This confection came about when I wanted to make chocolate-covered cherries for my husband but didn’t want to deal with the candy-making part. I’ve always been a far better baker than confectioner, so this was a no-brainer. Over the years, it’s become a go-to item for holiday gift baking.
What you’ll need:
- Chocolate cake mix (and whatever extra ingredients the box calls for)
- Maraschino cherries
- Chocolate chips
- Mini cupcake pan
Drain the cherries and let sit out for an hour or two; the drier they are, the better this works. Make your cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Prep your pans — cupcake liners are optional.
Place a cherry in each cupcake compartment, then fill with cake batter. Over the years I’ve experimented with when to add the cherry. Turns out it doesn’t matter. Even if you fill the pan with batter first, the cherry will sink to the bottom during baking. It’s easier and far less messy to pop them in at the start.
Bake as directed by your cake mix and cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cool, melt the chocolate chips. (I’m going to guess method doesn’t matter here. I always use a double boiler rather than the microwave, but if you like to nuke your chips, go right ahead.) Dip each cupcake to coat the top, let the chocolate harden, and there you go.
- Stemmed cherries work fine. Dip the bottom of the cupcake instead.
- If you need the chocolate to harden quickly, pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Note that if they get really cold, the chocolate will sweat until they come back to room temperature. If it happens don’t fret; it won’t hurt the cupcake.
- I keep trying to come up with a way to replicate the liquid center of a real chocolate-covered cherry, but so far I’ve not found anything outstanding. An injector might be a way to go; one of these days I’ll actually remember to get one so I can try.
- If you don’t have the time/energy to do the dipping, just use frosting. A good cream cheese frosting is my particular favorite.
- These are also fantastic with white chocolate tops. Make sure you get a white chocolate that’s melt friendly; white chocolate chips will not work.