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Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

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Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

Spring is (finally) in the air.

I think.

Maybe.

For this week, anyway.

Cherry Blossom Cupcake

After hearing so much about the famous Washington, D.C. cherry blossoms, it’s exciting to finally get to actually see them. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy for Spring and the end of waking up to snow every other morning for 5 months straight.

These cherry blossom cupcakes were quite fun to bake, to design, to photograph, to eat… The crazy thing is that there’s actually no chocolate in the cupcakes; they get their deep color (and, surprisingly, a somewhat-chocolatey flavor) purely from the cherries. You can easily leave them unfrosted and serve them for breakfast as muffins. But do try the hot pink frosting if you get a chance—It comes together in under a minute, and no food coloring is needed!

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

Adapted from Hummingbird Cupcakes

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted (240g) (I used frozen)
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice (30g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar (12g)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (8g)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil (30g)
  • 1 cup spelt or all-purpose or Bob’s gf flour (130g)
  • only if using the gf flour, add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar of choice or xylitol (90g) (Can reduce to 1/3 cup if a slightly-sweet muffin is preferred)
  • 1/16 tsp pure stevia, or 2 additional tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a muffin tin with liners. Blend together first 5 ingredients until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour wet into dry, and stir until just evenly mixed. Pour into 10-11 muffin tins and bake 19-20 minutes or until cupcakes have domed and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Allow to sit 10 minutes before removing from the tins. Frost with your favorite frosting, and add real or fake cherry blossoms if desired for garnish. For the frosting in the photos, I scraped the cream off a can of full-fat coconut milk and mixed it with beet juice (2 tsp per every 1/2 cup cream) and a little stevia to taste. No food coloring needed! (If you go this route, it’s best to frost right before serving, due to the lack of preservatives in this all-natural frosting.)

View Cherry Blossom Cupcakes Nutrition Facts

Cherry Cupcakes

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite way to eat cherries? 

My absolute favorite way to eat cherries is frozen, straight from the bag. They have an almost ice-cream-like richness, and you don’t have to worry about taking out the annoying pits. I can go through a bag of frozen cherries pretty quickly.

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Link of the Day: Mocha Coconut Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I would have never guessed there wasn’t any chocolate in these by looking at them! So jealous you got to see the cherry blossoms in D.C. That’s definitely a bucket list item for me.

  2. Looks delicious, Katie! How remarkable that the cupcakes get that rich of a coloring just from the cherries. I bet these are so moist, too!

  3. These look like they would make great muffins too (without the frosting, though I love the pretty pink). I never think to use cherries in muffins, but I’m going to give it a try! Thanks!

  4. They look absolutely lovely!
    If using frozen cherries, do you use all the juice that comes with thawing? As there’s not much other liquid, I guess that yes, but not sure.
    My favourite way to eat cherries is to eat them … I’m addicted to them, can’t stop once I’ve started!

  5. Kavli says:

    Stunning pictures Katie! And cupcakes look delicious! Spring has long ‘sprung’ here in Texas (well, except today- it’s a ‘chilly’ 52 degrees!), and blue bonnets are everywhere, but yes DC Cherry blossoms are gorgeous! I’m sure you do miss the blue bonnets too

    1. Kavli says:

      My whole comment did not post 😐

      Anyway, question for you. When you mention ‘Bob’s’ GF flour, is that the only one that will work? Can I not use any GF flour?

      1. EVA says:

        You might be able to, she just specifies Bob’s GF because that is the brand she used, and every brand’s all-purpose flour is composed of different flours, so it could possibly interact differently.

  6. What stunning pics!! I love the contrast of the pink and the chocolate…and I love the detail of the flowers!

  7. These look great! I used to live in DC, and the cherry blossoms were one of my favorite things.

    I like eating cherries plain and fresh basically, but I’m boring.

  8. These are beautiful, Katie! My three favorite ways to enjoy cherries are fresh off the stem, in healthy cherry pie, and in this red velvet smoothie (http://blissfulbasil.com/2014/02/12/red-velvet-smoothie/)!

  9. Bianca says:

    Yay!! Happy spring. It’s so exciting to see all the trees blooming here. Lots of dogwoods around these parts.

  10. So do you put the cherries in whole (aside from the pits of course)? I don’t see anywhere that you say to blend them, but also the cupcake “bite” shot doesn’t look like it has any pieces in it.

    I absolutely love the idea of the beet juiced to color the coconut whipped cream. I just made some this past weekend and having a variety of colors would be so fun.

    1. Petrina says:

      Yes, I was wondering about this too. Are the cherries blended with the other ingredients? It doesn’t look like there are whole cherries or cherry pieces in the cupcakes. Thanks!

      1. chocolatecoveredkatie says:

        Yikes. Yes, blend. Fixed in the directions. Sorry for the confusion!

  11. I was sure these had to be chocolate with a cherry frosting when I first saw the pictures. That color from the cherries is amazing.
    I love frozen cherry banana soft serve. It’s so much sweeter than the typical strawberry banana version. Yum!

  12. samantha says:

    Yum! These look so good, but also so pretty! Sadly, I love cherries in their unhealthy, sugar laden glazed form. I haven’t tried them frozen, but that sounds good! I do like them fresh though, but the pips are annoying.

  13. Klara says:

    What do you mean that you don’t have to worry about taking the pits out of cherries when you eat them frozen? I feel like I’m missing something…! Thanks!

    1. Anna says:

      When you buy them frozen, they’re usually already pitted. Or if you buy them fresh, you usually take the pits out before freezing them

      1. Klara says:

        Oh, that’s awesome! I’ve never seen them already pitted!
        Thanks 🙂

  14. Amelia P. says:

    These look delicious! I have never made anything with cherries… Maybe you should try red velvet brownies next? Saw a recipe online, but it wasn’t vegan ):

  15. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE eating frozen cherries out of the bag. They are seriously the best.

  16. Megan says:

    Yum-these look amazing and really shocked no chocolate! I am definitely going to have to try these!
    I used to live in DC and loved walking the Tidal Basin and seeing all the gorgeous cherry blossoms! Like pink snow when they fell 🙂

  17. Ellen says:

    I’m a fan of frozen cherries straight out of the bag too! I also like making smoothies using cherries and ginger with some almond milk and protein powder. These cupckes are delightful, perfect in pink for spring:)

  18. EVA says:

    I was gonna say “Aww man, these are just like the Hummingbird cupcakes, and I wanted a new recipe!”, but then I saw these were completely chocolate-free and was astounded. It’s black magic, I tell ya! Literally.

    I’m not a big fan of cherries, the only ones I’ll eat are bing cherries. I never did do good at our “who can spit the pit the farthest” contests….

  19. Rachel says:

    These look delicious! I definitely need to make them. I’d love to try them with other stone fruits, too, like plums.

    My favorite way to eat cherries is fresh and raw, straight from the market.

  20. Marie says:

    Was there supposed to be a recipe for frosting with the Cherry Blossom Cupcakes?

    1. chocolatecoveredkatie says:

      Yup, it is listed in the post.