Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate cherry cupcakes are the very definition of indulgence. Go ahead. Look it up in the dictionary. I’ll wait. Or you could just make this tasty cupcakes recipe and find out for yourself — they are amazing!

A chocolate cherry cupcake with a large swirl of chocolate frosting on top sits on a wooden table. There are two more cupcakes behind it.

These cherry chocolate cupcakes are filled with cherry pie filling and topped with a silky chocolate frosting. And guess what? They’re made without eggs or dairy.

I know chocolate and cherries are amazing together. It’s one reason we all love the chocolate cherry dump cake and chocolate-covered cherries, using fresh cherries and delicious dark chocolate. Now we can add these cupcakes to the list.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • A simple vegan chocolate batter yields delicious, fluffy chocolate cupcakes
  • Scooping out the top of the cupcakes makes room for cherry pie filling, yielding a dramatic surprise to everyone who eats them
  • A generous swirl of chocolate frosting on top covers these cupcakes perfectly!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Flour — I use all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (different than whole wheat flour).
  • Sugar — I use granulated sugar for this batter.
  • Cocoa powder — I recommend using natural cocoa powder.
  • Baking soda — A powerful force when combined with vinegar, baking soda creates lofty baked goods like cupcakes.
  • Salt — Adding salt to cake batter enhances the flavor of the sweet.
  • Vegetable oil — Any neutral oil will work here, such as canola oil.
  • Vinegar — I use apple cider vinegar, but you can use white vinegar.
  • Vanilla Extract — I find vanilla adds a subtle flavor.
  • Cherry pie filling — You can use regular or light cherry pie filling.

Frost the Cupcakes

The real star of the party is that silky chocolate frosting. I used a Wilton 1M frosting tip for the swirl on top. Fill the piping bag with frosting and pipe the frosting around the base of the cupcake and move your way up to create a beautiful swirl.

I love these suggestions on How to Frost the Perfect Cupcakes. These are particularly helpful if you’re not used to using piping bags.

More Vegan Frostings

When it comes to frosting, you have options. For example, any of these would be a winner on these cupcakes:

More Vegan Cupcakes

If you love fruity vegan sweets like chocolate cherry cupcakes, you should try these tasty Vegan Patriotic Cupcakes. So festive! Here are even more vegan cupcakes you can make:

Three Chocolate Cupcakes sit on a wooden table with a napkin.

That’s it for these chocolate cherry cupcakes. Enjoy!

Three Chocolate cherry cupcakes sit on a napkin on a wooden table.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Enjoy these vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes for an infusion of two amazing flavors, chocolate, and cherry. These rich cupcakes are topped with silky, chocolate frosting.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 366kcal


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lite cherry pie filling

Chocolate Silk Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together water, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
  • Pour the batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    Cupcakes in a pan ready to go into the oven.
  • After the cupcakes have cooled, spoon out a hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with one or two cherries and some of the sauce from the cherry pie filling.
    Looking down on cupcakes with holes in the middle and cherry pie filling spooned in.

For the Silky Chocolate Frosting

  • Cream vegan butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and salt and cream again. Then add powdered sugar and mix on low until it's incorporated. Then beat on high until it's fluffy.
  • Add one tablespoon of plant-based milk at a time, stirring in between until you reach a desired silky consistency.
  • Use a Wilton 1M frosting tip to add a decorative flute to the top of each cupcake (or feel free to spread on with a butter knife).

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1.3mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

17 Responses to Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLaura Johnson Reply

    Well, I have tried this cupcake recipe twice in two days, and I am not thrilled with the results. The texture is like a dense brownie rather than a cupcake, and I did not expect that. Also, they sink in the middle as soon as I pull them out of the oven. I thought the problem with the first batch might have been the baking powder, which was a little past its “best by” date. I bought a fresh can for the second batch. Also, I tried sifting the dry ingredients and I used a little less flour and added a little extra soy milk. I was thrown when the instructions said “pour the batter” into the tins because my batter was really thick like cookie dough (especially the first batch). I scooped it like ice cream. All this being said, my husband and son LOVE the flavor. I also want to say that I made the chocolate silk frosting, and there were no issues whatsoever with that recipe. It tastes divine.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Laura! First let me say thanks for your feedback. It’s greatly appreciated. Oftentimes in vegan baking the dough is a thicker consistency. That’s because we rely on gluten from the flour to be the binder (replacing the egg). Based on your feedback I’m going to remake the recipe again this weekend and see if any adjustments need to be made. I’m glad your family liked the flavor…and the frosting! 🙂

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNoa Reply

    These look amazing! How many cupcakes does one recipe make?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNoa

      Wait, I just saw a comment answering my question. Never mind, haha. I’m definitely making these this weekend 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Maybe I should go ahead and add it to the recipe too!! I’ll do that now. Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you like these cupcakes as much as we did!!!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCarol Reply

    When do you add the cherry pie filling? I assume it goes with the weet ingredients and gets blended well?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Carol. Step 7 in the recipe explains that the cherry pie filling is added after the cupcakes are baked. Hope that helps!!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMicky Reply

    5 stars
    This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it. I am, however, making this for the first time for a potluck. Since I am no good with the whole math thing, what’s the yield for this recipe? (Please feel free to point out if I missed it.)

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Mickey – this should yield about 24 cupcakes. These would be perfect at a potluck dinner. i hope you have a great time!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAngie@Angie's Recipes Reply

    These cupcakes are stunning! The frosting looks really smooth and creamy.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m definitely not one of those “scrape the icing off the cake” kind of people. I love the stuff! And this one was so good I think I could have taken a bath in it or something! But I decided eating on a cupcake was definitely best!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKristen Reply

    5 stars
    Oh so beautiful!!! And decadently yummy looking too 😉

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Kristen. It’s definitely a favorite. I think I’ll make these for Valentine’s Day too!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySofia Reply

    Downton abbey never really caught my interest, a bit too slow in the pace for my liking. I do love the costumes though!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I agree that it’s a little slow…and the plot is fairly predictable…and yet I find myself drawn to it just the same. It’s sort of like chocolate pudding – sweet, comforting, and predictable…yet still irresistible, especially when so elegantly presented!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlynarf7 Reply

    Sublimely and utterly delicious 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Oh, thank you!

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