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Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes – An elegant spin on a classic black forest cake! Classic chocolate cupcakes filled with a homemade cherry jam and topped with a simple chocolate buttercream frosting.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Recently, I have been catching up on the “Great British Baking Show” and after seeing all of the different versions of black forest cake that were made, I was inspired to make my own version! Rather than making a full cake, I opted to turn those flavors into an elegant cupcake. It’s a classic chocolate cupcake that I filled with a homemade cherry jam (don’t worry – you can use store bought if you want to make the recipe easier) and then topped with the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or as a beautiful dessert for a party!

Common Questions About Making Black Forest Cupcakes

What are black forest cupcakes?

Black forest cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes filled with a homemade cherry jam and topped with a chocolate buttercream.

How many servings does this recipe make?

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

How long do these cupcakes last?

These cupcakes last up to two days when stored in a refrigerated airtight container.

Can I add alcohol?

Yes! Try adding 1 tablespoon of Kirsch to the cherry jam!

Do I have to make homemade jam?

Nope! You could use store bought jam or cherry pie filling instead to make the recipe easier.

How can I make the perfect cupcakes?

  • Follow the recipe – While I totally understand dietary restrictions, if you plan on making changes to the ingredients, I cannot guarantee the recipe will work.  If you are facing this problem, I will gently suggest that you may want to consider finding a cupcake recipe on a site that specifically develops for the diet you are on such as a keto baking website or vegan baking website.  Too many times have I seen recipes for wrong for people because they started to adjust the recipe too much.
  • Don’t over-mix the cupcakes – If you want to keep cupcakes light and airy, avoiding over-mixing is key.  Mix until just barely combined.
  • Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting – This is a classic mistake that people constantly make (including me).  Your cupcakes are done baking, you are ready to sit down and eat one so you touch the cupcake and say “this is most definitely cool” even though it’s only been out of the oven for like, 5 minutes.  Wrong.  Your frosting will just slide off the cupcake and it’ll be really sad.  To be safe, I’d say give them 1-2 hours before frosting.
  • Don’t over fill the cupcake liners – If you overfill the cupcake liners, you will definitely have some overflow which isn’t pretty and elegant.  Stick to filling each liner about 3/4 full.
  • Spin the cupcake tin halfway through cooking – An oven’s heat is generally not terribly even so a simple way to make sure all of the cupcakes cook all the way through is to spin the pan about 1/2 way through baking 180 degrees.

Ingredient Notes –

  • Milk adds moisture to the cupcakes so they aren’t too dry! I like using whole milk when baking but any kind of milk should work.
  • Vegetable oil adds richness to the cupcakes. For even more delicious cupcakes, use a combination of 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 4 tablespoons melted butter.
  • Eggs bind the cake batter together so they aren’t too crumbly.
  • Vanilla enhances the flavor of the chocolate and cherry in the cupcakes.
  • Granulated sugar sweetens the cupcakes and cherry filling.
  • Flour gives the cupcakes structure. I recommend measuring using the scoop and level method so you get an even 1.25 cups.
  • I like Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa but you can use either a natural or dutch process cocoa in this recipe.
  • Baking powder helps the cupcakes rise so they become light and fluffy.
  • I’m using fresh cherries to make a homemade cherry jam, but you could use store bought jam as well.
  • Cornstarch and lemon juice make a slurry that both thicken the jam and adds a bit of freshness from the lemon.
  • Butter gives our frosting structure – make sure it is fully softened or you’ll end up with lumps in your buttercream.
  • I recommend using a good quality chocolate in your buttercream as it’s the strongest flavor in the frosting. Ghiradelli is my favorite. Make sure to melt and cool the chocolate – if it’s too hot, it will melt the butter.
  • Powdered sugar gives the frosting structure as well. Feel free to add a little more or a little less and 2.5 cups to achieve your desired consistency. If you add too much powdered sugar and your frosting becomes dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk and it should come back together.

Looking for more cupcake recipes? Check these out!

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes – An elegant spin on a classic black forest cake! Classic chocolate cupcakes filled with a homemade cherry jam and topped with a simple chocolate buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Cherry Jam

  • 2 cups fresh cherries (pitted and finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (melted and cooled)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups in paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  3. Next, add the sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Whisk just until no large lumps remain - you don't want to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter between the cupcake tins, filling each one 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

For the Cherry Jam

  1. Add the cherries and sugar to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the cherry mixture to a bubble (not a rapid boil) and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the cherries have released their juices.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and lemon juice. Add the slurry to the cherry mixture and cook it for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the jam has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove the jam from the heat and cool completely before using.

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Add the softened butter and melted chocolate to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined - about 1 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until the buttercream becomes light and fluffy - about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
  5. To assemble, scoop a small hole (about 1 inch) out of the center of each cupcake and fill it with 1-2 teaspoons of cherry jam. Place the removed portion of cupcake back on top of the jam and pipe the frosting on top.
  6. Garnish with a fresh cherry, if desired.
  7. Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

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