Easy Homemade Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

Looking for the best cherry cupcakes recipe?

You can prepare our easy cherry cupcakes recipe at home using vanilla or chocolate cake mix and frosting.

Our recipe celebrates the flavour of cherries in three ways: cherry juice moistens the cupcake batter, cherry pie filling is stuffed inside for a sweet surprise and a maraschino cherry is placed on top as a delightful decoration!

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History of Cupcakes

The first mention of what is now called a cupcake was in 1796, when a recipe for “a light cake to bake in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. The earliest documentation of the term cupcake itself was in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.

In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the term cup cake or cupcake. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in.

This is the use of the name that has remained, and the name “cupcake” is now given to any small, round cake that is about the size of a teacup. While English fairy cakes vary in size more than American cupcake, they are traditionally smaller and are rarely topped with icing.

The popular HBO show Sex and the City is credited for acting as a catalyst for the revival of modern day cupcake culture in America and around the world. Ever since Magnolia Bakery was featured in the show it’s become a popular New York City tourist attraction for visiting cupcake lovers.

The financial crisis in the early 2000s also helped with the boom of cupcakes, which were popping up in bakery windows like wild fire across the country. When incomes drastically dropped, cupcakes offered an affordable decadence that could be enjoyed on its own during trying times.

Soon brides and grooms trended towards offering guests a table covered in individual cupcakes instead of one large multi-tiered wedding cake. Since cupcakes are considered a dessert-for-1, serving them at weddings and other large gatherings like Christmas parties and baby showers became the norm. Cupcakes allow hosts to serve more than one flavour at a time, offering guests a selection of lemon blueberry, salted caramel or chocolate cherry cupcakes, to suit every taste.

Join Dobbernationloves founder Andrew Dobson in the kitchen by signing up for a fun virtual cooking class! Classes begin with a cocktail that you can sip while preparing 2-3 recipes that are curated around a unique culinary theme. Check out our current Cooking Class Schedule!

Ingredients you'll need to make easy cherry cupcakes at home.
Ingredients you’ll need to make easy cherry cupcakes at home.

Celebrate with Cupcakes

Our easy homemade cherry cupcakes are a perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthday parties, summer barbecues and German Black Forest Cake lovers. The recipe is also a great Christmas dessert, utilizing the colours red, white and green.

Simply add a few drops of green food colouring to vanilla frosting and combine until smooth with a wooden spoon. Use a pipping bag to decorate the top of your cherry cupcakes with festive strips of white and green icing. A red maraschino cherry on top adds a touch of holiday red.

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Add cherry juice to your chocolate cake mix recipe for a Black Forest Cake inspired cupcake.
Add cherry juice to your chocolate cake mix recipe for a Black Forest Cake inspired cupcake.

Best Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

Our homemade cupcake recipe celebrates the flavour of cherries in three unique ways.

The recipe for most cake mixes typically require eggs, water and vegetable oil. We’ve substituted the water for tart cherry juice, which contrasts nicely with sweet buttercream icing. Cherry juice is typically dark red, so we suggest using chocolate cake mix so the colour is consistent. You can also use vanilla cake mix to prepare these cupcakes but you might want to use baking cups so the colour of the cupcake crumb is concealed as it’s not as appealing to the eyes.

These cherry filled chocolate cupcakes are also stuffed with pie filling. Fill each cupcake tin half full of cake batter and then spoon 2-3 cherries from a can of prepared cherry pie filling into the centre of each cupcake. Top with remaining batter and ensure the cherries are completely covered and the batter reaches the top of the pan. Don’t overfill your cupcake tins as they will rise in the oven. Guests enjoy pulling open cherry cupcakes to find a surprise stuffed inside!

The last step of this recipe ensures you serve a cupcake with a cute cherry on top. We suggest placing one red Maraschino cherry on the top of each cupcake but you could also place three together in the centre if you don’t want your cupcakes to look like nipples, ha! If you’re preparing cherry cupcakes for Christmas we suggest purchasing a mix of green and red Maraschino cherries to add festive colour to the finished product.

If you’re a big fan of cherry flavour and have cherry extract in your kitchen you could also add a few drops to vanilla frosting. It will add an additional layer of cherry flavour to your cherry chocolate cupcakes recipe.

Stuff cherry pie filling in the centre of your cupcake for a secret surprise.
Stuff cherry pie filling in the centre of your cupcake for a secret surprise.

Cherry Cupcakes Tips

Our quick and easy cherry cupcakes require very few ingredients and utilize a lot of prepared products you can find in your grocery stores baking aisle. If you’re a “baking from scratch guy or gal,” you can always find inspiration in the recipe by preparing your own cake batter and homemade frosting. This recipe was created for those who are short on time and need a quick and easy dessert idea.

When you’re searching for prepared cake mixes and frosting we suggest buying chocolate or vanilla by Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. E.D. Smith sells our favourite prepared cherry pie filling.

There are several companies that sell cherry juice, many of which are sold as a concentrate and require diluting with water. If you’re preparing these cupcakes during the summer you can likely find fresh cherry juice at your local farmers market in destinations like Niagara in Ontario, where they are grown locally. You can also prepare your own cherry juice at home by blending fresh or frozen cherries and passing the mixture through a sieve.

Depending on your budget you can purchase cheap maraschino cherry jars at the grocery store or visit a specialty bartending supply store like Cocktail Emporium to purchase gourmet imported Italian Luxardo cherries. Luxardo sells the worlds best maraschino cherries, the kind you often find at luxury hotel bars muddled in a Manhattan cocktail.

Our favourite secret tip to making the best cupcakes is to add a box of Jello pudding mix to your batter. Match the flavour of your pudding with the cake mix you’re preparing. For this recipe we prepared cherry chocolate cupcakes, so we used chocolate flavoured Jello pudding mix. The addition of pudding mix to your cupcake batter ensures a moist, fudge-like texture.

Let cupcakes cool on a rack before icing.
Let cupcakes cool on a rack before icing.

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Decorate cupcakes with vanilla or chocolate icing and top with Maraschino cherries.
Decorate cupcakes with vanilla or chocolate icing and top with Maraschino cherries.

Cherry Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Print Recipe
3.87 from 22 votes

Cherry Cupcakes

Looking for the best cherry cupcakes? Our recipe features cherry juice in the batter, cherry pie filling stuffed inside and a Maraschino cherry on top.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cherry Cupcakes, chocolate cherry cupcakes, Chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cherry cupcakes
Servings: 12
Calories: 1535kcal


  • oven
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cups
  • whisk
  • frosting spatula
  • muffin tins


  • 1 Cake mix vanilla or chocolate
  • 1 Pudding mix vanilla or chocolate
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Cherry juice
  • 1 Cake icing vanilla or chocolate
  • 1 cup Cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup Maraschino cherries


  • Preheat oven too 350F.
  • Grease muffin tins.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil and cherry juice with a whisk until well incorporated.
  • Using 2 soup spoons, fill each muffin tin half way with chocolate cake mix batter.
  • Using a small teaspoon add 3 cherries from the can of pie filling. You want to add these to the centre of the cupcake so they bake inside and offer a secret surprise!
  • Add another spoonful of cake batter to each muffin. Be sure to spread the cake batter over the cherries so they are not exposed.
  • Bake cherry cupcakes in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Let cupcakes cool for at least an hour. Once cool gently remove each cupcake and place on a wire rack.
  • Using a frosting spatula, spread vanilla and/or chocolate icing onto each cupcake.
  • Top each cupcake with a Maraschino cherry and serve with ice cream.


Calories: 1535kcal | Carbohydrates: 342.6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 263.8g | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg
These cupcakes are flavoured with cherry juice, stuffed with cherry pie filling and topped with Maraschino cherries.
These cupcakes are flavoured with cherry juice, stuffed with cherry pie filling and topped with Maraschino cherries.

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  1. Is the pudding mix a small or large package? Is it instant or regular pudding?
    They sound and look delicious, can not wait to make them!

    1. Not a dumb question! If you read the recipe you’ll see it says to just add the cake and pudding mix together. We add the pudding mix as it makes the cake really moist and tender.