I cheated on this recipe and used a cake mix from the box - mostly because I could not find a good chocolate cake recipe that would allow me to incorporate both cherry pie filling and cola - but also because we are all allowed to cheat every once in a while...
The whipping cream frosting works well if you will be serving immediately or if you can keep them refrigerated until serving. I made these for Dave to take into work so I need a slightly "sturdier" frosting. I used my flour-based butter cream frosting recipe with out the vanilla beans and a package of powdered dessert topping mix (Dream Whip or Whip It) added in the final step to replicate the whipped cream taste.
For an extra cherry treat, scoop out the middle of the cupcakes before frosting and fill with a spoonful of cherry pie filling.
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 package Devil's Food cake mix
1 1/2 cups cola or root beer
1 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon powdered dessert topping mix, optional
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, cola and pie filling. Mix just until incorporated.
Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
For the whipped cream, beat the cream in a chilled bowl with whisk attachment or hand mixer on low speed. Add the dessert topping mix then begin to add the powdered sugar one spoonful at a time. Increase the speed to high and whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.
Using your favorite tip, pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcakes and top with a maraschino cherry.