Sugar and spice and white chocolate nice
Grandpa Sumsion’s favorite cake was Cherry Cake. It’s a dense, moist cake loaded with spices and decked out with whole sweet cherries and coarsely chopped nuts. Sweet, rich and spicy, it packs a mouthful of goodness in every bite. Grandma used to bottle tons of cherries in the summer so he could have his cake and eat it anytime of the year. Mom tells stories of picking Bing cherries in the summer season. “It was such hard work.” Mom still loves delicious plump fresh Bing cherries.
This is a new version of the same delicious ingredients. Still flavored with the same baking spices, the batter is lighter, perfect for a cupcake. The cherries are cut in smaller pieces and the nuts are chopped finer to scatter them prudently throughout.
The crowning glory is white chocolate buttercream. Grandma used to top this cake with vanilla frosting. Cherry and chocolate are a classic combination so I decided to develop a white chocolate buttercream to complement the cupcakes. When these little baby cakes are frosted, wow! It is amazing. I was actually not a white chocolate fan but now I’m a total, never turning back ‘dyed in the wool’ disciple. The richness balances the spicy flavors in the cake without overpowering. Great for cherry blossom season and all through the Spring and Summer.
2011 AniversaRecipe – Quinoa Under Stained Glass
Recipe: Grandpa Sumsion’s Cherry Blossom Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream
Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Cook Time: 22 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 36 Cupcakes | Level: Easy
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 sticks Butter, softened
- 2 cups Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 15-oz can Sweet Cherries, drained
- 1 cup Walnuts, fine chopped
- Maraschino Cherries, optional
- 8-oz White Chocolate, chopped
- 2 sticks Butter, softened
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp Half & Half
- 1 tsp Vanilla
Special Equipment – Muffin Pan
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals stirring to distribute just until there are a few chunks left. Let the residue heat finish melting them, stirring until smooth. Do not over heat. Set on the counter to cool.
4 Cut the sweet cherries into 4 pieces and reserve.
5 With a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and beat to combine.
6 Alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk adding 1/3 at a time until combined.
7 Take the beaters out and gently stir in the nuts and sweet cherries.
8 Fill muffin pan lined with cupcake papers 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then on a cooling rack.
10 Add the Half and Half and vanilla and stir to make spreading consistency.
11 Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream. Cut the maraschino cherries into small pieces and dot the top of each cupcake, if desired.
Sour Milk—In a one cup measurer, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and add milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Use a premium quality white chocolate for the buttercream.
Bake this recipe in two 9-inch round cake pans on 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean, about 31-34 minutes.
- Exchange Half & Half for milk to reduce calories or heavy cream for richer frosting.
- Exchange buttermilk for sour milk.
- Exchange Half & Half for cherry juice or puree to make a light pink cherry buttercream.