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My husband is crazy for Cheerwine and don’t go thinking that it’s liquor!  It’s not, it’s only the best soda in the entire world.   There is no description for it because there is nothing like it. It’s closest cousin is a cherry soda, but that would be like a seventh cousin.  It’s amazing and full of cherry flavor and all fizzy and yummy.  Ok, back to the recipe!

I saw a picture online of a cupcake that was red velvet with Cheerwine, cream cheese frosting with dark chocolate drizzle and a maraschino cherry on top.   Sounds divine, right?  Well I spent the better part of yesterday looking for the recipe but I couldn’t find one.  I found versions of red velvet with Cheerwine, but none exactly like what I wanted.  So what’s a girl to do when she wants to surprise her valentine?  Come up with it on her own!  They are so good! 

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

1 Duncan Hines Red Velvet Specialty cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups of Cheerwine

1 Tbsp. maraschino cherry juice

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all of the above together just like the cake mix calls for.  Be careful opening the Cheerwine!  If you are inexperienced with Cheerwine, then you don’t know about its exploding all over the kitchen capabilities and turning everything within a 10’ radius pink!  So open it very slowly.  Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.  Put them in the fridge to cool completely.

Icing Ingredients:

1/2 stick of butter room temperature

8oz. package of cream cheese softened

1 large bag of powdered sugar  (8 cup size)

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

1/2 cup Cheerwine

4 tsp. maraschino cherry juice

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add vanilla, maraschino cherry juice and Cheerwine and mix.  Slowly add 5 cups of powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until all creamed together.  Add more sugar until desired thickness is reached.  Sit in the fridge to set and thicken up for a little bit.  Ice cupcakes.  I put mine in an icing bag with no tip and swirled it around the cupcake.  Put cupcakes back in the fridge to harden while you make the drizzle.

Chocolate Drizzle:

1 square of semi sweet chocolate

1-2 Tbsp. butter

Put both in a bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals, stir and continue until chocolate is melted.  Mix thoroughly.   Take cupcakes out the fridge and using a spoon drizzle the chocolate over the cupcakes.  Top with a maraschino cherry.

My flub for the day:  The first time I made the icing I used a whole stick of butter and I just couldn’t get the icing to thicken up and stick to the cupcake.  So I wound up using a whole bag of powdered sugar and a good bit from another one.  I realized I used way too much butter, the oil in the butter was keeping it from thickening and making it slippery and so was the corn syrup in the cherry juice.  So in the recipe above I cut the butter down to 1/2 stick.  That should work much better!  Or you can leave it with a whole sticke of butter and use a ton of sugar and then you’ll have some left over to use another day.  The oops icing turned out wonderful anyway and the cupcakes were amazing!