These are super-easy to make and are a delicious surprise! I made these this morning for our Valentine's Treats!
This recipe comes from one of my favorite books when I need something easy, chocolate and crowd pleasing - The Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor.
Chocolate Cherry Chip Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350F. You will need to place paper muffin liners into 2 (1 dozen each) muffin tins.
In large bowl, mix with a wooden spoon 1 box of chocolate cake mix (Devil's Food, Milk Chocolate, or Chocolate Fudge), 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp. pure almond extract. Stir quickly and well to break up the cake mix and thoroughly combine the ingredients. Then stir in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Spoon batter evenly into the 24 prepared muffin liners. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes - they are done when they spring back when lightly pressed. Cool cupcakes on wire rack. NOTE: you can also use this exact same recipe to make a cake. Grease and flour a tube/Bundt pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes or bake in a 9x13 pan for 30-35 minutes.
The perfect glaze for these is Martha's Chocolate Icing (also in the Cake Mix Doctor book.) In small saucepan, place 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup milk and cook over med-low heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for ONE minute, stirring constantly. (If you don't boil it long enough, it will not set up, if you boil for too long it will turn into a thick fudge-y layer on the cake instead of a melt-in-your-mouth glaze) Remove pan from heat and stir in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. When chips are melted and glaze is smooth, pour over warm cake or "dip & swirl" the cooled cupcakes.
Because I wanted to pipe the frosting to decorate these just a bit, I used Fluffy Chocolate Frosting. Place 2/3 cup of cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and pour 6 T. of boiling water over it. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the cocoa is together in a soft mass. Add 8 T. butter, at room temperature, and blend with mixer on low speed until well combined. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract to bowl. Mix on low until sugar is incorporated, then increase speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. You may add boiling water or powdered sugar (1 tsp. or 1 T. at a time, respectively) in order to thin or thicken the frosting to your liking.
These really are wonderful all by themselves - and people are surprised when they bite into them and discover - Cherries! This is why it is important to mix batter with a wooden spoon, it leaves larger pieces of the cherries. Using a mixer, the pieces are smaller and not as noticeable in the cupcakes.
(Originally published @ henandchicks.typepad.com)