Stuffed with cherries and using just a bit of coconut sugar, these cupcakes are a healthier take on a dessert treat. Free of grains, gluten and refined sugars, pair with buttercream frosting to take them to the next level!
Are cherry cupcakes not usually a thing? I picked up some really delicious ones this summer and when I got a craving, started searching for a cupcake recipe to use them in. Well, apparently everyone makes cherry MUFFINS, but not cupcakes. I don't know what that's about but I decided it was time to change that so I promptly started working on a cupcake recipe.
Inspired by my small batch gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe, I knew that I wanted to make these have a vanilla base to go along with the cherries (rather than chocolate) so it didn't take away from the cherries. But that's kind of where the similarities end. This recipe will make a full dozen cupcakes using a base of almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut flour. Rather than using a sweetener like honey or maple syrup, I decided to go with coconut sugar. It blends in nicely with the flour base, doesn't make the batter too moist and helps keep the nice color of the cupcakes. I love maple syrup but at a certain point it can darken the batter and I didn't want that for these.
The first run through of this recipe I used fresh cherries. I had picked up a really good bunch at Whole Foods and loved how they tasted. If you can get fresh that are actually in season/ripe/whatever, DO IT. Now, I know that with the exception of these random 80+ degree days, summer is basically over. And I know that along with that, cherry season is buh-bye. But that's ok! I also made this Paleo cupcake recipe with frozen cherries too and they are the absolute tits in it. Sometimes I actually prefer using fruit that is frozen at the peak of it's ripeness so I can guarantee the taste and flavor of them. In this recipe, it totally works.
One disclaimer I do have though: If you're going to use frozen cherries, double or check them for pits before and after chopping. I swear, even though I bought pitted cherries one somehow magically survived and Kyle had the unfortunate circumstance of finding it. Oops! Basically, don't be me. Don't be lazy and don't risk someone choking on a cherry pit.
Now, to really take these grain free cherry cupcakes to the next level, I wanted to top them with a nice frosting. Pairing these with my refined sugar free blueberry buttercream is to die for. Cherries and blueberries make an amazing combination! As you could guess, the blueberry buttercream has dairy in it so if you abstain from that all around pair it with my dairy free strawberry frosting instead! It's made with coconut cream and would add a nice and airy texture to top off the cupcakes. Whether you’ve had cherry cupcakes before or not, I’m positive you’ll be happy with how these Gluten Free Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes + Blueberry Buttercream (or Dairy Free Strawberry Frosting) taste!