Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

Cakes and Cupcakes, Dessert, Holiday Recipes, Kid Friendly Recipes, Valentine's Day | 9 comments

Food is a big part of how I express love and kindness to my family. It feels good to make something special for them and watch them enjoy eating it.

In our home, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the adults. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to do a little something extra special to express love to all members of your family, kids included. Put two and two together and you’ll find that I usually make the day a little extra special using my kitchen.

Cherry Vanilla Cucpakes

It doesn’t need to be a big production to be special. I usually offer a small gift, like a book or stickers, and bake a special treat. This year Madeline is getting Emeraldalicious (the newest book in the Pinkalicious book series) and Logan is getting book #1 in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, something he’s been asking for.

My kids loved the Chocolate Cherry Cordial Thumbprint Cookies we made for Christmas. With that in mind, I started to brainstorm a few weeks ago about a new cherry dessert recipe that I could make for Valentine’s Day.

I decided on a Cherry Vanilla Cupcake. Initially I really wanted to put miniature cherry chips in the cupcake batter, but I wasn’t able to find any in my local stores and it appears that King Arthur Flour no longer sells them, so I had to leave that out.

Cherry Vanilla Valentine Cupcake

I still think cherry chips would be a really fun addition. If anyone knows where to buy cherry baking chips please speak up! Even without the cherry baking chips, everyone loved these cute pink Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes.

One of the perks of your mom being a food blogger, is that Logan and Madeline were able to sample these special Valentine’s Day Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes before Valentine’s Day, and I’ll still make them another treat on the real day. Maybe this again since they enjoyed the recipe so much, or perhaps something new.

Valentine’s Day is a fun little holiday to break up the winter blues and I hope you  have a great one!

More Yummy Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day


What dessert are you planning to make for Valentine’s Day?

Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

Print Save Recipe


For the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg whites, room temperature
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Cherry Vanilla Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces chopped maraschino cherries (pitted and stems removed)
reserved juice from cherries, as needed


For the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the racks in the center position. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, sour cream, and egg whites. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer (I got a better dome with the hand mixer). Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to the bowl and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light. Scrape the sides as necessary.

Add the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture while beating on medium speed, again scraping the sides as needed. Beat in half of the sour cream mixture. Alternately add the remaining flour mixture and sour cream until all the wet and dry ingredients have added, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth.

Use a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), evenly divide the batter between 18 lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 15-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the Cherry Vanilla Buttercream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds. Beat until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners' sugar while continuing to beat.

Once well blended, add in the vanilla and half of the chopped cherries. Mix on low speed until well combined and moist. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining cherries. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy. If more moisture is needed, add reserved cherry juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Pipe or decorate as desired. See Two Tone Frosting for Cupcakes and Cupcake Piping Tricks for piping tips.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Lynna - February 12, 2013 @ 2:06 am

    These are adorable and perfect for Vday. And you`re right, this holiday can be shared and celebrated with anyone you love, not just a partner. :)


  • 2
    Carla @ Carla's Confections - February 12, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    These cupcakes are so pretty! Loving them :)


  • 3
    Anna at Mama Writes - February 12, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    They not only look delicious, but super cute too!! A great idea for Valentine’s Day, thanks for sharing it!


  • 4
    The Ninja Baker - February 12, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

    Sooo pretty and perfect for Valentine’s Day…And anyway! Pink is such a cheery blues-buster. This is a keeper recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Katie.

    P.s.1. Intrigued by the cherry chips ingredient, I did a search online. Some stated Walmart was carrying the gems. However, when I looked in their online store, I did not see them…I’m keeping my eyes and ears alert though to a cherry chips discovery!

    P.s.2. Bravo that you are giving your children books as gifts =)


  • 5
    Zoe Alexander - February 13, 2013 @ 3:28 am

    These cupcakes, they look so sweet! Superb colour and beautiful presentation!
    Zoe xxx


  • 6
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking - February 17, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    I agree that it’s a fun little holiday. We don’t do anything special for it but I love the special goodies I get to bake. :)

    And the cupcakes look lovely! Love the color of the frosting.


  • 7
    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking - February 19, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    For us Valentine’s Day if a family holiday as well. We make it extra special without going crazy with the over priced store-bought gifts.
    I love these pink cupcakes and I know Tiffany would love them too, can’t wait to make some for her!


  • 8
    Gina - March 12, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

    This is a really delicious recipe with just the right sweetness. I made two batches for my son’s class on Valentines Day. I found myself eating a couple of extras as they were very satisfying. I didn’t get any of the sugar rush that sometimes comes with sweets. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks


  • 9
    Ashley - April 07, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

    I made these for my fiance. We’re trying to pick out wedding cake flavors and cherry & vanilla are 2 of his favorites. He’s not a big cake guy, but he really, really liked these! With some adjustments, this is going to be tier 2 of our cake! I’m so happy to have found something he likes. Thank you!


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