Been doing a lot of baking recently, but these are the ones I want to share most.

Cherry-chocolate cupcakes with whipped cherry buttercream frosting, topped with a chocolate-covered cherries and mini chocolate chips.

For the Cupcakes
I made changes to my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe from Food and Wine.

Makes 24
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup juice from a jar of cherries
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cherry flavored yogurt (not fruit-on-the-bottom kind)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Melt the butter with oil, water and cherry juice over low heat. Once butter is melted, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Line 2 tins with paper cups, preheat oven to 350F.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cooled butter mixture and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, yogurt and extract, beat until smooth. Fill tins 3/4 of the way full, then bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove from tins to continue cooling.

For the Frosting
makes enough for 24 cupcakes, I think around 3 cups?

1 jar Maraschino cherries (the standard size, usually around 24 cherries?), drained and pat dry
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch salt
3 ½ cup confectioners sugar
½ tst. vanilla extract
4 oz Cool Whip topping (1/2 a tub)

Puree cherries. Beat butter and salt with a stand mixer until fluffy. Add cherry puree, powdered sugar and extract, mix until incorporated. It will be a dense, rich buttercream at this point. You can stop thee if you want! If you want it lighter and fluffier, fold in the Cool Whip. I used a whole tub and it came out too soft (almost didn't hold its shape) and the cherry flavor was too weak, so I recommend only using 1/2 of the tub.

The end!

I also made these this weekend and wanted to show them off, but since they're fried instead of baked I won't include the recipe.

Raspberry-filled Berliners!

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