Chocolate cherry cupcakes with a Smarties cream cheese icing (Happy Birthday Ariel!)

What a flavour combination, huh?

Don’t give me that look because you think I’m crazy for combining cherries and Smarties. I know the look. It’s something like this:

Okay, let’s be real. I just wanted an excuse to post this picture. I’m sure you guys aren’t ACTUALLY making a face at me. Right? RIIIIGHT?

Well whatever. They were good. I’ll admit, I never thought the three things would ever be combined. That all changed, however, once I took a trip (well several trips, actually. About once a week for all of second and third year…) to my friendly neighbourhood Dairy Queen with my good friend Ariel.

Here’s the backstory: As one of her several high school jobs, Ariel had a stint serving ice cream at DQ. When you’re a teenager and left fairly unattended in a large, ice cream shop, what choice do you have but try different flavour combinations? Read: LETS THROW EVERYTHING INTO THE BLIZZARD MAKER, GUYS. I had a similar experience when I worked at Starbucks in grade 12 and we made a lemon poppy seed loaf frappuccino…

But anyways, this post is not about getting Ariel and I indicted for the mischievous things we did with industrial powered mixers in high school. Nope, this post is about belatedly celebrating Ariel’s birthday, which she was not in Ottawa for.

And what better way to celebrate then to transform her favourite kind of blizzard into cupcake form?

I was very wary as to how these would turn out. I’ve never used/bought/eaten cherry pie filling before, and was concerned as to how it would affect the batter. To play things safe, I strained the actual cherries into a bowl and the result underneath was a giant goop of something that looked like cough syrup mixed with zombie blood.

There was about a cup of this liquid-y goo

Though these cupcakes didn’t rise to become mountainous domes, they were moist and had scattering of cherry. My other old roommate Alex said they were good enough to be a wedding cake! The Smarties cream cheese icing reminded me of Smarties ice cream and was the perfect topping to these rich, chocolatey cupcakes. Blizzard transformation: complete.

Please pardon the lack of photos – I was in a rush to get to the actual birthday party!

Pulverization is best served by the pounding of a meat cleaver

PS: a third-year journalism student at Carleton swung by my baking session to interview me for her multimedia class. I posed awkwardly with my hand mixer which I described as the “love of my life” way too many times.

Recipe: Chocolate cherry cupcakes with a Smarties cream cheese icing
Cupcakes
Adapted from All Things Cupcakes
– 2 cups sugar
– 1/2 cup oil
– 2 eggs
– 2 tbsp vanilla extract
– 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
– 3/4 cup cocoa
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 cup milk
– 1 can (28 oz) cherry pie filling, strained (keep the syrup)

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the sugar and oil. Mix in the eggs, one at a time and add the vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add to the liquid mixture with the milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of the milk. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the cherry pie syrup and add into the batter. Gently fold in the cherries.

Icing
– 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
–  1/4 cup butter, softened
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 4 cups icing sugar
– 1 cup Smarties, crushed

Use a hand mixer to whip the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla. One cup at a time, mix in the icing sugar. Slowly add the crushed Smarties and mix until well combined.

Pipe or spread the icing onto the cupcakes.

Makes 18 cupcakes and 18 cupcakes-worth of icing.

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6 thoughts on “Chocolate cherry cupcakes with a Smarties cream cheese icing (Happy Birthday Ariel!)

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