Sour Cherry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Ahem… is this thing on?

Just checking. It’s been about two months since I last updated this little nook of the internets, and that’s a long time, in blog years.

At any rate, I’m sorry – I didn’t intend on leaving you all post-less for so long. Here’s everything you need to know about the past few (fine, many) weeks:

1. I graduated from pastry school. I am now a pastry chef. (I’m doing my best to sound casual about this. Actually, I’m pretty damn excited about it. HOLLER.)

2. I went on a Eurotrip with my mom, dad, and sister, Casey. A week-long trip to Tuscany, with a day of Rome and a bonus day in Berlin, to boot. Oh, you want to see pictures? Well okay then.

Berlin’s wurst wurst.
Beautiful Tuscany

First dinner in Radda in Chianti

Not at all life size Chianti wine cork

First breakfast in Raddi in Chianti

First cappuccino

Wild Boar – Cinghiale – regional specialty

Strega Nona?

I definitely didn’t hang out here. Nope.

Not even a little bit.

getting mad air by the leaning tower of pizza. …Pisa.

Pretty window in VolterraJust a couple of gladiators, out on the town. …When in Rome?

3. I got a job. A real one, as the private chef to a New York City family of four. Oh, did I mention it’s in the Hamptons? Yeah, I’ll be “summering” in the Hamptons for the next few months, cooking my little heart out for my employers and all their well-to-do guests. I feel like I should get my own reality show.

4. Sour cherry cupcakes. Or muffins. But really, cupcakes. Cupcakes slash muffins…Cuppins?

Sour Cherry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

I adapted these (only slightly) from a recipe I saw on Smitten Kitchen. Deb uses fresh peaches in her cupcakes, but when my sister, Casey, and I saw some seductive looking sour cherries at the Ardmore Farmer’s Market, we decided they’d be a welcome substitute. Turns out we were right.

Straight out of the oven, these guys are the fluffiest, most delicious muffins, but swirl on a bit of frosting and they turn into fluffy, delicious cupcakes with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It’s up to you – go sans frosting for muffininity, or pile it on for cupcakery. Either way, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


For cupcakes:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sour cherries, washed, stemmed and pitted

For frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 8-ounce packages of mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: For cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 28 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Gently mix in the sour cream. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the cherries.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting:

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth and light. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator until it firms up a bit, about 30 minutes, then spread on cooled cupcakes.

Casey “helps” with the frosting

Makes 24-28 cupcakes.

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6 Responses to Sour Cherry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

  1. Jennifer says:

    Someone neglected to mention that they were VALEDICTORIAN of their pastry class!!! YAY MOLLS! xoxoxo

  2. Jane says:

    i have missed this blog!!!!

  3. Lis says:

    oh, Mols, i just love reading your blog. you're amazing, ms valedictorian!! come home to visit soon, ok? good luck in bridgehampton. that lucky family!! i love you! lissie

  4. Pingback: Red, White and Frosted » Dunk & Crumble

  5. Susan Demer says:

    I read your recipe for sour tart cherry cupcakes. I have a cherry tree and I pit them and freeze them. If I thaw them can I still use them

    • molly gilbert says:

      Lucky you! You can absolutely use your frozen sour cherries in this recipe. No need to thaw them, either (if thawed, they may turn mushy) — just fold frozen cherries into the batter instead of fresh ones. You should get the same results. Enjoy!

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