Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes – Covered in Swiss meringue frosting and topped with a chocolate covered cherry, these dark chocolate cupcakes are simply irresistible.

We love all frosting in our house. From simple chocolate buttercream frosting, to a classic cream cheese frosting! Today’s recipe is a new favorite.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Swiss Meringue frosting recipe

What is Swiss Meringue Frosting

If you’re new to Swiss Meringue style frosting, don’t be afraid!

While it takes a little more effort than your everyday vanilla buttercream, Swiss Meringue frosting is well worth it.

Egg whites get warmed with sugar, beaten to form the stiff peaks that make meringue so good, then combined with butter.

For these cupcakes, you’ll also add a little cherry juice to your Swiss Meringue Frosting to the perfect touch of flavor and color.

It’s such a smooth, buttery frosting and it’s perfect with the cherry and chocolate.

Once you try this cherry version, you may want to revisit my Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue frosting from awhile back too. Both are awesome.

I used my favorite dark chocolate cupcake recipe as the base for this delicious cupcake and was not disappointed. These would be great Valentine’s Day desserts or for any occasion when you want to make a chocolate lover happy!

Ingredient Notes

  • Dark cocoa powder – Unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder gives these cupcakes the richest chocolate flavor. If needed, you can substitute regular unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Buttermilk – Homemade buttermilk substitute works great here.
  • Coffee – Make a little extra coffee in the morning and set it aside to add deeper chocolate flavor to your cupcakes.
  • Marachino cherries – Keep the stems on! Set aside the cherry juice to add to your frosting.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Swiss Meringue frosting recipe

Step by Step Instructions

First, make your cupcakes:

STEP 1. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the buttermilk and coffee in another.

STEP 2. Beat the butter, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl, then alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coffee mixture until a smooth batter forms.

STEP 3. Fill the lined cavities of a cupcake pan with batter, then bake for about 15 minutes.

Let the cupcakes cool completely while you make the Swiss Meringue Frosting.

To make the frosting:

STEP 1. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a small sauce pan, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

STEP 2. Add sugar to a heat safe bowl and place it over the water. Whisk the egg whites with sugar until the mixture reaches 145 degrees.

STEP 3. Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the meringue is doubled in size.

STEP 4. Gradually beat in the butter, then add salt and cherry juice. Fold in mini chocolate morsels.

Pipe the frosting on to your cupcakes, then dip marachino cherries into melted dark chocolate and place them on top of each cupcake. So pretty and delicious!

Tips and Tricks

  • The frosting needs a LOT of time in the mixer to achieve the right consistency. Add the butter very slowly to the meringue and beat beat beat!
  • If the butter appears to curdle when you add it to the egg whites, that’s okay. Just keep mixing and it’ll all smooth out.
  • I used frosting tip 1A to make swirls on top of the cupcakes. Pipe on in spirals, like an ice cream cone.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make the frosting without a candy thermometer?

No. This is one time when you need to get the ingredients to a precise temperature to have good results.

Why does my frosting look curdled?

You probably didn’t mix it for long enough. It needs a full 8 – 10 minutes in the stand mixer on medium speed to get all the butter and cherry juice fully incorporated.

Can this be made as a layer cake instead?

Yes. It makes a beautiful layer cake too. Divide the batter into two 9 inch baking pans sprayed with baking spray and add baking time as needed until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

There’s no day like today for trying your hand at making Swiss Meringue Frosting! Paired with sweet cherry flavor and piped on to rich dark chocolate cupcakes, this heavenly frosting is a must-try.

Who’s ready to bite into a Cherry Chip Cupcake?

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

4.80 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes – Covered in Swiss meringue frosting and topped with a chocolate covered cherry, these dark chocolate cupcakes are simply irresistible.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes



  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup brewed coffee strong
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

For the Frosting:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 24 maraschino cherries with stems
  • 2 ounce chocolate Candiquik
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  • For the cupcakes, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix brewed coffee and milk. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes until fluffy. Add egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients, alternating with milk mixture (in about 3 additions).
  • Pour into lined cupcake pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. Remove and cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, heat a small saucepan with one inch of water, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a low simmer. Place a heat safe mixing bowl over the simmering water. Add egg whites and sugar to bowl, whisking until combined. Attach a candy thermometer and continue whisking over simmering water until temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
  • In a clean, dry mixing bowl, attached to a stand mixer with whisk  attachment, beat egg white mixture on medium speed until doubled in size and cooled. This process takes 6-10 minutes.
  • Slowly beat in butter, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time. Keep mixing until all butter has been added. It may appear curdled, keep mixing. Add salt slowly and add cherry juice. This process takes an additional 8-10 minutes for the addition of butter and juice. Fold mini morsels into frosting.
  • Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy!


  • To pipe onto a cupcake like the photo, use tip 1A. Pipe in circles, swirling upward like an ice cream cone.
  • To make chocolate cherry garnishes, use maraschino cherries with stems attached. Melt 2oz chocolate candy coating in microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth. Dry the cherries on a paper towel and holding the stem dip each cherry into the melted chocolate. Place upright on a piece of parchment paper. After frosting each cupcake, top with a chocolate covered cherry.
  • Recipe makes enough frosting for 18-24 cupcakes, or a 2 layer 9-inch cake.


Calories: 323kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 107mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g
Course: Cupcake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 22, 2014

Comments & Reviews

  1. That’s such a bummer that somebody beat you to the frosting cookbook! It really is nice that we get to see all of them here, although I would’ve bought your book. haha I love that Swiss meringue looks fantastic!

  2. Omg has it really been that long?!? I DEMAND SO MANY CUPCAKE RECIPES NOW! And by demand I mean pretty please share more ahmazing and adorable cupcakes with fluffy, fabulous frostings like this one, Aimee. Pretty please with extra frosting on top. 😀

  3. oh wow, love this one, cool how you chocolate covered the cherry, they look delicious! I could eat on of these right now! 🙂


  4. I’m sorry about the book, bummer! But I can’t wait to see all the recipes! These look delicious! Swiss meringue buttercream is definitely not as scary as it looks and oh so smooth!

  5. So excited to see all of your frosting recipes on here!! And this one is just absolutely perfect. I mean, died-and-gone-to-heaven perfect!

  6. Seventy… I am wicked excited to see these creative frosting recipes. If they’re anything like this one, then they have to be epic. Love this cupcake! Pinned.

  7. What a bummer after all that work! At least you have a stock pile of recipes now which we all are jealous of 🙂 This frosting looks amazing! Sharing on FB & Pinned!

    1. It is a bummer…but on the bright side, all the future work of cookbook creating has been avoided 😉 Thanks for sharing Julie!

  8. I am new to your website. I am drooling over this particular cupcake and look so forward to getting all your frosting recipes. I make cupcakes for special events and am always looking for THE best frostings around…I think I have found them. I am sad you didn’t get to do your cookbook. It seems you have a very kind heart for others and looking out for their best interest at heart. I would have bought the cookbook..but, instead I will follow you on here and enjoy all your wonderful recipes you are willing to share for free. Thank you, for you are amazingly talented and kind spirit..looking forward to seeing more of you awesome creations.

  9. You are such a sweetie to graciously give up the cookbook at this point! But yay for all the fun frostings that will coming at us soon! I love your frosting to cupcake ratio…just the way I like it too! These are so pretty and that frosting is amazing sounding!

  10. Sorry to hear about your book Aimee, I think it would have been fantastic! I love frostings and my favorite is Swiss Meringue too – yours looks amazing on these cupcakes especially with all the cherries and mini chocolate chips!

  11. you know I was all set to preorder your book so Im disappointed but maybe another one will come along!!! these sound like greg’s dream come true so I’ll definitely need to try them…..or you can just bring when you come out 🙂

  12. I’m sorry about that book idea not working out, but yay for us! These are fabulous. So pretty too!

  13. I think the world could have done just fine with 2 books on frosting. But, I understand your choice. Looking forward to seeing your recipes. Coincidentally, I just posted a frosting recipe on Cupcake Project today. 🙂

    1. Awww you’re sweet. Pizzazzerie’s book is incredible, I just don’t want to take anything away from it 🙂 PS…Tiramisu frosting was in my book too 🙂

  14. Oh Aimee I think it would of been a wonderful book that I would of bought! You amaze me at what a gracious spirit you have I know it probably was disappointing for a while!! These cupcakes sound amazing!!

    1. Thanks Nancy, you’re so sweet! I honestly haven’t had time to be disappointed. The idea of photographing the cookbook stressed me out so much, that this is much better. You all aren’t too harsh on my bad photos 🙂

4.80 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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