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Cherry Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

These super-moist, easy-as-pie cupcakes are a favorite among my colleagues! The original inspiration for this delectable creation comes from a World War II recipe that, due to the shortage of staples like milk, eggs, and butter, is actually a vegan recipe (for the cake...not the frosting!). I have adapted this tried-and-true classic to modern-day tastes, and even made a sugar-substituted variation that is more cocoa-y and less sweet. Try both!

For the frosting:

  • 125 g of Powdered Sugar (about 1 cup)

  • 75 g Melted, Unsalted Butter (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Maraschino Cherry Juice or Grenadine

  • 75 g (approx.) of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (about 1/2 cup)

For the cake:

Dry Team:

  • 1 cup AP or 00 Flour

  • 2/3 cup Almond Flour

  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

  • 1 1/4 cup Erythritol (Sugar Substitute) -OR- 1 cup Granulated Sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Wet Team:

  • 1 cup Extra Strong Brewed Coffee

  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons Maraschino Cherry Juice or Grenadine

  • 6 Tablespoons Peanut Oil (or Sunflower Oil)


  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips


  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit or 180 degrees celcius. Note: My oven is gas and usually needs 190 degrees to work properly!

  2. Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry team ingredients, breaking up any cocoa clumps. Set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet team ingredients.

  4. Carefully pour the wet team ingredients into the dry team bowl, and whisk together until no flour or cocoa is visible. Try not to overmix! It makes the cake too dense.

  5. Stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or nibs once everything has come together nicely.

  6. Using a quarter cup measuring cup, scoop the batter into a cupcake tray lined with paper or silicon liners. (You can also spray with cooking spray or wipe with butter or shortening and avoid the liners alltogether).

  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. (In the States, my oven would bake these in as little as 18 minutes, but in Italy I usually need 21 minutes).

  8. Take the cucpcakes out of the oven and set someplace to cool completely before removing from the pan. If you remove them too soon, you risk mushing the sides down when getting them out.

  9. In a separate bowl, mix up the frosting, adding the grenadine or cherry juice at the end, and slowly. You may not need all the cherry juice! If you add too much, just add a bit more cocoa.

    1. A note on the frosting: My units are in metric for the frosting because those are the sizes of the supplies I can get in Italy. Honestly, I usually just eyeball my frostings until they reach the desired consistency. 2 parts powdered sugar to 1 part cocoa and melted butter and you'll be fine!

  10. The frosting is ready when it is thick enough that it sticks to the spoon in a nice little peak (see the swoop in the pic below!)

  11. When your cupcakes are cooled completely, remove them from the pan and begin frosting them. Garnish with a maraschino cherry!

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