Black Forest Cupcakes

Made with an authentic recipe & German ingredients, these Black Forest Cupcakes are a delicious alternative to the traditional Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake of Germany!

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |

You can’t be in Germany without eating Black Forest Cake at least once, if not dozens of times. For almost 100 years, this cake has been a favorite of Germans and chocolate & cherry lovers around the world.

The cake gets it’s name from the region it was created in, the Black Forest and features one of the areas biggest crops. Cherries! The Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cake is made with layers of chocolate cake filled with cherries soaked in a cherry brandy (Kirschwasser) and fresh whipped cream topped with cherries and chocolate shavings.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |

There is a mandate in Germany that states that if Kirschwasser is not used in this cake, it can not be called a Black Forest Cake. In fact, most people who make Black Forest Cakes or cupcakes in the United States aren’t actually making an authentic BFC. In the USA, a basic chocolate cake, canned cherry filling and whipped cream or buttercream frosting are typically used but are a poor substitute for what should really be in a Black Forest Cake.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |

The chocolate cake in an authentic Black Forest Cake is made with egg whites, very little chocolate and no butter.   It’s not overly sweet, yet still rich, moist and full of flavor.  The filling begins with sour cherries from the Black Forest region of Germany that have been soaked in a clear cherry brandy called Kirschwasser.  And finally, the whipped cream is light, not too sweet and is garnished with chocolate shavings and a cherry.

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |

A traditional cake is made in layers, but since I was transforming this recipe into a cupcake, I decided layers might not be so easy.  To assemble these cupcakes, I cored the center of each cupcake with a small serrated knife (1).  I then filled each hole in the cupcakes with the Kirschwasser soaked cherries until they were overflowing (2).  Fresh whipped cream was piped onto the top of each cupcake then then rimmed with chocolate shavings (3).  Finally, a fresh, locally grown cherry was placed on top of the whipped cream (4).

How to assemble authentic Black Forest Cupcakes | #blackforest #germanbaking #cupcakes #recipe

I shared these cupcakes with my next door neighbor is who German and she said they were her favorite dessert I’ve shared with her so far.  And I’ve shared a lot of things!  She said the flavor and texture were exactly how they were supposed to be… not overly sweet, full of that authentic Kirshwasser and cherry flavor.  Yay! If I could impress my German friend with these, I know they’re a winner!

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |  Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes - made with a traditional recipe & German ingredients |

A note about the ingredients:  The only ingredients that may be hard to find are the sour cherries and Kirshwasser.  If you can’t find any of the clear liquor at your local store, try substituting a clear cherry brandy instead.  They key here is to use a clear, cherry flavored liquor to soak the cherries in.  As for the cherries themselves, DO NOT use cherry pie filling.  Try finding sour cherries that are sold in a jar in cherry juice.  You don’t want filling or any of the canned cherry pie goup on your cherries.  These are two of the biggest mistakes made when Americans replicate this recipe.

With that being said, these cupcakes are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing and I really hope you try them!

Happy Baking!

Black Forest Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 8 medium egg whites
  • 200g super fine sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 200g all-purpose flour (minus 3 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 8 medium egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Kirschwasser
  • 680g jar of sour cherries in juice, divided
  • ⅓ cup cherry juice from the jar
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 45g super fine sugar
  • ¼ cup Kirschwasser
  • 800ml heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 packet powder gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp cold water
  • 40g powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Kirschwasser
  • 1 cup chocolate shavings
  • 24 fresh cherries
  • Disposable piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, measure out 200g of flour. Remove 3 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 Tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Add the baking powder. Sift all three ingredients together two times. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the Kirschwasser. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until it begins to foam. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping.
  5. One Tablespoon at a time, add the sugar, mixing for 10-15 seconds between each addition.
  6. Continue to whip the eggs until glossy and stiff peaks have formed.
  7. Gently add the egg yolks and flour mixture to the whipped egg whites. Fold until combined but do not overmix and deflate the batter.
  8. Fill cupcake liners at least ¾ full. The cupcakes will puff up nicely, but will slightly deflate with cooled, so you want to make sure you get them pretty full with batter.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cupcakes will feel very light and be fragile... handle with care!
  1. Drain the juice from the cherries into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together ⅓ cup of the cherry juice from the jar and the sugar in a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the corn starch and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the cherries and bring to a boil, gently stirring. Remove from the heat as soon as it begins to boil and thicken.
  5. Stir gently a few times to coat all the cherries. Pour in the Kirschwasser and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature and thicken.
  1. In a small sauce pan, whisk together the gelatin packet and cold water and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, heat pan on low and whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the cold heavy cream. Begin to whip the cream on medium high speed. NOTE: You may need a splash guard because the cream will get EVERYWHERE if you whip too fast!
  3. Once the cream begins to get fluffy, slowly add powdered sugar. Mix in the kirschwasser and gelatin.
  4. Whip the cream until stiff then fill the piping bag with the whipped cream.
  1. Core the center of each cupcake using a knife with a serrated edge.
  2. Fill the hole generously with the cherry filling. It's okay if it comes out the top!
  3. Pipe a single swirl onto the cupcake. Sprinkle chocolate shavings onto the edges of the swirl. Pipe one large, round dollop of frosting on top of that first swirl.
  4. Garnish with a fresh cherry.
  5. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve! They will stay fresh for 2 days!
Recipe slightly adapted from Bavarian Kitchen .

Tres Leches Cupcakes with Fresh Mango

Tres Leches or “three milks” cake is a light, yet rich sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milks – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.  These Tres Leches Cupcakes are topped with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh mango slice.  They’re the perfect Spanish treat!

Tres Leches Cupcakes with Fresh Mango |

Last Friday I’m went to a Mexican themed potluck & bible study.  Unfortunately, I’m wasn’t going to make it to the dinner portion of the evening, but I would be there for dessert! So I wanted my contribution to the potluck to be something that I could be there to enjoy as well. Doing a little research about Mexican desserts, I found a lot of churro and fried ice cream recipes, but not many cakes.  Except one cake… the tres leches cake.  This light and airy cake is soaked with a rich mixture of milks that make it so incredibly delicious.

After soaking the cupcakes with the milk sauce, I decided to keep it pretty traditional and top it with a light whipped cream frosting flavored with a bit of rum and sugar soaked mango slices for a little big of color and sweetness.

The first round I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe that required separating the eggs, used a lot less flour and no butter.  This round didn’t turn out very well.  They baked very quickly… at 15 minutes they were already over baked and they had a very eggy taste.  Which, I’m sure would have been covered up with the tres leches, but I wasn’t convinced that this light and airy cake could hold up to the milk I needed to pour over it.

Tres Leches Cupcakes with Fresh Mango |

So, I went in search of a recipe that called for butter and a bit more flour.  I settled on the recipe from the Food Network.  I don’t typically use recipes from FN, but this one seemed to be a bit more stable and I was now in a time crunch.  Less than 5 hours to the potluck and I had no cupcakes. These cupcakes are not only beautiful, but the taste absolutely amazing.  The creamy milk soaks right into the cake without making it soggy or overpowering in flavor.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to make these cupcakes!

If you’re in the need for more Mexican themed desserts… you might want to check out my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes.  They’re from my earlier days of blogging, so the pictures aren’t as pretty… but they cupcakes don’t disappoint! So if you’re in need of a not only delicious cake, but a treat for your next Mexican themed potluck… I’d definitely make these cupcakes!

You could easily convert these Tres Leches Cupcakes into a cake as well.  Just bake in a 9×13 pan and after you remove it from the pan,  drench it in the milk mixture and cover in whipped cream.  When you cut the cake into squares, top each one with a slice of mango! Delish!


Tres Leches Cupcakes with Fresh Mango
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 18 cupcakes
Tres Leches Cupcakes
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ cup milk
Tres Leches
  • 6oz Evaporated Milk
  • 3.5oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3oz Heavy Cream
Whipping Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • up to ¼ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cream)
  • 1 Tbsp rum (or any other flavoring)
Mango Garnish
  • 1 ripe mango, sliced
Tres Leches Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk alternating, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until just combined.
  6. Remove the bowl and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and fold 5-6 times to make sure batter is smooth and no more lumps remain. DO NOT OVER MIX the batter.
  7. Fill liners ⅔ full with batter and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  8. Cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whipped Cream Topping
  1. In a clean bowl with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until frothy on high speed. Once frothy, add the sugar & rum slowly while still whipping.
  2. Continue whipping until stiff peaks have formed.
Mango Garnish
  1. Peel and thinly slice the mango until you have enough slices to top each cupcake. Only use the firmest, ripest part of the mango.
  1. Poke 10-12 holes into the cupcake making sure not to cut through the paper on the bottom.
  2. Pour 2-3 Tbsp of the tres leches over each cupcake slowly, allowing it to soak into the cake.
  3. Top each soaked cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream.
  4. Garnish with a light dusting of cinnamon and a mango slice.

Dulce de Leche filled Mocha Cupcakes


Dulce de Leche filled Mocha Cupcakes by


I’m super excited to be a part of a blog that I’ve been reading for 4+ years, Coffee Cup News! CCN has invited me to be an author, sharing my recipes for decadent and delicious coffee desserts and yummies!

For my first post, I’ve made the most amazing mocha cupcake and it’s filled with dulce de leche and topped with a mocha whipped cream.  It’s just like having your favorite caramel mocha from Starbucks… but in a cupcake!

So if you love coffee, visit Coffee Cup News, tell them Betsy sent you and enjoy the coffee!

PS… the FULL RECIPE for this cupcake can be found HERE!


Strawberry Shortcake

The weather has been so beautiful lately (minus the thunderstorm this morning) and I’ve been dying to make strawberry shortcake!  Last week on my favorite daytime tv show, The Chew, Carla made a strawberry shortcake that looked so amazingly delicious that I knew I had to find her recipe and make it myself!

This shortcake makes enough for 12 servings and can be easily made in two batches for a larger group… but for me, I don’t want to share… I might be eating most of this myself.  I LOVE biscuits and I LOVE strawberries.


Nom nom nom.


Go get some strawberries and make this!

5 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Shortcake
Lemon zest & sour cream bring life to these biscuits topped with fresh sliced strawberries and a lemon & mint infused whipped cream!
Serves: 12 strawberry shortcakes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup cold sour cream
  • ⅓ cup cold milk
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 2-3 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
Whipping Cream
  • 400ml heavy cream
  • 3 5in sprigs of mint, leaves removed and torn in half
  • zest of ½ lemon + lemon peel, cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and move baking racks to upper third of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and generously grease or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, press lemon zest into sugar using the back of your spatula until the sugar becomes fluffy.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well combined.
  4. Cut the butter into the flour using a fork until no large chunks of butter remain. Use your fingers if that's easier for you.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk and water.
  6. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Using a spatula, fold ingredients together until just combined. DO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH. You want it lumpy, not smooth.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, drop 12 mounds of dough onto prepared baking sheets.
  8. Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over the top of each biscuit.
  9. Bake about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.
  10. Immediately remove to wire rack to cool.
Whipping Cream
  1. In a small sauce pan, on high heat, stir together heavy cream, mint leaves, lemon zest and peels until right before boiling point. DO NOT BOIL.
  2. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Strain so that only cream remains. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. When ready to use, whip cream in a cold metal bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
  5. Add the sugar and continue whipping until you reached your desired texture and consistency.
  1. Clean and slice strawberries until you have about 6 cups worth.
  2. Toss strawberries with lemon juice, sugar and vanilla extract. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to come together and juices to form.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Place one biscuit in a bowl. Scoop ½ cup of strawberries on to the biscuit, making sure lots of juice from the berries is included.
  2. Dollop a generous scoop of whipped cream on top.
  3. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Thin Mint Cupcakes

It’s totally that time of year… GIRL SCOUT COOKIE TIME!

I can’t resist.  I bought 10 boxes.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  10 boxes.

2 to eat (with in the first 24  hours).

8 to bake with.

Yeah… you read that correctly.  8 boxes to bake with.

Last year I made Samoa Cupcakes and Tagalong Brownies.  This year… I started with Thin Mint Cupcakes.  These cupcakes are a super decadent chocolate cake filled with a whipped chocolate ganache topped with a mint buttercream.  Serious amounts of NOM NOM NOM.

PS…. This is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe.  I know it’s got beer in it… but I’m totally using it for every chocolate cake I make from now on!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 bottle of Guinness Stout Beer
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat.  Add the vanilla beer, whisk together and heat until it just begins to simmer.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder and heat until it just begins to bubble up.  DO NOT BOIL.  Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.   Cool slightly.
  4. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream.  Slowly pour in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. NOTE:  DO THIS SLOW! You don’t want to cook the eggs, so start pouring a very small amount of the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture… DO NOT DUMP IT IN ALL AT ONCE.
  5. In three parts, add the flour mixture to the chocolate/egg mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure everything is incorporated.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan after 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for 3-4 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp corn syrup

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat the heavy cream and corn syrup just until it bubbles.
  3. Pour heavy cream over chocolate and stir until smooth.  If the chocolate doesn’t melt all the way, place the bowl over a double boiler and continue to stir until smooth.
  4. Mix in the butter and extract.
  5. Allow ganache to cool to room temperature.
  6. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the cooled ganache until fluffy.  Don’t over mix or it will get grainy.

Vanilla Bean Peppermint Buttercream

12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cream
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
pinch of salt
Wilton Green Food Gel

  1.  Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and mix on high until incorporated and smooth.
  3. Beat in half the vanilla bean cream until smooth.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure all the sugar is combined.
  4. Add the remaining sugar and the peppermint extract.
  5. Mix in the food gel until it’s the color you desire.
  6. Add remaining vanilla bean cream until you get the consistency you want.  Mix on high 3-4 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Thin Mint Cookies
Peppermint Buttercream
Chocolate Shavings
Piping bag & large round tip
Apple corer

  1. Core each cupcake using the apple corer.
  2. Fill each cupcake with whipped ganache.  (I filled a disposable piping bag, cut off the top and filled each one with that.)
  3. Using a large round tip and a piping  bag, pipe a round swirl of buttercream on to each cupcake.
  4. Top with a Thin Mint cookie and chocolate shavings.
  5. EAT! ENJOY!

And this is what you do when you have left over peppermint buttercream.  NOM NOM NOM

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Sugar & Cream for baking

Beanilla was having a HUGE sale on their vanilla beans, so I snatched up a 1/2lb of Madagascar beans this week.  Seriously, the BEST investment I’ve made for my baking in a long time.

These beans are so fresh, so moist, and so full of great vanilla flavor…  I really can’t wait to use them in EVERYTHING for the next few months.  I just hope that 1/2lb was enough!

First thing I made took me no time at all.  Vanilla Sugar.  Seriously, get some vanilla beans and make some of this yourself.  It takes 2 minutes and your sugar will thank you!!

Vanilla Sugar
airtight container
5lb bag of sugar
2 Madagascar vanilla beans, split length wise

  1. Empty the bag of sugar into the airtight container.
  2. Add the two vanilla beans to the sugar.  Put the lid on and shake until the beans are covered in sugar.
  3. Let the beans hangout over night in the sugar.
  4. Take the lid off, smell, taste, enjoy!  You now have vanilla sugar!

NOTE:  You can just keep adding sugar to the container as you go through it as well as any other used vanilla bean husks as you bake.  Just take the old ones out when they’re all dried up.  You can used the dried up beans in milk/cream to make vanilla cream! Nom nom nom.

And then I made Vanilla Cream.  You can use this cream in place of any recipe that calls for milk or heavy cream.  It will add such a rich, delicious vanilla flavor to whatever it is you’re baking.

You could also use it as coffee creamer.  Nom nom nom

Vanilla Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Madagascar vanilla bean

  1. Split the vanilla beans open length wise using a sharp knife.  Scrape out the vanilla bean paste from inside the pod.
  2. In a small heavy bottomed pot, whisk together the heavy cream, vanilla bean pod and paste.
  3. Cook on LOW for about 10 minutes, whisking often.
  4. Increase heat to medium until the milk just begins to simmer and bubble.  NOTE:  You don’t not want it to reach a full boil or burn.  Just a nice, slow simmer.
  5. As soon as the milk begins to bubble up, remove it from the heat and whisk.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. A film may form on the top of the cream, just whisk it until it’s smooth again.
  8. Remove the vanilla bean pod if you’re going to use all the cream immediately.  If you plan to store the cream for later use, leave the bean in the cream until you’re ready to use it.