White chocolate cherry cupcakes

  • For the cupcakes
  • 375g flour
  • 8 tbsp vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250ml milk
  • 60ml gold top milk
  • 170g butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 85g sour cream
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 80g maraschino cherries
  • 4 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • 320g mini white chocolate chips
  • 24 maraschino cherries, for garnish
  • 120 large pearls, for garnish
  • Edible glitter, for garnish
  • For the buttercream
  • 1.8kg butter, softened
  • 227g cake shortening
  • 227g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp cherry liqueur
  • 2 tbsp lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp vodka

Serves: 24 cakes

1) Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2. Line the cups of two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper baking cases.

2) Combine the cake flour, pudding mix, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in 1 medium bowl. Crack the eggs into a second bowl and add the vanilla essence. Measure the milk and gold top milk into a third bowl. In a 5L mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.

3) Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides using a spatula. Turn the mixer on first speed, add the sugar and mix until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Add sour cream and mayonnaise and incorporate completely. Scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with wet, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix the batter until smooth and no lumps are present.

4) De-stem the maraschino cherries and squeeze out the excess liquid. Using a food processor, mince the cherries using the pulse button. Do not over process. Using a spatula, fold the minced cherries, cherry juice and white chocolate chips into the batter.

5) Fill the paper cake cases using a 50g scoop. Bake until golden brown and light and fluffy, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 17 minutes. Leave the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.

6) Place a round tip #809 into a large piping bag and fill the bag with buttercream. Generously pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake and garnish the top with 1 maraschino cherry and 5 large pearls. Finish by sprinkling edible glitter over the tops of the cupcakes.

To make the buttercream:
1) In a 5L mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. On first speed, add the sifted icing sugar to the bowl in 3 parts. Let each part incorporate into the butter mixture before adding the next.

2) After adding all the sugar, put the mixer on the fourth (highest) speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes. The buttercream will begin to gain volume and look white and fluffy. Once you bring the buttercream to full volume, add the essences, liqueur and vodka and incorporate completely.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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