Since black forest is a longtime family favorite flavor, I decided to create a recipe that throws it back to my youth, yet has some modern flair. Although black forest cake is traditionally a sponge cake leavened with eggs, I decided to use our tried and true devil's food cake recipe. It's one of my daughter's favorite cake recipes, so I went for crowd appeal! Also, black forest cake typically calls for the cherries to soak in brandy. Julianna loves Maraschino cherries, so I again changed things up a bit. In place of the brandy, I added some almond extract to the icing. This gives the icing some kick, but keeps it kid-friendly. After doing some research, I discovered the name black forest comes from the chocolate shavings that are arranged to look like "tree bark" on the sides of the cake. Since this recipe isn't a full cake with sides to decorate, I decided to add dainty chocolate shavings as a cupcake topping.
So I hope you enjoy our changes to this iconic flavor! I also hope your spring is full of memories from your past and promises of new beginnings in the future!
Here's how I made these "blast from my past" Black Forest Cupcakes:
Cupcakes: 1 box devil's food cake or prepare our recipe for devil's food cake
Whipped Cream Icing: 1 pint heavy whipping cream; 1 cup powdered sugar; 1/2 tsp. almond extract
Garnish: 1 Hershey bar; 1 jar maraschino cherries
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with 12 liners. (Recipe makes enough for approximately 24 cupcakes.)
Whipped Cream Icing: Chill bowl and whisk attachment of stand mixer in refrigerator for 20 prior to making the icing. Place heavy cream in mixing bowl. Beat on medium high speed until cream forms stiff peaks (approximately 5 minutes.) Turn off mixer. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract. Mix on low for 1 additional minute. When cupcakes are cooled, pipe icing onto the centers of cupcakes.
Garnish: Use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls by running the peeler along the length-wise edge of the chocolate bar. Repeat several times for each cupcake. Top each cupcake with one maraschino cherry and several chocolate curls.