Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes 

· 1 - 15.25 ounce vanilla cake mix 

· 1 - 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding 

· 4 eggs 

· 3/4 cup water 

· 1/4 cup cherry juice 

· 1/2 cup oil 

· 1 - 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries 

· 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips 

· 3 teaspoons flour 

For the Frosting: 

· 1/2 cup butter softened 

· 1/2 cup shortening 

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

· 1/2 teaspoon salt 

· 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 

· 1/2 cup cocoa powder 

· 6 - 8 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream 

· 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip 

· 24 cherries with stems, patted dry 

· 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

· Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place 24 cupcake liners in 2 - 12 count muffin tins. 

· Drain the cherries making sure to save the juice. Dice the cherries and pat dry with paper towels. 

· Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, cherry juice, and oil in a large bowl until mixed completely. 

· Stir together the diced cherries, chocolate chips, and flour until lightly coated. Add to the cake mix and stir in gently. 

· Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove the pan and place the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely. 

· Beat the butter, shortening, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and heavy cream alternately until mixed in. Beat on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy. 

· Place the chocolate frosting in an icing bag fitted with frosting tip 1M. Swirl a mound of frosting on top of each cupcake. 

· Right before serving spoon the Cool Whip into another icing bag fitted with frosting tip 21 or 27. Swirl the Cool Whip on top of the frosting. 

· Top with mini chocolate chips and a cherry with a stem.

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