold the chopped cherries into the cupcake batter.
  • You can add food coloring if you want a bright pink color, but it does already have a light pink hue from the juice. I did not add any to the batter in the cupcakes in the photos.
  • Spoon batter into each cupcake liner until about 2/3 full (or 3 tablespoons).
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before frosting.

How to Make Cherry Buttercream Frosting

  • Add butter, almond extract, and 1 tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Slowly blend 1/3 of powdered sugar in at a time on low speed until it has a fluffy texture.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk. If too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.
A side view of cherry chip cupcakes topped with maraschino cherries on a white plate

What decorating tip do you use for cupcakes?

Wilton’s 1M or 2D  star tips are perfect for cherry chip cupcakes. I used 1M on the cupcakes in the photos, which is an open star tip. If you are looking for a round frosting top instead of a star Wilton’s 1A is a perfect round tip.

How do you pipe a cupcake?

To learn how to use a piping bag I recommend watching Cakes by Lynz on YouTube.

Check out my cupcake baking guide that answers all of your questions about baking, ingredient substitutes, and decorating the perfect cupcakes!

Try these other tasty sweet treats!

A side view of cherry chip cupcakes topped with maraschino cherries on a white plate

The Best Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Tiffany
These are cherry chip cupcakes from scratch made with maraschino cherries and cherry juice mixed into the pink cake. They're topped with maraschino cherry juice whipped into pink buttercream frosting.
4.62 from 44 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Cupcakes
Calories 319 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cherry Chip Cupcakes

  • ¼ cup Butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup Shortening
  • 1 ¾ cups White Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Almond Extract
  • cup Milk
  • 2 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 4 Large Egg Whites unbeaten
  • 10 ounces Jar Maraschino Cherries stems removed, with juice reserved for frosting

Cherry Frosting

  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • 4 cups Confectioners' Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 tablespoon Reserved Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons Milk as needed
  • Pink Food Coloring or Icing Gel
  • Sprinkles or Maraschino Cherries

Instructions
 

Cherry Chip Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin or cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners. Open jar of maraschino cherries and drain juice into a small bowl or glass, set aside.
  • Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add almond extract, milk, and 1/3 cup maraschino cherry liquid into the creamed butter mixture.
  • Sift or whisk flour and baking powder together to break up any lumps. Add flour mixture to the batter. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add egg whites and beat for 2 minutes at low speed.
  • Chop 16 maraschino cherries finely with a knife, or add to a small food processor and pulsate until cherries are small pieces. Fold the chopped cherries into the cupcake batter.
  • Spoon batter into each cupcake liner until about 2/3 full (or 3 tablespoons).
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before frosting.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting

  • Add butter, almond extract, and 1 tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Slowly blend 1/3 of powdered sugar in at a time on low speed until it has a fluffy texture.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk. If too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.

Notes

  • You can add food coloring if you want a bright pink color, but it does already have a light pink hue from the juice. I did not add any to the batter in the cupcakes in the photos.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 151mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 313IUCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg

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4.62 from 44 votes (44 ratings without comment)

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