For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coca-Cola
¼ tsp maraschino cherry juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 jars of Maraschino cherries, stemless
For the glaze (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp Coca-Cola
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.
2) In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.
3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Mix on medium-high until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until incorporated.
4) In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Coke, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine. (This mixture does not look appealing at all, but it's okay - it's suppose to look like that, just mix it...it goes away.)
5) Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture on low speed, alternately with the liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.
6) Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Drop 1 or 2 stemless maraschino cherries into each cupcake well and push them down into the batter. (This is where I disagreed with Annie's Eats. In the beginning of her post she noted that per the original recipe she placed 1 cherry in each cupcake, but after baking and tasting she wished she had added more. She advised 4 to 5, I only did 3. I still think 3 cherries were a bit much, but if you LOVE cherries, go for more!)
7) Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the optional glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and Coke in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon or drizzle a small amount of the top of each cupcake. Allow to set.
To make the whipped cream topping, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whipping on medium speed,
slowly adding the powdered sugar gradually increasing the speed to high as th
e cream holds soft peaks. Whip until the cream holds stiff peaks, being careful not to overbeat. (I was not able to execute this well so my topping looks a bit runny.) Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes and top each with a maraschino cherry.