These cupcakes shine with the light taste of vanilla and a marbled cherry flavor. Topped with a cherry cream-cheese frosting, they are heavenly! Keep them cold and in the refrigerator, as they keep getting better every day. Makes 24 cupcakes.
BATTER 1 box yellow cake mix 1?2 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1 cup water 4 heaping tablespoons cherry preserves (jam, jelly or All Fruit work too) 1 teaspoon cherry extract
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a mixer, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and water, and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 1–2 additional minutes. 2. Remove 2/3 cup batter to a small bowl, and combine the preserves and cherry extract with the 2/3 cup batter. Mix well. 3. Place paper liners in cupcake tin, and scoop batter into liners until half full. Add a spoonful of the cherry batter on top. Using a knife or toothpick, swirl the cherry batter into the vanilla. Bake 15–18 minutes.
CHERRY CREAM-CHEESE FROSTING The frosting is strong right out of the bowl and a little softer and denser than buttercream frosting, so it will settle if you pipe it high. The flavor mellows when chilled, and mixes wonderfully with the cupcake.
2 packages cream cheese, softened 1?2 cup unsalted butter 1?2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cherry extract 6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream 1 bag or box of powdered sugar
In a mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract, cherry extract, cherry juice, and whipping cream. Slowly add powdered sugar 1?2 cup at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency (this will normally take 3–4 cups for a soft frosting). When cooled, frost the cupcakes, top with a cherry and refrigerate for the best taste.