Cupcake Recipe

This delicious old fashioned Cherry Cupcake Recipe (aka Cherry Nut Gems) is baked with an upside-down topping of butter, brown sugar, and Maraschino cherries, then drizzled with an orange or lemon glaze.

The recipe was purchased for twenty five cents from a classified ad in Women's Circle Magazine in the 1970s.

The original name was Cherry Nut Gems because it was supposed to be baked in gem pans (they are little cupcake like pans that are swirled on the bottom.

However, those pans are hard to find now.

Cherry Cupcake Recipe

  • 7 tablespoons melted butter (about)

  • 7 tablespoon brown sugar (about)

  • 25 Maraschino Cherries (about)

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup soft (vegetable) shortening*

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 3/4 cups milk

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

If using butter instead of vegetable shortening, add an additional
1 tablespoon butter.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease well about 20 medium sized muffin tins**. Do not use paper liners!

Place 1 teaspoon melted butter in bottom of each greased muffin tin.

Now, place 1 teaspoon brown sugar on top of melted butter.

Cut cherries into four pieces and place 5 pieces cut side up on top of the brown sugar forming a "star" shape.

Set aside and prepare batter.

Cut cherries into four pieces and place 5 pieces cut side up on top of the brown sugar forming a "star" shape.

Set aside and prepare batter.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together shortening and the 1 1/4 cups brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, alternately with the milk . Fold in chopped nuts.

Spoon batter evenly in muffin tins, carefully filling half full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until they test done.

When done, turn out of pans at once onto wire racks, with wax paper underneath to catch any fall-off of the brown sugar-butter-cherry bottoms.

If any sticks to pans, simply remove from pans with a knife blade and place it on the cupcake it belongs to.

Do all this while the cupcakes are Hot!

Orange Or Lemon Glaze

  • confectioners (powdered) sugar

  • orange or lemon juice

Mix orange or lemon juice or a combination of both with enough sifted confectioners sugar to make a thin glaze.

Hold spoonful of glaze high above cakes and let it drizzle down like little strings.

**You can bake this Cherry Cupcake Recipe in "Gem" pans for attractive, delicious little cakes.

They are the little cupcake pans with the swirls on the bottom.

These Gem pans are usually found in specialty stores and are of such good quality they will last a lifetime...worth your investment!

Update: To include an everyday Maraschino Cherry Cupcake recipe that is quick and easy.

It has extra almond flavor in a luscious, Creamy Cherry Buttercream Frosting that will keep kids and adults alike drooling.

Maraschino Cherry Cupcake Recipe
Quick And Easy

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) softened to room temperature

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar

  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup chopped Maraschino Cherries, coarsely chopped and drained (reserve liquid)

Place softened butter in a mixing bowl and stir a few times.

Place sifted cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in sifter and sift ingredients over the butter.

Add half of the milk and slightly beaten egg to mixture and stir until the flour in moistened.

Beat mixture on low speed for 2 minutes.

Scrape down beater, sides and bottom of bowl.

Add rest of milk, almond and vanilla flavoring and beat 1 more minute.

Scrape down beater, sides and bottom of bowl again.

Place paper cupcake liners in regular cupcake or muffin tines and d spoon batter equally in each of 20 tines.

Should be 1/2 full or slightly more.

Bake in a preheated oven 350F for about 20 minutes or until done. Do not over bake.

When tests done, remove pans from oven and cool thoroughly on cooling rack.

While pans are cooling prepare Creamy Cherry Buttercream Frosting.

Creamy Cherry Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 stick (3/4 cup) salted butter*

  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3 cups sifted 10X confectioners (powdered) sugar

  • 2-3 tablespoons reserved Maraschino Cherry juice

  • 20 Maraschino Cherries with stems for taste and decoration

Add butter and flavorings in a mixing bowl.

Mix together 20-30 seconds on low speed just until flavors are well incorporated.

Add a little confectioners sugar and Maraschino Cherry juice at a time, mixing on low until all sugar is used up.

Turn mixer to medium speed and cream until there is no graininess of frosting when rubbed between your fingers.

If frosting is too thick, add a little more cherry juice until it is the right consistency for spreading on your cupcakes.

If it is too thin, sift in a little extra powdered sugar over batter and mix in well.

When the consistency is right, frost completely cooled cupcakes.

Top each cupcake with 1 stemmed Maraschino Cherry as is in the above image.


Tips For Perfect
Creamy Cherry Buttercream Frosting

It is important for butter to be soft but not melting when creaming Buttercream Frosting.

Do not over cream the frosting (too long) or turn your mixer higher than medium speed while creaming.

Higher speed during the creaming process creates larger air pockets and thus increased volume.

You will get more fluff taste and less creamy, yummy melt-in-your mouth taste.

This gives more of a professional, "Bakery Taste", in my opinion.

Don't remove cold, firm butter too soon from the refrigerator if you are having a hot day or just a hotter than normal kitchen.

If your butter seems to start melting around the edges, place in refrigerator to let it firm up a little.

To help prevent your creamy Buttercream from getting too warm wait until your cupcakes are thoroughly cooled before starting to make your frosting.

Make your cupcakes colder before frosting by chilling them in the refrigerator before frosting.

You can also place your cooled cupcakes in the freezer 15-20 minutes to get them cold.

On a hot, humid day add a little more confectioners sugar to the frosting to counteract the warming/softening effect.

If you are still having your frosting getting too warm to hold up well in warmer weather, substitute a solid vegetable shortening for half of the butter.

(I use Crisco brand if I want to substitute part of the butter or I want a "brighter" white colored frosting.)

If you want a really white frosting for these cupcakes you might also substitute 100% of the butter and use clear vanilla flavoring.

Of course, compromising some of the delicious, vanilla cherry flavor.

Related Pages

Maraschino Cherry Cake Recipe
Old fashioned Cake baked in a square pan, frosted with Maraschino Cream Cheese Frosting  and cut into squares

Applesauce Muffins Recipe
Make moist, delicious Applesauce Muffins or spicy Applesauce Cupcakes with a Butter Cream Frosting all from same recipe.

Return to Old Fashioned Cake  Recipes


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