Pilar Valdes' Oozy Cherry-Vanilla Cupcakes


For the Lemon-Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the Filling:

  • ½ cup Cherry pie filling
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the frosting:

  • 12 tbsp butter (6 ounces), at room temperature
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375.

  2. Puree the cherry pie filling with the lemon juice. Set aside.


  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the butter and mix until the mixture resembles small, sandy pebbles.


  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and milk until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, in three additions—mixing until combined in between each addition.


  5. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each to about ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cupcakes have risen and set, and a cake tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.


  6. Take an apple corer or a 1” pastry cutter and core the center of the cupcake, about ¾ the way to the bottom (make sure not to core all the way through, or else your filling will leak.) Twist the cutter a few times and gently pull out the cupcake core. (Set aside the cored pieces to snack on, or to make cake pops at another time.) Fill the holes with cherry filling, right to the top. Pipe frosting on and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (Allow it to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes if serving from the refrigerator.)


Make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese.

  2. Beat together until fully combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the milk, and beat on medium high until light, fluffy and smooth.

  4. Thin out with the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.

  5. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip and set aside until ready to use.