Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

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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Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 30 cupcakes

Prep Time:45 minutes

Cook Time:20 minutes

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


For the Buttermilk Cake:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chopped frozen cherries
For the Cherry Frosting:
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (2 cups)
  • 8 - 11 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons Kirsch (Cherry Brandy)
  • 1-4 drops red food coloring *optional


  1. For the Buttermilk Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Mix the first four dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy--3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla, cherries. Beat and scrape the bowl.
  5. Alternate adding the buttermilk and flour mixture until batter in just combined. Scrape the bowl and mix again for just a moment.
  6. Use a small measuring cup to fill the paper liners just over 1/2 full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of ta cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  8. 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.
  9. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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89 comments on “Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted February 10, 2012 at 5:31 am Reply

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

  2. leslieposted February 10, 2012 at 6:15 am Reply

    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 :(

  3. Jessica @ How Sweetposted February 10, 2012 at 6:30 am Reply

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

  4. the wicked noodleposted February 10, 2012 at 6:32 am Reply

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

  5. Katarinaposted February 10, 2012 at 7:02 am Reply

    These are so pretty!

  6. pamposted February 10, 2012 at 7:18 am Reply

    Oh my goodness, those are too pretty to eat!

  7. Mariaposted February 10, 2012 at 7:33 am Reply

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

  8. Amyposted February 10, 2012 at 7:35 am Reply

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

  9. Aprilposted February 10, 2012 at 7:49 am Reply

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

    • Sommerposted February 10, 2012 at 8:02 am Reply

      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.

  10. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Timeposted February 10, 2012 at 8:17 am Reply

    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.

  11. Aimee @ ShugarySweetsposted February 10, 2012 at 8:23 am Reply

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

  12. Pam Rauberposted February 10, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply

    Enjoyed this.

  13. Micheleposted February 10, 2012 at 8:31 am Reply

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

    • Sommerposted February 10, 2012 at 8:52 am Reply


      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! ;)

  14. [email protected] for Good Foodposted February 10, 2012 at 8:41 am Reply

    These look sooooo good! Buttermilk just makes everything better!

  15. Kellyposted February 10, 2012 at 8:45 am Reply

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

  16. Tya @ Note Etc.posted February 10, 2012 at 8:47 am Reply

    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!


  17. Mara @ Elemental Custardposted February 10, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

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

  18. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted February 10, 2012 at 9:11 am Reply

    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!

  19. Lizposted February 10, 2012 at 9:16 am Reply

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

  20. Cookin' Canuckposted February 10, 2012 at 9:31 am Reply

    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!

  21. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted February 10, 2012 at 9:51 am Reply


  22. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}posted February 10, 2012 at 10:09 am Reply

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

  23. Anna @ hiddenponiesposted February 10, 2012 at 10:47 am Reply

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

  24. naomiposted February 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm Reply

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

  25. amy @ uTryItposted February 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm Reply

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

  26. Lacy @ NYCityEatsposted February 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm Reply

    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!

  27. Shannonposted February 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm Reply

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

  28. claire @ the realistic nutritionistposted February 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm Reply

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

  29. torviewtoronto and createwithmomposted February 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

    cute delicious looking cupcakes

  30. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted February 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm Reply

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

  31. Feast on the Cheapposted February 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm Reply

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

  32. [email protected] German the Rockiesposted February 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm Reply

    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!

  33. Fresh and Foodieposted February 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm Reply

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

  34. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted February 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm Reply

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

  35. Diane (Created by Diane)posted February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm Reply

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

  36. Jersey Girl Cooksposted February 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm Reply

    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.

  37. Eliotposted February 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm Reply

    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!

  38. Kristenposted February 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm Reply

    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!

  39. Deannaposted February 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm Reply

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

  40. Sarahposted February 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm Reply

    Those are so adorable!

  41. Alaiyo Kiasiposted February 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm Reply

    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!

  42. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted February 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm Reply

    These are perfect, flat or domed!

  43. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted February 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm Reply

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

  44. Kiri W.posted February 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm Reply

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

  45. Dinaposted February 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm Reply

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

  46. MommaMaryposted February 11, 2012 at 12:41 am Reply

    I like A Spicy Perspective on FB

  47. Em (Wine and Butter)posted February 11, 2012 at 2:57 am Reply

    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!!!

  48. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted February 11, 2012 at 3:19 am Reply

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

  49. Lizposted February 11, 2012 at 8:00 am Reply

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

  50. Katherine Martinelliposted February 11, 2012 at 9:40 am Reply

    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:

  51. [email protected]'s Recipesposted February 11, 2012 at 9:45 am Reply

    Pinky and pretty! Bet they are delicious!

  52. marlaposted February 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm Reply

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

  53. Jojoluvposted February 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm Reply

    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?

  54. DessertForTwoposted February 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm Reply

    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! :)

    • Sommerposted February 12, 2012 at 7:26 am Reply

      Thanks for the warning. :)

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  57. TidyMomposted February 12, 2012 at 10:43 am Reply

    These are just gorgeous and sound delicious Sommer!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up
    Have a great rest of the weekend

  58. vianneyposted February 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm Reply

    so cute!! pinned, had to shared

  59. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted February 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm Reply

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

  60. Dmarieposted February 13, 2012 at 9:37 am Reply

    LOVE cherry anything…those look divine!

  61. RisaGposted February 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm Reply

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

  62. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am Reply

    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.

  63. Amy @ Gastronome Tartposted February 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm Reply

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

  64. Shirleyposted February 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm Reply

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

  65. Joyposted February 22, 2012 at 10:10 am Reply

    Those are adorable.

  66. Apron Appealposted February 24, 2012 at 6:07 am Reply

    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.

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  68. Sharise Beasleyposted September 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm Reply

    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!!!!

  69. Gina Chunposted January 7, 2013 at 1:54 am Reply

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

    • Sommerposted January 7, 2013 at 6:32 am Reply

      Gina, They are definitely sweet like most cupcakes, but not cloyingly sweet. :)

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  73. Jackieposted June 23, 2013 at 11:45 am Reply

    Hi Sommer

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

    • Sommerposted June 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm Reply

      It should be fine to cut in half.

  74. Jackieposted June 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm Reply

    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.

    • Sommerposted June 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm Reply

      Hi Jackie you can omit it and add cherry extract.

      • Jackieposted June 25, 2013 at 10:14 am

        Hi Sommer

        How much cherry extract and what is full-fat buttermilk, never heard of it.

      • Sommerposted June 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

        I would use just a touch of extract, maybe1/2 tsp. And by full-fat buttermilk I just mean, not fat free. :)

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  79. Karenposted August 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm Reply

    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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