Cheating Choco-Cherry Cupcakes


What do you do when you are meant to be at a friend’s surprise birthday dinner – complete with a homemade birthday treat – in a little less than an hour?!  You cheat.  Plain and simple: Cheating Choco-Cherry Cupcakes. I topped these with cherry-mascarpone frosting, but I’ve gone with cream cheese icing before and it works well, too.  You can make these little gems in well under an hour’s time start to finish, and they taste just as good or better than any other recipe I have.  Promise!

Cheating Choco-Cherry Cupcakes (w/ Cherry-Mascarpone Frosting)
1 chocolate cake box mix
2 cans cherry pie filling (21oz each)
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8oz mascarpone
1 stick butter (softened is nice, nuked works too)
1.5 cups powder sugar

Preheat your oven to 350F.  While it’s heating, put the cake mix, one and a half cans of pie filling, the eggs, and the oil in a large bowl. Beat until combined with a hand mixer – the cherries in the pie filling will get beaten into smaller pieces in the process, and that’s good.  Pour batter into lined cupcake tins and bake for 25 minutes or until the toothpick trick works.

While baking, place the mascarpone, sugar, and butter into a separate bowl and beat with clean beaters until smooth.  Gradually beat in the other half can of pie filling until you reach a consistency and cherry-ness that you like.  Again, the hand mixing action will turn the cherries into small pieces, which makes for a very pretty frosting.  Place the frosting in the freezer to get it really cold.

When your cupcakes are done, remove from the oven and place immediately into your refrigerator to get them cooled down quickly. When you think they are cool enough, or when you’ve run out of time, frost with the frosting.  Enjoy!

The best thing about this recipe: choco-cherry is totally just a suggestion! Grab a box mix, grab some pie filling, and experiment. Lemon strawberry? Delicious! Choco-pumpkin? Weird, but good.  And if you are at all like me, and the moment someone mentions anything even remotely worth celebrating you think, “I should make some cake for that!” it’s a good practice to keep a box mix and some pie filling on hand. Voila, cupcakes!

Also, in my rush, I failed to get any pictures of the cupcakes themselves. But, I did get a good picture of the b-day boy about to be lit on fire by his own treat. Happy birthday, An-Phong!