These cupcakes are what happened when my previous plan went horribly horribly awry. Honestly though, I think these turned out WAY better than my original idea would have. What was my original plan you might be wondering? (or maybe not, but I'm going to tell you anyway.) I was going to make a chocolate cupcake with fresh Strawberry icing. All was going really well until I tried to pull together my icing. It seems that the fresh strawberries contributed too much moisture to the icing and to combat that I kept adding in sugar to try to absorb the liquid. I ended up with a sickly sweet strawberry icing that didn't hold together well enough to pipe onto anything. And it was way WAY too sweet. In hindsight, after pureeing the strawberries, I probably should have placed them in some cheesecloth and squeezed out all of the extra liquid. But I didn't. In the meantime I had some beautiful Chocolate Coke cupcakes and no icing to top them with.
So what's a girl to do? Well, since I'd already swapped out the coffee that I normally use in my chocolate cupcakes with Coke (just to see what difference it made), I figured I'd run with it. I made a quick run to the grocery store, grabbed some cherry pie filling, more coke and whipping cream. I then cored my cupcakes, filled them with the Cherry pie filling and topped them with a Coke glaze (to up the Coke-ness of them, since the coke in the cake isn't very powerful). Then, since any good float is never complete without whipped cream, I whipped up the whipping cream and piped it on. Once I topped that with a Maraschino cherry I had some wonderfully decadent cupcakes that tasted just like a Cherry Coke float.
The moral of this baking tale? Sometimes when things go wrong in the kitchen and you have to punt, you'll end up with something greater than what was planned in the first place. Perhaps not always, but definitely sometimes.
Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups Regular Coke (don’t use diet coke, this recipe needs the sugar from the coke)
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 can cherry pie filling*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set Aside.
In a large mixer bowl beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a tme, beating well after each addition.
In another small bowl combine the buttermilk, Coke and vanilla extract. Make sure you let the foam from the coke settle down before moving on to the next step.
Add the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture in three batches, alternating with the coke mixture, starting and ending with the flour (3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of the coke/buttermilk)
Place batter into the prepared pans adding approximately 1/4 cup batter to each liner (or until they're 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven fo18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, core center of cupcakes using either a cupcake corer, apple corer or a paring knife, then add a heaping spoonful of cherry pie filling inside each cupcake.
*Since the cherries in pie filling are still whole, they’re a bit had to fit into the cored cupcakes. I opted to chop the cherries up a bit before filling the cupcakes. To do this strain the cherries and reserve the liquid. Give the cherries a rough chop up on a cutting board and then toss them back into the reserved liquid.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 T Coke
Whisk the powdered sugar and coke together in a small bowl until smooth. Add in more sugar if needed to obtain a thicker consistency. The goal is to glaze the top of the cupcake and not be completely absorbed into the cake.
Whipped Cream Icing
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
Maraschino Cherries for garnish
For best results, chill your mixing bowl for 10 to 15 minutes before you are ready to make your icing. Whisk heavy cream in chilled bowl on low speed. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar in, one tablespoonful at a time. Once all sugar has been added, increased the speed of the mixer to medium high. Whip cream until it holds stiff peaks. Then pipe whipped cream on the cupcakes and top with maraschino cherries.
This whipped cream is excellent for many other uses, such as topping pies or fresh fruit. I pretty much use this recipe instead of cool whip or Redi-whip these days. It’s so easy and much cheaper than the pre made kinds.