Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcakes

This entire week I've been sharing dessert after dessert to get you fine folks ready for Valentine's Day! If you need more ideas, I've been sharing a fun dessert idea daily on Instagram, and have even been giving a sneak peek at my kitchen at new and upcoming recipes for the blog. It's party, I'm tellin' ya. 

I couldn't wait to share these cupcakes with you! They were a complete home run!!

Cherry cordials are honestly one of my favorite desserts to have around Valentine's Day. There's just something so beautifully special about those little pockets of cherry cream, oozing ganache, and a lone sweet cherry, all in a hard-shell pocket of chocolate. It bursts in your mouth when you bite it, and there's no turning back - you just have to pop the rest of it in with one perfect bite.

There just had to be a way to incorporate those beautiful flavors into a cupcake. There just had to be! Or all would be messed up in the world. It was that simple. Cupcakes are kind of a big deal to me.

So I went on a mission to find a recipe with all these addicting flavors, and find a way to simplify it as much as possible.

Thankfully, Pinterest is a giant help, as always. I found a perfect recipe, modified it with another killer chocolate cake mix recipe I've used in the past, and BAM. Everything came together. P.S. The cake mix recipe is ridiculous. I'll probably get some hate mail from using the cake mix, but when you spruce it up with a couple secret ingredients, there's no way you can make a cake from scratch again... well... without realizing how easy it is to make a cake mix taste like it's from scratch. :)

You start off with your cupcake base, hollow out a heart, sprinkle with some powdered sugar, stuff the insides with dark chocolate ganache and cherry cordial filling, top it off with some beautiful ruby cherry gems, and take a giant bite. These little guys would be PERFECT for any celebration of love you have coming up! And p.s. they're super-easy to make! Go get'em little lovers!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

1 box dark chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C vegetable oil
3/4 C sour cream
2 t vanilla extract

dark chocolate ganache filling:
8oz dark chocolate chips
2/3 C heavy cream
2 T light corn syrup

cherry cordial cream filling:
1/2 C powdered sugar
4 T heavy cream
2 t maraschino cherry juice (from the bottled maraschino cherries)

1 can cherry pie filling

powdered sugar

1. to make cupcake base: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
2. Sift cake mix into a large separate bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract until just combined. Slowly whisk in cake mix. With about 1/4 C scoop, fill each cupcake liner a teeny bit over halfway full with batter. Bake about 20 minutes (check them at 18 - mine were done then). Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes in tins, then remove onto a cooling rack to complete cooling process. Repeat with remaining batter until complete.
3. to make dark chocolate ganache filling: Place dark chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the microwave, heat heavy cream and corn syrup until very hot, about 60 seconds. Pour cream over dark chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until a thick sauce forms. Carefully spoon into a disposable piping bag. Don't cut off the tip until the cordial filling is ready.
4. to make cherry cordial cream filling: In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, heavy cream, and maraschino cherry juice. Carefully spoon into a disposable piping bag. Don't cut off the tip until you're ready to pipe.
5. to prepare cherries: Pour cherry pie filling out on a plate. Have a few toothpicks handy.
6. to assemble cupcakes: With a sharp knife, carefully cave out a 3/4 inch-deep heart whole in each cupcake face. Sift a little powdered sugar over open face cupcakes. Cut off tips to disposable piping bags filled with fillings. Squeeze about 1-2 T ganache filling in each cupcake heart hole. Add about 1-2 T cherry cordial cream filling in each cupcake on top of the ganache filling. With a toothpick, carefully poke one cherry at a time, and place into the heart holes of each cupcake. Fill any gaps with a little of the cherry pie filling syrup/sauce. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

recipe inspired by: lemon-sugar and yourcupofcake

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