I cannot get enough cherries this summer. It’s always a tease when grocery stores start supplying them…for $4 a pound!
What the heck?! I hardly pay $4 a pound for anything.
So instead I patiently wait, and wait, and wait until those bad boys finally dip into the 1-2$ a pound range. Now that I can justify.
I must have hit all the hot spots these last few weeks, because everywhere I go cherries seem to be on sale. We’ve had a fluid supply of them for the past month, always washed and ready for a sweet snack pick-me-up.
I’ve even turned my kids into cherry monsters…well, I’ll be honest, Braelyn I’m still working on. But Emry, that kid will down cherries.
It’s like watching a sit down comedy when Emry gets a handful of cherries. Up until recently, she would pop the whole dang thing in her mouth, chew it up and swallow it, pit and all. I probably should have cared or kept a better eye on her when she did this, but every time I tried to take the seed out, she would scream at me.
I know, I know. I can already hear my mother’s response to this justification, “Well who’s in charge, you or her???”
Ben was mortified when he watched her do this for the first time.
Being a sales rep for scopes used in endoscopy/colonoscopies, he informed me of all the extremes that could happen with her swallowing cherry seeds whole. So, as a good mom should have done much earlier, I banned her from eating them.
But she loves them so much! So finally Ben took it upon himself to teach her how to de-pit her own cherries. It’s the cutest thing ever. First she holds the cherry and makes you pull the stem off. Then she nibbles all the flesh away. Lastly, she pops the pit into her mouth and sucks every last ounce of cherry juice off before spitting the seed out and throwing it on the floor. We’re still working on the last part.
Braelyn, who usually licks the frosting off of everything and leaves the slobbery cake behind, even exclaimed, “Hey, I love this cake too! It’s, like, really good mom!”
Well okay, then. I’ll take that. Funny thing about this cake it that it is not red. It’s more of a blueberry color. Unless you are using…ahem…”fake” maraschino cherries, your cake is not going to be a bright red or even pink hue. Fresh cherries are a very dark red, almost purple, and that’s what you will get. If you do prefer a red cake, just throw in some red food coloring, if you insist. =)
You get more of the cherry flavor in the frosting, which is almost an icing or glaze. I also added a tad of lemon juice to give additional tartness to the topping. Next time I think I may experiment with almond extract instead. I bet a bit of almond extract would pair well in the cupcakes as well, in place of the vanilla, but then they wouldn’t be…well…cherry vanilla cupcakes anymore.
Oh well, do what you want. As long as you’re happy, and well fed, right?!
What is your favorite cherry dessert?
- For Cupcakes:
- 1½ sticks butter, room temperature
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond)
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup white rice flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup gluten free oat flour
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup pureed cherry juice (about 1½ cups pitted cherries)
- For Frosting:*
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup pureed cherry juice (about ½ cup pitted cherries)
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or almond extract)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two regular sized muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- For cupcakes, in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla, or almond extract, and beat until incorporated.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, sift together white rice four, potato starch, tapioca starch, gluten free oat flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of this sifted mixture to egg mixture and mix until combined.
- Add sour cream to mixing bowl and mix until combined. Add remaining sifted flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until combined.
- Wash and remove pits from about 2 cups of cherries (for cupcakes and frosting). Place in a food processor and pulse until smooth juice forms. Measure 1 cup of juice and add to cupcake mixture. Beat until combined and then 2 minutes more. Reserve remaining cherry juice for frosting.
- Fill cupcake liners ⅔ way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until edges are lightly brown and tops bounce back with touch of a finger. Remove and cool on cooling rack for 2 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and finish cooling on rack until ready to be frosted.
- To make frosting, beat cream cheese and 1½ cups of powdered sugar. Add pinch of salt, ⅓ cup cherry juice and lemon juice (or almond extract) and beat until combined. Add remaining 1½ cups of powdered sugar and beat until combined. If you would like a thicker frosting, continue adding powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.
- Spoon frosting/glaze onto tops of cupcakes and garnish with fresh cherries.