Decadent chocolate cupcakes, filled with cherry jam, topped with fresh whipped cream, a juicy cherry and shaved dark chocolate! These black forest gateau cupcakes are a delicious indulgent treat!
Chocolate and cherry is such a classic combination. The juicy sweet cherries against the dark bitter chocolate. It just works so well! These cupcakes are a take on the classic Black Forest gateau originating from Germany. The classic flavours and textures are still there but mine isn’t soaked in alcohol and is in a much easier form to eat! Though don’t stop on my account if you want to add a cherry brandy soak!!
The cupcakes are light and moist, decadent and indulgent! And so so easy to make!! So let’s get baking.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cherry Jam – Cherry jam can be found in most supermarkets, though you can of course make your own! I’ve just kept it simple in this recipe.
- Double Cream (Heavy Cream) – The whipped topping is freshly hand-whipped cream, none of that squirty cream from a can! I may be a snob, but your cupcakes deserve the real deal!! The flavour from freshly whipped cream is so much better!
- Fresh cherries – Aswell as a cherry jam centre, these cupcakes are topped with a fresh cherry. Aside from looking so cute, it also creates an excellent makeshift spoon to eat the whipped cream off the top! 😉
How to make black forest gateau cupcakes
Cupcakes are so easy to make but still look so pretty and impressive! They’re the perfect bake for a beginner, or if you just need to whip up a dessert quickly!! The chocolate sponge cools really quickly too, so you don’t have to wait too long before assembling and eating!!
Making the cupcakes
The first step in making these chocolate cupcakes is to create your own ‘buttermilk’. You can do this by combining milk with an acid – in this case, lemon juice. This slightly curdles and thickens the milk, which gives our cupcakes a light and moist texture. The milk and lemon juice only needs to sit for 5-10 minutes before it’s ready, so while it’s curdling you can prep the remaining ingredients.
All the dry ingredients should be sifted into a bowl together – that’s plain flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a little salt. Then in another bowl add the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla extract. You can use any neutral oil here, so vegetable, sunflower, coconut etc.
The wet ingredients then need to be whisked together until well combined and the mixture is slightly paler in colour. The great thing about this cupcake recipe is you can do it by hand! You don’t need to get a hand-mixer or stand-mixer out – which makes washing up a lottt easier!
The final step is to add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk into the wet ingredients in stages. So half dry, half buttermilk, half dry and then the final half of buttermilk. Between each stage the mixture should be whisked until it’s just combined. Try not to overmix here, as the more you mix the more you’ll activate the gluten in the flour which can result in a dense chewy sponge!
Then you’re ready to pour the mixture into cupcake cases and bake! The mixture is quite thin, so I find it easiest to pour the whole thing into a jug first. Then you can pour into the cupcake cases from that!
Assembling the cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are baked and completely cooled, you can begin putting it all together.
Firstly the cupcakes need to be cored so you can add the cherry jam. I do this with an apple corer for ease, but you can also just cut a hole with a sharp knife. Fill the cupcake holes with enough jam so that it is level with the top of the cupcake. You can then eat all the leftover cupcake cores – perks of being the baker!! It also gives you a great chance to test your sponge before you share the cupcakes out! 😉
Then for the topping, the cream should be poured into a large bowl – larger than you think as the cream is going to increase in volume as you whip it! Make sure the cream is well chilled when you get to this stage, as it’ll help the cream to whip quickly.
I use an electric hand-whisk to whip the cream, as it’s soo much quicker and doesn’t give me arm ache! But you can of course whip by hand if you want. Once you’ve got to medium-stiff peaks, stop whipping and spoon it into a large piping bag.
Now we’re onto the final stage! Cut the end off of the piping bag, so you have a large hole. Then holding the piping bag directly above the filled cupcake, pipe the cream in a large round on top. It should be quite a tall mound! Repeat this for all the cupcakes, until all the cream is used.
Finally, place a fresh cherry on top of each cake and either sprinkle over chocolate shavings or grate a chocolate bar directly over top. Then eat!!!!
Tips & Tricks
As the cupcakes are topped with freshly whipped cream, they don’t make the best ‘make-ahead’ dessert. They are best eaten on the day of baking, or 1-2 days after if kept in the fridge.
The flavour combination of the fresh cream against the chocolate and cherry works really well because it’s not too sweet. I think a buttercream could be a little too overpoweringly sweet, but you can definitely give it a go if you’re a sweet tooth!
If your cupcakes are dry you’re likely cooking them for too long. Remember, all ovens are different so use the timings below as a guide and keep an eye on them. If they’re dense, you’re likely over mixing them!
These Black Forest gateau cupcakes are moist, light, decadent and so simple to make! I like to think even a complete novice could make these and yet they still look really impressive! I hope you enjoy cherry season as much as I do and give these cupcakes a try!!
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Black Forest Gateau Cupcakes
- 120 ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 95 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 2 large eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g soft light brown sugar
- 80 ml vegetable/sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g cherry jam
- 500 ml double cream chilled
- 12 fresh cherries
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate shavings
- For the cupcake sponges: Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a cupcake tin(s) with 12 cupcake cases. Then in a small jug or bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5-10 minutes until a little thickened. (This is to make a quick buttermilk).
- Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl until combined, then set aside. In another large bowl whisk the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla together until completely smooth. The mixture will turn slightly paler in colour. Then pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk together until just combined. Then pour in half of the buttermilk and whisk again until combined. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, whisking again until just combined. Finally, add the remaining buttermilk and whisk again until just combined – the batter will be a little thin and lumpy!
- Pour the mixture into a jug for ease (or just use spoons), then pour the mixture into the cupcake cases about two thirds full each and bake for 19-21 minutes. Once baked, put the cupcakes onto a wire rack to completely cool.
- For the topping: Pour the chilled cream into a large bowl, and using an electric hand-whisk, whisk on a high speed until medium-stiff peaks. Then place into a piping bag, and snip off the end.
- To assemble: Using an apple corer, or a sharp knife, core the cooled cupcakes and fill each with the cherry jam. Pipe the whipped cream on top of each filled cupcake. Then garnish with a fresh cherry and some chocolate shavings.