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Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes (with Dr. Pepper)

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Our Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes are a delightful combination of chocolate, cherries and Dr. Pepper soda. They require just 7 ingredients and are fun to make, especially around Valentine’s Day. 

Chocolate and cherries are a classic flavor combinations, like peanut butter and jelly. So if you love chocolate covered cherries, you will definitely fall in love with this easy cupcake recipe. But don’t worry if you think they look too fancy. 

baked cherry chocolate dr. pepper cupcakes on white plates with a blue coffee mug and napkin in background

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We’re going to walk you through step by step how to frost cupcakes that are pretty enough to post on Pinterest. The technique is actually very easy and less of a mess compared to icing with a spatula.

These would make a great Valentine’s day dessert, treat for class parties or a cute edible gift. Jazz them up by adding sprinkles, cookie crumbles, or shaved chocolate on top. 

What You Need to Make Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes 

dark chocolate fudge cake mix

cherry flavored Dr. Pepper soda

maraschino cherries – make sure one of the jars has cherries with stems

butter and cream cheese – it’s VERY important that these are softened before adding to the mix, so allow enough time before making

powdered sugar 

Gadget & Tools I Used

Apple corer – a spoon works well too

Cupcake pan 

Cupcake liners 

Piping bag – you can also use a Ziploc bag too if you don’t have piping bags

Star tip – or one of your favorites

Instructions for Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cupcakes 

Line the cupcake pan with paper liners. If you don’t have paper liners do a light coating of non-stick baking spray. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Quarter the cherries from one jar, saving the juice. 

chocolate cupcake batter with chopped cherries in a mixing bowl

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dark chocolate fudge cake mix and the cherry Dr. Pepper and mix well. 

Fold in the quartered cherries. 

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan, or use a cookie scoop, filling each opening about ⅔ full of batter. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. 

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire baking rack

freshly baked cupcakes on a cooling rack with cores removed and filled with frosting

Once they have cooled, use the apple corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes. Use a spoon or butter knife if you don’t have a corer. 

Beat the softened cream cheese and butter in a medium size mixing bowl using an electric mixer, until smooth and fluffy. 

Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time and continue mixing. 

Halfway through mixing in the powdered sugar add 6 tablespoons of cherry juice. Continue adding sugar a cup at a time and mixing until the icing is a spreadable consistency.

How to Frost a Cupcake Like a Pro 

Snip the corner of the piping bag just enough for the decorating tip to come out, but not enough that it falls through. Add the frosting tip of choice (we used a #1M tip) into the opening in the piping bag.  

Roll down the top of the piping bag, and use a spatula to add the icing. Folding the bag down makes things less messy. 

Pull the sides of the bag up and twist it tight enough so that the frosting doesn’t come out of the top when you squeeze it. 

Squeeze a little frosting out to remove any air bubbles. 

Starting on the outer rim of the cupcakes, squeeze with a little pressure, moving the bag in a circular motion and working your way towards the center. Keep swirling the icing until the top of the cupcake is covered. 

Pull the piping bag either straight up or off the side once you reach the middle of the cupcake. 

Top with a cherry and you’re done!

You can practice first on a piece of parchment paper, then reuse the icing when you are ready to start on the actual cupcakes.

close up of a cherry chocolate dr pepper cupcake with a fork on a white plate

Can I Use a Different Kind of Soda? 

I have not tested other soda flavors, but I believe any dark-colored cherry-flavored one would work. If you can’t find a cherry flavor one, you can try using a little less soda and add some of the cherry juice in. 

Storing and Freezing 

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days to keep the cupcakes fresh. 

To freeze, allow the cupcakes to cool completely, flash freeze on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. 

Wait to cut out the middles and frost until you are ready to thaw and serve them. 

More Easy Holiday Desserts and Treats: 

**Save Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe for Later**

close up of a chocolate cherry dr pepper cupcake with a bottle of milk and text overlay
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bakes cherry chocolate de pepper cupcakes on a white plate and blue coffee mug in background

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes (with Dr. Pepper)

Our Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes have the perfect combination of chocolate and cherry, require 7 ingredients, and are a fun treat for family dinners and Valentine’s Day.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goodies, Baked Goods, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Decorating time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18 Cupcakes
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Lori @ A Reinvented Mom



  • 15.25 ounce box dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  • cups cherry flavored Dr. Pepper soda
  • 2 13 ounce jars maraschino cherries, one jar with stems


  • 8 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 7 cups powdered sugar, (approximate)



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Lightly spray cupcake pan with a non-stick baking spray or use cupcake liners if desired.
  • Drain the jar of cherries without stems, reserving the juice. Cut cherries into quarters.
  • Combine the cake mix and Cherry Dr. Pepper and stir until combined. Fold in the chopped cherries.
  • Pour batter into cupcake pan, filling to ⅔ full.
  • Bake on the center rack for approx. 25 min. or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Cool cupcakes on wire cooling rack.
  • Remove centers of cooled cupcakes using an apple corer or spoon.


  • Beat the softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mixing after each addition.
  • Add 6 Tablespoons of cherry juice and continue mixing. Add additional sugar 1 cup at a time and mixing, until the icing is a spreadable consistency.
  • Using a #1M icing tip (or tip of choice) and a pastry bag, fill each cupcake hole with frosting. Pipe remaining frosting onto each cupcake and top each one with a whole cherry with stem.


  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze, allow the unfrosted cupcakes to cool completely before flash freezing on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and frost when ready to serve.
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Nutritional Estimate

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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