Recipe | "Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes" by Sue Ready

Cook's Notes: These cupcakes were a nostalgic step back in time for me. A cherry coke was one of my favorite drinks growing up. I have fond memories taking the bus downtown stopping at the library for my weekly stash of books and then going to Moudry Apothecary Shop in St. Paul, MN.
Here my sister and I enjoyed cokes and egg salad sandwiches before we headed home. 

There are a plethora of recipes online for Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes. After awhile I decided it was time to put my own spin on the recipe.

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes are a dessert that will float your boat! Or your taste buds. Or maybe even both. Buttermilk helps make the cupcakes moist and cherry coke/cola captures the flavors of a favorite drink. A half teaspoon of espresso powder was added to draw out the natural flavors of chocolate, giving it more depth. A shortcut recipe using a boxed mix is included. This recipe makes 10-12 cupcakes. If you are looking for more of a 4th of July theme use red, white and blue cupcake liners and decorate with star and/or red, white and blue sprinkles.

Cooking Tip: Avoid overbeating batter otherwise cupcakes won't rise as much.

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1-½ cups flour 
  • 3 TB. cocoa powder 
  • ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder 
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 8 TB. butter, at room temperature 
  • 1 large egg 
  • ½ cup buttermilk 
  • ¾ cup Cherry Coca-Cola 
  • ¼ tsp maraschino cherry juice 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • Maraschino cherries, stemless
Cupcake Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. 
  • In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt. Stir together and set aside. 
  • In another bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until incorporated. 
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, Coke/Cola, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. 
  • 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. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. 
  • Insert 1 maraschino cherry in the middle of each cupcake and cover with batter. 
  • 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.
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 
  • 4 TB. softened butter 
  • 3 TB. cherry juice or Cherry Cola 
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
  • milk 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
Frosting Directions:
  • Beat cream cheese and butter. Add in cherry juice or Cherry.Coke/ Cola, almond extract and powdered sugar. Add in milk beating until desired frosting consistency. 
  • Decorate with half a straw and cherry with a stem. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set frosting.
Shortcut: Boxed Mix:

  • 1 box Devils Food Cake Mix 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup Cherry Coke/Cola 
  • 1/3 cup Maraschino Cherry liquid 
  • 24 Maraschino Cherries


Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Make batter according to mix direction except substitute 1 cup Cherry Coke/Cola and 1/3 cup cherry liquid for water. Fill liners 2/3 full and add 1 cherry to the middle of each. Cover with batter. Bake according to box directions and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Sue Ready is a retired middle school teacher, freelance writer, food blogger and creator of The World According to Bella. Sue has visited Rockport several times over the years and is a regular contributor to the WWN! See her other posts here.

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