January 5, 2012
Obviously, the latest craze in Graceland is filled cupcakes.
Because pie filling is so easy to make and use and because of the nearly-unparalleled success of my apple pie, strawberry pie, and blueberry pie versions, I felt the need to include cherry pie too. After all, we don't want to discriminate against any of the pie-appropriate fruits, now do we?!
The cupcake recipe here is one that Martha and her crew created using rhubarb. Clearly, rhubarb is way out of season now, and I prefer cherries anyway. The innards consist of homemade pie filling, which I spruced up with a little orange juice and zest. To match that citrus zing, I tossed a little orange zest into the buttercream frosting as well.
All modesty aside (whether legitimate or feigned), this is another slam dunk. The cupcakes are light yet sturdy enough to support the cherries and the filling, and the frosting is smooth and vibrant, thanks to the added zest.
For a similar but much more healthful use of cherries, check out my post on the Key Ingredient blog!
Cheery Cherry Pie Cupcakes
(based on a batch from Martha)
(makes about 16)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 cups cherries, pitted (frozen is fine)
cherry pie filling, homemade or store-bought
2 cups (16 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
orange zest from one orange
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until combined after each. Stir in cherries. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and zest, and beat until frosting is smooth.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (and immediately eat the cone)(after adding frosting to it, of course) and carefully spoon the pie filling inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes and devour.