Light and fluffy Cherry Almond Cupcakes are bursting with maraschino cherries and topped with a luscious almond buttercream frosting.
Cherry Almond Cupcakes have a perfect balance of almond and cherry – the perfect cupcake for all of the sweethearts in your life! Add these to your must-make Valentine‘s list, along with Valentine Sugar Cookies, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
Cupcakes are cute, portable, fun the make, and perfect for ANY occasion!! I’m always looking for new, delicious cupcakes to try, and these Cherry Almond Cupcakes are a win!
These Cherry Cupcakes are packed full of maraschino cherries which gives them that pretty pink tint like our Strawberry Cookies. Don’t you think they’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day?!
Cherry-almond is one of my husband’s favorite flavor combos, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a cupcake version for him! They not only look adorable, but they taste amazing. He is definitely a fan!
PREP. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two standard cupcake pans with 16 liners and set aside.
WET INGREDIENTS. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and the almond extract.
DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
WET INGREDIENTS. In a glass measuring cup, mix together the buttermilk, cherry juice, and chopped cherries.
COMBINE. With mixing speed on low, alternate dry and wet ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth and homogeneous (being careful not to over-mix).
EGG WHITES. In a medium size mixing bowl (using a hand mixer), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter.
BAKE. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each ¾ of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (about 25 minutes).
BEAT. While the cupcakes are cooling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes).
CREAM. With mixing speed on low, add heavy cream, then gradually add ½ c powdered sugar at a time until the mixture becomes soft but firm enough to hold its shape. Beat the frosting for an additional 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Note: If the consistency is too thick, add a little more cream and beat for 30 seconds more.
DECORATE. Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with crushed almonds or cherries if desired.
Piping bag. Use a piping bag, or take a Ziploc bag and cut off one of the bottom corners to squeeze to use for piping the frosting.
Make your own buttermilk. Follow our recipe here to make your own buttermilk.
Make a cake instead. Use a 9×9 cake pan. Add a few minutes to the bake time and watch for doneness.
Food coloring. No food coloring is needed, use the cherry juice to give the cupcakes their beautiful pink color!
Cake flour. This recipe uses a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour. Cake flour is lighter, finer, and softer than all-purpose flour. It also has a lower protein content which reduces the amount of gluten creating a lighter cake.
- To make your own cake flour measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Sift the mixture and use it in the recipe.
Egg whites can be a bit persnickety when whipping them into peaks. There can be several reasons that affect the outcome, but here are the top five:
- If there is any residue in the bowl you are using, the egg whites won’t beat correctly. I suggest using a metal or glass bowl (plastic bowls can cling to oil from previous uses).
- Make sure NO yolk sneaks in. The fat from the yolk will keep the whites from whipping up.
- The sugar was added too quickly.
- The eggs were too cold. Let them come to room temperature before separating the yolk from the whites.
- Not beating long enough. Beat the whites for 4-5 minutes. Check for stiff peaks by lifting the beater. The fluffy whites will form a peak. If it melts back down, it is too soft. If the peak holds, it’s just right.
Make ahead of time. Wrap the unfrosted Cherry Cupcakes in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container and store them for up to 2 days. They can be stored in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Frost them the day they will be served. The frosting can be stored in a separate airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
STORE frosted cupcakes lightly covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. If storing them for more than 2 days, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
FREEZE. Let the cupcakes cool completely and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then let them come to room temperature. Frost the cupcakes once they have thawed completely.
More cupcake recipes:
- Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
- Angel Food Cupcakes
- Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
Cherry Almond Cupcake Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk plus 2 tbsp
- 3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
- 8 maraschino cherries finely chopped
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- pinch salt
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard cupcake pans with 16 liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and the almond extract.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a glass measuring cup, mix together the buttermilk, cherry juice, and chopped cherries.
- With mixing speed on low, alternate dry and wet ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth and homogeneous (being careful not to overmix).
- In a medium size mixing bowl (using a hand mixer), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each ¾ of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (about 25 minutes).
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- With mixing speed on low, add heavy cream, then gradually add ½ c powdered sugar at a time until the mixture becomes soft but firm enough to hold its shape. Beat the frosting for an additional 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If the consistency is too thick, add a little more cream and beat for 30 seconds more.
- Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with crushed almonds or cherries if desired.
Such a perfect Valentine’s Day treat!! Thanks for sharing Natalie!
For more recipes from her, go visit her at Life Made Simple.
Yum – thank you.
Well if these are the prettiest cupcakes I ever did see!
So adorable! I want to try making these for my daughters play group this week!
I love cherry and almond together. Almond extract is my favorite thing! These cupcakes look adorable!
That is the most perfect swirl on those cupcakes!
That pink color is so cute, and the cherry almond flavor is spot on!
Great looking cupcakes. They almost look to cute to eat 🙂
Um, yes please! These look incredible! XO
I made these today. These were my 1st attempt at “from scratch” cupcakes – I like watching the “cupcake wars” show!! They definitely make it look easier on tv! Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours. I may have baked them a bit too long as they were slightly dry but not too bad. Mine are not as pink as yours. I like the cherries cut up inside and I think I would addmore of them the next time. I love the buttercream. Thx for sharing
You are so welcome!! Sounds like you did great! You’ll get the hang of it 🙂 Thank you!
Can I make it into a layer cake? Would I have to do anything differently?
I personally haven’t tried, but you could pour the batter in a couple round pans & do the frosting in between & on top. I would look on a cake box to see the difference in baking time between cupcakes & 2 rounds. Hope that helps!
Beautiful! How did you keep the cherries from bleeding onto the frosting?
Thank you! I usually just wipe the cherry juice off of the cherry as much as I can and put it on top of the cupcake right before serving. Hope this helps!
Cant get over all these cute recipes! If you like cherries you’ll love these pink and pretty cupcakes! So festive.
These cupcakes are to die for!! They are so light & fluffy & I love the cherry flavor!! The frosting is the best, too!
Is the butter supposed to be melted for the cupcakes as it says in the recipe?
It should say softened. We’ll update the recipe card. You want to cream the butter and the sugar together, so slightly softened works best for that.
Cherry chip cake mix is a favorite of mine but this recipe is even better. I just have to work on my piping skills so they looks as good as yours.
This sounds so yummy! but, Right now I have it saved because I need my gallbladder out and then I can eat again!
If I wanted to omit the cherries themselves, but still use the cherry juice, would that change the recipe instructions at all? Thank you so much – these look delicious! We love cherry & almond flavors!
Nope, you’d still do everything else the same! This flavor combo is such a yummy one!
Thank you so much – I really appreciate your help!