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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vanilla Cherry Cola Cupcakes with Cherry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


I think my favorite treat in this vast universe is Cherry Coke.  I love the stuff.  I can just imagine myself in a 1950's diner sipping a REAL cherry coke.  The kind from the fountain with coke and cherry syrup and REAL cherries.  Yes, I can see it now...me, just sitting there sipping....in a pink poodle skirt with a sideways ponytail and saddle shoes.  Ahhh....hey, I can dream, can't I?  So fast forward a bit...I'm in my kitchen....hair a mess, PJ's still on, and the cutest little kitchen helper ever babbling "ma-ma" at my feet.  I'm elbows deep in cake batter and happy as a lark.  Yes, I believe I AM dreaming.

Start with butter and sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Meanwhile, mix together flour, vanilla pudding mix, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix coke, buttermilk, and cherry syrup.
Hello ladies.  Take 10 maraschino cherries....

And chop them up.
To the butter, sugar and egg mixture, add flour and coke mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Stir in cherries.
Spoon batter into lined baking cups.  You want the cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely.
Beautiful.

What you'll need:

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 (3.4 ounce) box of vanilla instant pudding mix (unprepared)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup cherry cola
1/2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
10 chopped maraschino cherries

For the frosting:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter  (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare a 12-count muffin pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray or lining with paper cups.

For the cupcakes:

1.  Cream together butter and sugar.
2.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, vanilla pudding (unprepared), baking powder, and salt.
4.  In another bowl, mix together cola, buttermilk, and cherry juice.  (It may look curdled, this is OK!).
5.  To the butter, sugar, and egg mixture alternate adding flour and cola mixture.  Begin and end with flour mixture.  Make sure to mix well after each addition.
6.  Chop 10 maraschino cherries.  Stir into batter.
7.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 way full.
8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

1.  Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
2.  Add vanilla and cherry juice.  Mix until well incorporated.  
3.  Pipe or spread over cooled cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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