Red velvet chocolate and cherry cupcakes

As seen on Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two, this is Rick’s red velvet chocolate and cherry cupcakes. When his UK food tour led him to Kent, Rick found that 90% of UK cherries are grown in this county and to honour one of his favourite fruits, he bakes red velvet chocolate and cherry cupcakes with a cherry compôte filling.

Ingredients for Rick’s red velvet chocolate and cherry cupcake recipe


  • 215g plain flour 
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 200g caster sugar 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 170g butter, melted
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175ml buttermilk
  • 30ml red food colouring
  • 12 cherries on stalks, for decoration

For the jammy cherry compote

  • 250g stoned cherries (fresh or frozen), halved
  • 50g caster sugar

For the ganache icing

  • 180g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream

How to make Rick’s red velvet chocolate and cherry cupcakes recipe

  1. Chop the chocolate and put it in a bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small pan until steaming, just before it comes to the boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for 30 seconds. Start stirring slowly from the middle, working your ways outwards until you have a smooth ganache. If there are still a few lumps that aren’t melted, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until everything is melted and smooth. Allow it to cool completely.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan and then put 12 muffin cases into a deep muffin tin.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the melted butter beaten eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and food colouring, stir well to mix until thoroughly combined. Divide between the 12 cases and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until well risen and the tops are springy.
  5. While the cakes are cooking, over a medium/high heat, combine the stoned cherries with the sugar and mix with no water, cook until jammy and allow to cool.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer or teaspoon to scoop out some of the centre of the sponge and fill with the jammy cherries. Using an icing or palette knife spread some of the ganache on top to cover the top and top each one with a cherry on a stalk.

Happy cooking


Charlie Stein’s drink pairing

A light sparkling sweet red will work a treat here, there’s one from Italy called Brachetto d’asti.

Rick Stein’s Food Stories

Rick’s new book, Rick Stein’s Food Stories, accompanies the BBC Two TV series of the same name which celebrates his favourite recipes from recent travels around the UK – including Cumbria, Belfast, Bristol and Birmingham. Pre-order a signed copy from our online shop.