Black forest cupcakes

Black forest cupcakes

Boutique Baking
24 cupcakes
Georgia Glynn Smith

Inspired by my German origins, I have tweaked the classic Black Forest Gateaux and turned it into a sumptuous cupcake recipe. The key is to use proper ‘Griottines’ cherries, which are wild morello cherries, soaked in Kirsch liqueur. They taste heavenly – plump, juicy and very boozey.


Quantity Ingredient

For the decoration

Quantity Ingredient
150g white sugar florist paste
pink and brown paste food colour
small amount Royal icing
small amount white vegetable fat

For the frosting

Quantity Ingredient
200g full-fat cream cheese
200g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar, sifted
small amount kirsch syrup, drained from the cherries

For the cake mix

Quantity Ingredient
125g plain chocolate, (minimum 53% cocoa solids), chopped or buttons
165ml milk
285g light brown sugar
105g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
180g plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
8g cocoa powder
350g griottine cherries in kirsch syrup

For the sugar syrup

Quantity Ingredient
150ml water
150g caster sugar
small amount kirsch syrup, drained from the cherries
50ml kirsch liqueur


Quantity Ingredient
Basic baking kit
small non-stick plastic board
medium and small five-petal blossom cutter
blossom veiner
paint palette or perforated foam, to dry blossoms
paper piping bag
2 12-hole muffin trays
24 large brown cupcake cases
plastic piping bags
large star piping nozzle
Making a paper piping bag


  1. To make the decoration

    Make the sugar cherry blossom decorations at least one day ahead of assembling and serving. Make two or three blossoms per cupcake.
  2. Mix the sugar florist paste with a small amount of pink paste food colour to make a fuchsia shade. Mix the royal icing with the brown paste food colour following the instructions. Using a blossom cutter and veiner lightly greased in vegetable fat, make approximately 72 sugar blossoms then pipe a brown centre into each flower. Leave to dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Prepare the muffin trays by placing the cupcake cases inside the holes.
  4. To make the frosting

    Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
  5. Place the butter and icing sugar in a separate mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy.
  6. Add the cream cheese, a little at a time, to the butter mixture and mix at medium-high speed until the frosting is combined.
  7. Flavour to taste with a few drops of the Kirsch syrup, making sure the frosting doesn’t become too runny. Chill until set.
  8. To make the cupcakes

    Place the chocolate, milk and half the sugar into a saucepan. Gently bring to the boil whilst stirring.
  9. Place the butter and remaining sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy.
  10. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly stir into the butter mixture.
  11. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into the batter and mix until just combined.
  12. Slowly pour the hot chocolate into the batter and mix. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is well combined. Transfer the batter to a measuring jug.
  13. While still warm. pour the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full only. Drop 2 or 3 Griottine cherries into each cupcake.
  14. Bake immedlately for 15–20 minutes, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops spring back to the touch. If you insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of the sponge, it should come out with a small amount of crumb sticking to it.
  15. To make the sugar syrup

    While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. Place the water and caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Set aside to cool down slightly. Flavour with some of the Kirsch syrup and Kirsch liqueur.
  16. As soon as the cupcakes are baked, take them out of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the cupcakes with sugar syrup while they are still hot; this allows the syrup to be absorbed faster and prevent it from forming a crusty top.
  17. Remove the cupcakes from the baking trays and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  18. To decorate

    Prepare a plastic piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Fill with the chilled frosting. Pipe a rosette of frosting on top of each cupcake.
  19. To finish, place 2 or 3 sugar blossoms on the top of the frosting for each cupcake.
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