I love all the cupcake recipes we’ve been sharing on Cupcake Saturdays! I figured I would share a quick and easy cherry frosting recipe today.
Cherry Frosting Recipe
This frosting is the perfect way to jazz up a cupcake or sweet treat! It’s so easy to make and tastes delicious!
For a quick and easy recipe for chocolate cherry cupcakes, whip up some chocolate cupcakes, top with this Cherry Frosting, and add a maraschino cherry.
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make an epic Cherry Frosting! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Unsalted Butter (Room-Temperature butter)
- Powdered Sugar/confectioner's sugar
- Maraschino Cherry Juice
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Large Mixing Bowl and Hand Mixer or Stand Electric Mixer
- Piping bag
Preparation and Storage
Make-Ahead + Storage: This Cherry Frosting is make-ahead-friendly! Refrigerate it in an airtight container and use it within five days.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Store leftover frosting in an airtight, freezer-safe container and use within three months. Transfer frozen frosting to the refrigerator and let thaw overnight before using.
You may need to stir it and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using it to make it pliable enough for decorating but not so loose that it melts on the cake’s surface.
We’ve seen other recipes that add a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness of this cherry buttercream frosting. If the frosting is too sweet for your taste, you can also achieve this balance using salted butter instead of unsalted butter.
Any brand works, but Luxardo is an excellent brand that naturally yields quality maraschino cherry juice. It is the brand many bars carry for making cocktails.
Vegetarian Option: This buttercream frosting recipe is vegetarian.
Vegan Option: Swap the butter with a plant-based alternative to make this recipe vegan.
Gluten-Free: Gluten-free eaters should use a jar of gluten-free maraschino cherries, as this ingredient may contain unsafe additives for a gluten-free diet.
Alcohol-Free Option: We don’t use alcohol in our Cherry Frosting recipe, but we’ve seen others add alcohol to their buttercream frostings to make boozy frosting. If you want to try this method, we recommend replacing part of the maraschino cherry juice with your choice of alcohol and experimenting until you reach your desired taste and consistency.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe yields 4 to 5 cups of frosting. Scale it up or down to your desired yield.
Sugar-Free: Use a sugar-free powdered sugar substitute and maraschino cherries with no added sugars to lower the sugar content of this recipe.
Tips for the Best Cherry Frosting
- Don’t skip letting your butter reach room temperature. Cold butter does not mix easily; similarly, butter that is too warm makes runny frosting that can be difficult to salvage.
- You can control the texture of the frosting by adding powdered sugar to thicken it or maraschino cherry juice to loosen it.
- If you need the frosting to be a specific shade of pink or red, add red food coloring as needed, using the tip above to control the consistency.
- A general tip for cake decorating: always cool your cake in the fridge before decorating, and never decorate a cake that still feels warm. Frosting will not adhere to a warm cake.
- You can add any extract to the frosting to combine the cherry with another flavor, such as vanilla or almond. Add powdered sugar as needed if it gets too runny.
What to Serve with Cherry Frosting
Do you have a fresh batch of Cherry Frosting ready to be enjoyed? Here are some recipe ideas to ensure every last drop goes to good use.
This cherry frosting is great on brownies, sugar cookies, chocolate or white cake, vanilla cupcakes, and so much more.
Great Dessert Recipes
- In large mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed until stiff and fluffy.
- Add 3 cups of sugar, one at a time.
- Scrape the sides to get all of the sugar.
- Now add the cherry juice
- In addition to the cherry juice add the last cup of sugar.
- Beat until smooth
- Hand Mixer
Recipe originally shared on December 6, 2015. Updated October 2020.