There's a sweet surprise in each of these moist, cake-like muffins. If cherries are not your thing, we'll show you how to make a java-infused variation.
- 2 spray(s) cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup(s) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 cup(s) Neufchâtel cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cup(s) water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, left whole, or cherries jarred in water (about 12 cherries)
- 1 tsp salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 cup(s) unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, finely chopped or cherries jarred in water (about 3 cherries)
- 3 tsp water, warm, or more if necessary
Preheat oven to 350ºF and coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.
Sift together flour, cocoa, 1 cup of powdered sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream Neufchatel cheese, about 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla together in a large bowl until blended.
With mixer running on slow, add flour mixture in small batches, alternating with remaining 3/4 cup of warm water, until batter is thoroughly blended; add vinegar and mix well.
Fill each muffin hole with a tablespoon of batter (you’ll have about 1/2 the batter left). Place a whole cherry in center of each muffin hole and top with remaining batter so each hole is about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins for 5 minutes in tin and then remove muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
While muffins are cooling, make glaze: Combine butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 chopped cherries and 3 teaspoons of warm water (add another teaspoon of water if glaze is too thick). Spread each cooled muffin with a thin layer of glaze. Yields 1 muffin per serving.
- If you’re a mocha fan, you can adapt this recipe to your liking and skip the cherries altogether. Simply replace the warm water in both the batter and glaze with an equal amount of hot coffee and add about 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of instant espresso powder to the glaze for an extra jolt; remove all cherries from recipe. You can use regular unsweetened frozen cherries instead of the sour cherries if desired.