Tuesday, October 29, 2013

birthday cupcakes: cherry cola cupcakes

Paul is a HUGE fan of Cherry Coke. Actually, he's a huge fan of Cherry Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Coke Zero. All of which are tough to find here in Toronto (some convenience stores sell individual cans, but it's next to impossible to buy these by the case at a reasonable price). So whenever someone we know makes a trip to the US and offers to pick up something for us, we often ask for pop.

Recently, my co-worker was kind enough to bring Paul back a case of Cherry Coke and for his birthday, Paul chose Cherry Coke as his flavour of choice for his birthday cupcakes.

My main concern was that the cherry cola flavour wouldn't be strong enough and would get lost in the chocolate of the cupcake. But, with a little help from some extract oils, these cupcakes turned out pretty good.

Wait, did I say "pretty good"? Let me quote Paul (my toughest critic) who said "These are your most successful cupcakes to date". Hooray! I'm not sure if the fact that they were cherry cola flavoured helped make them extra delicious, but I'll take it!

I couldn't get my hands on any cola extract in time for Paul's birthday, so I ended up using a few drops of root beer extract and relying on the Cherry Coke to provide the "cola" flavour. For my next batch, I'll probably try harder to find cola extract, which should just enhance the cupcakes even more.

cherry cola cupcakes 
source: adapted from Sweet 2 Eat Baking's Cherry Coca-Cola (Coke) Cupcakes
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113 grams unsalted butter, softened
145 grams brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
125 ml Cherry Coke
63 ml buttermilk
125 grams self-raising flour
15 grams cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 drops of cola extract (I used root beer extract)
5 drops of cherry extract

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 cup Cherry Coke
5 drops of cola extract (I used root beer extract)
10 drops of cherry extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a standard cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter until it is creamy, then add the brown sugar and continue beating until the butter and brown sugar are combined and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  4. In a large bowl or cup, slowly mix together the Cherry Coke and buttermilk.
  5. In another large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda.
  6. Pour approximately one-third of the cola and buttermilk mixture into the creamed butter and sugar and then sift in approximately one-third of the flour and cocoa mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Stir well. Repeat this step until all the ingredients have been added. 
  7. Add the cola and cherry extracts to the batter.
  8. Stir the batter until all the ingredients are blended and smooth (but do not over-stir)
  9. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter. 
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them (still in the pan) onto a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  12. After 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place the cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter for a few minutes with the paddle attachment on medium speed. 
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed. Once the sugar has been incorporated with the butter, increase the mixer speed to medium and add salt and 2 tablespoons of milk. Slowly drizzle in the Cherry Coke. Beat for 3 minutes. 
  3. Add in the cola and cherry extracts and beat for another minute.
  4. Taste the frosting. If you prefer more cola or cherry flavour, add more extract, 2 drops at a time (be sure to thoroughly mix the frosting after each addition) until you're happy with the flavour.
  5. If you want your frosting stiffer, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add more Cherry Coke, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.
to assemble cupcakes:
  1. Make sure cupcakes have completely cooled.
  2. Using a frosting tip, pipe frosting onto the cupcakes (in the photos shown, I use a Wilton 1M tip).
yields: 12 cupcakes


  1. These look fab and sound scrumptious! Cherry cola is a recent discovery of mine and it's so yummy, I would love to try it in cupcake form!

    1. Kat - it's actually very tough to find Cherry Coke in Canada - we have to make trips to the US to get our supply! LOL


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