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Life's A Bowl of Cherry Filling (And Chocolate Cake!)

by caroline

Truth time: I’ve never had Black Forest Cake before. Can you believe it?!

But when I asked a question the other day on my Facebook page about what treat people still had yet to learn how to make gluten-free, I had a fan say, “Black forest cake! :(”

And I thought, “Hmmmm ….. I think now’s the time!”

So, I set about researching black forest cakes, ingredient options and so forth, and happened upon this guy. It seemed like the right fit. It didn’t require too many alterations and I thought it would be a great jumping off point.

I had no idea it was going to be pure heaven.

I opted to make cupcakes instead of a full-sized cake, seeing as how this was my first time making the recipe and I also like the idea of having individual portion sizes. This meant I had to find a crafty way to put the filling inside the cupcakes, so I decided to cut a hole in the center and put the cherry filling inside. I’ve always had a sick obsession with the As Seen On TV Betty Crocker Bake ‘n Fill set, and I think it may have been what sparked this idea.

Here are the ingredients, adapted from AllRecipes.com:

Gluten-Free Black Forest Cupcakes

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

Cake:

  • 2 1/8 cups gluten-free flour (I used the G-Spot Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend, but I also like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur mixes.), plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1 14 oz. can pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Topping:

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Use a pastry decorator with a “star” tip to place the topping on the cupcakes; if you do not have one, then just use a smooth icing spatula to spread evenly. (Great step-by-step instructions here.)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190.5 degrees C). Grease and flour two 12-cup muffin pans or use muffin papers to line the cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 Tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges (unless using muffin papers), and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.
  5. Combine whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. When cupcakes have cooled, use a long serrated knife to cut a small hole out of the top of each cupcake and place tops aside. Place the cherry filling in each hole (about 1 Tablespoon – 1-1/2 Tablespoons each) and then put the tops back on the cupcakes. If you are using a pastry decorator, then prepare it by filling the tube with the whipped topping. Squeeze over each cupcake, starting from the outside edge and circle toward the center. If you are using a pastry spatula, then spread topping evenly on each cupcake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto the center of each cupcake.

Note: This recipe is gluten-free. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Since I had never had Black Forest Cake before, nor had I tried this recipe, I had no idea what to expect with these cupcakes. But I was so pleasantly (and so was my sweet tooth) surprised! The cherry filling added a wonderful moistness to the cake, and if I hadn’t been the one to bake the cupcakes, then I never would have known they are gluten-free. And the whipped topping — oh, the topping! The heavy whipping cream was absolutely sinful, but worth every lick. (And there were a lot!) :P

Thank you to our wonderful fan, Bella, for this request — you made us Black Forest Cake believers!