Cherry Coke Cupcakes

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If you know me, you know that I can be a bit of a perfectionist. It’s one of many things I inherited from my mother. And as a perfectionist, you might be surprised that I enjoy baking. I even find it therapeutic. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a pretty decent baker. Cooking is an entirely different story (unless you are talking about eggs or pancakes, lol)! While I enjoy trying new recipes, cooking stresses me out to no end. Maybe it’s just because I still (yes, at 35) don’t have a ton of practice, but whatever the reason, it stresses me out. I’m always worried that it won’t turn out right, we won’t like it, it’ll be a waste of money, etc. But baking, on the other hand, is great! So when I had the opportunity to make something “pink” to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month, I jumped at the opportunity to find a pink cupcake recipe to make.
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My coworker is a breast cancer survivor, so each year she spends October doing a month-long bake sale at work. This woman is incredible. She spends her own money and time baking ungodly amounts of treats to sell at our office, to turn around and donate the entire proceeds (not just the profit after what she spent on baking supplies) to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. While people love buying the baked goods, there isn’t a ton of participation in the baking department. As someone who has been affected by the tragedies of cancer more than once, I knew in my heart that I needed to help her out. I ended up making a few different treats throughout the month, but these cupcakes were, by far, the favorite! We did a trial run first, since this was the first time I had ever made my own cupcakes or frosting (versus store-bought), and those were sent to my husband’s work. He says his coworkers are begging for more treats now! (Next up, French Toast Cupcakes! Stay tuned!!).
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I found this recipe, and pretty much baked according to her directions the first time around, substituting the sour cream for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. While the cupcakes were tasty, they were a little dry, and we felt the cherry flavor in the frosting significantly overpowered the cherry coke taste in the cake itself. So when I made them for my company’s bake sale, we switched the amounts of cherry extract, and used full fat sour cream as directed, and we felt the flavors were balanced this way. You could probably use full fat plain Greek yogurt if you really wanted to sub out the sour cream, but that idea dawned on me after the fact. 😉 Also, I used maraschino cherries from a jar instead of fresh, because I was making these cupcakes in October. If you are going to make them during the summer, you could always use fresh cherries instead!
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So the cupcakes were a huge hit, and everyone loved them. I’d love to know what your favorite “pink” treats are too, if you are willing to share in the comments below! ☺

Yields 24

CHERRY COLA CUPCAKES RECIPE

10 min Prep Time
18 min Cook Time
28 min Total Time

Ingredients

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Cherry Coke Cupcakes
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix (make sure it has pudding in it)
3/4 cup of Sour Cream
3/4 cup of Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs – slightly beaten
1/2 cup of Cherry Cola
1 tablespoon of Cherry Extract

Cherry Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks of Unsalted Butter
3-4 cups of Powered Sugar, Sifted
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Cherry Extract
up to 4 tablespoons Milk
Food Coloring Gel

Instructions

Cherry Coke Cupcakes
1. In you mixer, mix the cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, soda, and cherry extract until well blended.
2. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
3. Spoon the mixture into the liners. (almost 3 tablespoon in each liner)
4. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 18-20 minutes.
5. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them to cool.
6. Add icing when fully cooled

Cherry Buttercream Frosting
1. Beat the butter for a few minutes using your mixer on medium speed.
2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until blended.
3. Add the cherry extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
*If you need stiffer frosting, add the remaining sugar.
*If you need a thinner frosting, add the remaining milk.
4. Add your food coloring gel until you get the color desired.

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