A Spicy Perspective

Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

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Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting – These buttermilk cupcakes are loaded with tart cherry chunks then piled high with creamy cherry frosting.

Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Creamy Cherry Frosting and Chocolate Hearts

Just kidding. As always, I’ve got plenty to say. Today we are discussing FLAT verses CURVY. Brace yourselves…

There are two kinds of cupcakes in this world, flat cupcakes and dome-shaped cupcakes. (What were YOU thinking we were talking about?)

Although the dome-shaped cupcakes are visually appealing, I’d like to make an argument for sad little flat cupcakes.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Creamy Cherry Frosting and Chocolate Hearts

Cake batters that don’t rise as much are usually rich batters, heavy on butter. This is a good thing if making layer cakes. The layers are velvety with a small crumb, and very little has to be trimmed off the top to level them.

However with cupcakes, people seem to think of flat as a bad thing.

You could add more leavening and a little more flour to said cupcakes. That would give them the desirable dome-top, but alas, it would also mess up the brilliant silky texture that only GOOD buttery buttermilk cupcakes have.

So I say flat is a good thing. Dome-y cupcakes score points for appearance, but flat buttermilk cupcakes scored points for the texture… and isn’t what’s on the INSIDE more important?

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Creamy Cherry Frosting and Easy Chocolate Hearts

As for bonus points, flat cupcakes allow more room for PILES of cherry frosting. In my opinion, a cupcake is only worth eating if it’s 2-parts cake to 1-part frosting. When the frosting is good, it needs to be celebrated.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with cherry chunks and dreamy Cherry Frosting are admittedly flat-ish, yet they are RICH, buttery and moist with a tart finish from the cherries and buttermilk. The Cherry Frosting has a secret little kick from Kirsch, a cherry flavored brandy. Hick!

These whimsical cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate Valentines Day. Here I made festive edible toppers by piping melted colored candy melts into hearts on parchment paper. They harden in minutes and are easy to personalize. Instead of hearts, you could pipe LOVE, or even names. Think of the possibilities!

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Buttermilk Cupcakes with Creamy Cherry Frosting and Chocolate Hearts
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Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting - These buttermilk cupcakes are loaded with tart cherry chunks then piled high with creamy cherry frosting.
Servings: 30 cupcakes


For the Buttermilk Cake:

For the Cherry Frosting:


For the Buttermilk Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Mix the first four dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy—3-5 minutes.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, cherries. Beat and scrape the bowl.
  • Alternate adding the buttermilk and flour mixture until batter in just combined. Scrape the bowl and mix again for just a moment.
  • Use a small measuring cup to fill the paper liners just over 1/2 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Cherry Frosting:

  • Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the salt, vanilla and Kirsch. Now add the powdered sugar, a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached—8-11 cups. Add food coloring if desired.
  • Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy.


Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 603kcal, Carbohydrates: 99g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 114mg, Potassium: 66mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 89g, Vitamin A: 695IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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94 comments on “Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting”

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  4. Perfect for summer, amazing

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  8. Beautiful! I’m wondering if I can use this recipe to make a layer cake? My sweet grand daughter, Jane has asked for a cherry birthday cake for her five alive birthday.

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  13. Hi Sommer

    What is full-fat buttermilk, I’ve seen low fat and non fat buttermilk in the stores, but not full-fat? Also, since I’m going to serve these to kids I’m going to have to omit the kirsch is there anything I could use in place of it.

  14. Hi Sommer

    If I cut this recipe in half to make a smaller batch, will affect the outcome.

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  18. Are these like very sweet?? Cus my fail doesn’t care for super sweet desserts too much

  19. I just made these today and I have a couple questions:
    -mine are dark purple! Not light pink/red like the picture :/
    -mine have such a light crumb, they completely fall apart! They taste yummy but are so hard to eat!
    -Do you think if I add some almond extract they’ll be yummy too?
    Thanks so much!!!!

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  21. I think I might need these for breakfast. At least I’m pretty sure I’m not going to stop thinking about them until I eat one.

  22. Those are adorable.

  23. The candy hearts are so cute! And I’m a fan of flat-topped cupcakes — just seems better for piping on.

  24. I have never had buttermilk cupcakes before. They sound and look delicious!

  25. Hey Sommer – sorry it took me so long to get over here to comment! These are so beautiful – really creative and yummy looking. As always your photos are fantastic. Have a lovely weekend.

  26. what beautiful cupcake decorations. So pretty. So Valentine’s Day! Great job.

  27. LOVE cherry anything…those look divine!

  28. I’m in love with this recipe. Can’t think of a better thing to make for Valentine’s Day

  29. so cute!! pinned, had to shared

  30. These are just gorgeous and sound delicious Sommer!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2012/valentine-treats-and-boxes/
    Have a great rest of the weekend

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  33. These look absolutely divine! I love a flat top cupcakes for piling on the frosting!

    However, I should warn you…one of my cupcake recipe makes a flat top cupcake and I STILL get hate mail for it. I posted it over a year ago. I even warned people in the recipe that the cupcakes are flat, and I still get complaints. I really hope this doesn’t happen to you!

    Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

  34. These cupcakes are beautiful and sound delicious! I have a question though. I cannot find frozen cherries. Can I use fresh? If I do find frozen at some point do you thaw them before putting them in the batter?

  35. Love cherry everything!!! Such pretty cupcakes with those hearts.

  36. Pinky and pretty! Bet they are delicious!

  37. These are so cute and sound delicious!! I love buttermilk and have some I need to use up so these sound perfect ;-) Pinned! Thanks. I’d also like to invite you to link up this recipe at my vday blog hop: http://www.katherinemartinelli.com/blog/2012/chocolate-covered-strawberries-recipe/

  38. SO festive!!! And yummy, too….perfect for my Valentines :)

  39. I’m with ya, a flatter cupcake makes more room for extra frosting!

  40. I love buttermilk in muffins ooooo much and I can imagine it would be equally fabulous in cupcakes.

    I have, in fact, had a buttermilk cherry muffin – but these look perfect for a special occasion – so pretty too!!!

  41. I like A Spicy Perspective on FB

  42. you had me at full-fat buttermilk! this is a great recipe. definitely want to try it.

  43. So pretty! :) Love the flavors, and hey, Kirsch I’m always in for ;)

  44. And this right here is why I always love opening my email when it say A Spicy Perspective on it!

  45. I smiled just looking at these cupcakes, and I can imagine how exciting it would be to make them and give them away! I came to the right place for Valentine’s ideas for my son’s class. You never disappoint!

  46. Those are so adorable!

  47. I’m not really a cake eater but those are so cute! Although I prefer almost no frosting. I’m a freak that way.

  48. So glad to see frozen cherries in the cupcakes instead of dried. They sound wonderful. I agree with your frosting/cupcake ratios. The more frosting, the more memorable the treat!

  49. I just bought some v-day wrappers and was wondering what kind of cupcake to make for our offices and staff. I have plenty of frozen cherries so I am going to try this! Thank you!

  50. These are so adorable. I am sure they are delicious too. I made flat red velvet cupcakes and I think it’s a good thing too….so much moister.

  51. Oh these look so pretty, but I’m with you it’s on the inside that counts most!!!!

  52. I am just lost for words — only one, WANT!!!!

  53. Adorable! The frosting looks just spectacular. I love the idea of using kirsch as flavoring.

  54. Definitely flat, no doubt. So much easier to decorate.
    Your pictures are gorgeous! Just baked some buttermilk chocolate cupcakes the other day. I like yours a lot better.
    Repinned earlier!

  55. Mmm, what a lovely treat. I’m dying to try them!

  56. Oh super yum! I love cherries in cupcakes!! Love your photos!

  57. These are precious. I love those heart additions, they totally make the cupcake! And I’ve never used buttermilk in cupcakes, what an idea!

  58. So cute and festive! I love cherry anything so this is calling my name.

  59. You taught me something! I have no idea why some cupcakes came out flat, which most of mine do. But I love the texture and how moist they are! Yours are gorgeous! I love the cherry frosting & the cute hearts!

  60. These are so beautiful! :) Very festive for Valentine’s Day!

  61. These are so sweet looking and I love the sound of that cherry frosting!

  62. I was totally ready for a different flat vs. curvy discussion :) These look delicious, love the colours!

  63. These look fabulous! I love cherry anything and on a cupcake it would be simple irresistible!

  64. I’m a flat cupcake kind of gal – it makes them so much easier to decorate. And really, it’s all about the frosting, right? This cherry frosting definitely has my attention!

  65. SO cute! And buttermilk works magic in cake batter…so yummy!

  66. Love buttermilk in cake, totally worth the flat tops, especially when topping with lots of frosting! These look fantastic. Making candy melt designs could be my part-time job…so much fun!

  67. Ah buttermilk makes the world go round. These look delicious!

  68. I love cherry chunks!! and they are beautiful and very attractive! thanks anyway for sharing 2 types of cupcakes, now I know is better to make flat cupcakes if you want to put frosting on it. thanks!


  69. These are the cutest little things! And oh so perfect for Valentine’s Day, love them! :)

  70. These look sooooo good! Buttermilk just makes everything better!

  71. I want to make these for my sons class. I was wondering if you could use something other then the Kirch?

    • Michele,

      You could use Cherry Juice–I’ve made them that way before and they were great. The Kirsch is just a little more powerful.

      PS~ The teacher might appreciate a little Kirsch in the cupcakes on Valentines Day! ;)

  72. Plus, with a flat cupcake, you get more frosting!!

  73. Believe it or not, I’ll take the flat cupcake without the piles of frosting. I love a good, tender cupcake. Not a huge frosting fan (unless it’s cream cheese). These are so adorable though. I think the hearts are brilliant.

  74. What if you can only find low fat buttermilk???

    • Hey April,

      If you can get whole milk, you can MAKE buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and letting it sit for about 10 minutes.

  75. So precious! And I don’t care if it’s flat or domed, just as long as it tastes good.

  76. Yay for cherry vanilla:) Your cupcakes are super cute!

  77. Oh my goodness, those are too pretty to eat!

  78. Gorgeous! Love the cute hearts. I have candy melts in my pantry that I’m making chocolate hearts with. LOVE!!

  79. oh my WORD. i love cherry vanilla anything and these are so cute!

  80. Buttermilk is a magic ingredient!!!! Love these beautiful cupcakes. All of my cupcakes turn out flat..its my half broken oven with a nice gas leak..cant keep its internal temperature :(

  81. And flat allows for more buttercream! These are simply delightful!