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1 & 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup cacao powder, sifted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh cherry puree (approx. 11⁄2 cups fresh cherries)*
1⁄2 cup fresh cherries,* pitted, chopped and floured
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1⁄4 heaping cup cherries, pitted
1 tbsp agave
1⁄2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp cacao butter
Prepare cupcake molds by lightly greasing them with coconut oil, and preheat your oven to 350°F.
The frosting is best worked 1 day in advance for consistency when piping, and if not possible, I would say at least allow it to cool a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge prior to using it. First drain the soaked cashews and blend until creamy, then add the following 3 ingredients and blend until smooth, and finally, add the cacao butter and mix for a few more seconds. Transfer to a deep dish and let cool in the fridge.
For the cupcakes, I believe this is even easier than the frosting—well, it may take a little longer because pitting cherries is no joke. Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls and then slowly add the wet to dry ingredients and mix only until everything is thoroughly mixed and finally add the chopped cherries into the batter and slowly mix.
Pour 2 heaping tablespoons into your prepared cupcake molds and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in molds for 10 minutes and then let completely cool on a rack.
Take the frosting out of the fridge and pipe with or without a piping nozzle or you can also simply spread it and ask your little ones to help. Now to the best part... sharing!
*If it is not precisely cherry season, our best option would be to rinse and use canned dark sweet cherries.
**The frosting amounts are enough to pipe (as pictured) for half a dozen, mainly because we make sure there are always some left
to be frozen, and/or some people don’t like frosting, so if you would like to frost all, simply double the recipe.