Family Classic: Cherry Surprizes

Oh goodness, it has been a long time since I’ve posted! Not for lack of baking, it’s been a busy baking season, so I have loads of posts coming up. I love the Christmas season, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, including going to the Stuart McLean Christmas show last weekend, which was absolutely lovely. At work we’ve implemented an awesome Christmas Calendar of fun. Last week I was responsible for Cookie Wednesday, my offerings are pictured below the recipe (the other cookies and bars picture will come up later this week) and on friday, Kat and Kathryn brought in hot chocolate and Baileys which made for an indulgent morning. To add to my Christmas joy, we had a Christmas/winter-themed trivia night with the NFB-Bads at Teri and Brian’s apartment which was incredibly fun. And finally, to make the week full of joy, Karen, Kat and myself lunched at the Vancouver Christmas Market, which is a German market. Awesome!

Also, I rearranged our tiny little living room to accommodate the Christmas tree, and it makes the space look huge! Huzzah!


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Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes for my 25th!

It was my 25th birthday on Tuesday (that’s right, mark your calendars!) and I decided on Monday night that I would bake up a batch of cupcakes to covertly celebrate. I didn’t mention the reason for my cupcake-offerings and none was asked (as they are used to weekly baking) but I was happy to see smiles all around. Gen took me out for a lovely jaunt to Granville Island and we had a romantic dinner up on The Sandbar’s patio.

 Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Made about 26 cupcakes.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 6-8 cups whole cherries (to be pitted and chopped… I didn’t measure the post-pitting/chopping amounts)
  • 3/4 cup of raspberry port (or some other fruit liquor that would be lovely with cherries… Kirsch perhaps)


  1. Do the cherries first, if only to avoid the frustration in the midst of baking. If you have a cherry pitter, make use of it; if not, use a bobby pin! Really, it worked for me. Rip the stem off and jab the rounded end of the bobby pin into the centre, moving it around to loosen the pit, extract pit, place pit-free fruit in bowl, grab new cherry, repeat process. Be careful, cherries are squirt-y and the juice is stain-y.
  2. Once the pitting is complete roughly chop the cherries (set aside 26 or so whole cherries for popping in the top of the cupcakes before baking) and place back in the bowl, pour your port over your cherries and allow them to soak while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, or at the very least, well combined.
  6. Pour off the port and cherry juice into the butter and sugar mixture. Add the eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla and combine.
  7. Slowly  add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  8. Fold in your cherry pieces.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 and push a pitted-whole cherry into the top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, OR until the top springs back when poked.
  11. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes and then frost. I frosted mine with Dreamy Buttercream that I doused with about 3/4 cup of port… not the brightest idea as it started to separate, but with some vigorous mixing it stayed together and tasted great. Wash a bunch of cherries with nice stems, pat dry, and plop into the icing for a fancy-looking treat.

Up close and personal with a classy cupcake.