French Vanilla Cupcakes with Maraschino Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Pretty soon Valentine’s Day will be upon us.  I know that there are some who think it’s so over rated, but I can’t help but feel excited about what kind of card or flowers my sweet Valentine has picked out for me.

I am ‘that’ mom who puts heart-shaped things in the kids lunches, even though they are well into junior grades and almost into highschool.

So I wanted to have a few posts dedicated to some Valentines treats because I have so many cute things rolling around in my brain.  This is the first post, my French Vanilla Cupcakes with Maraschino Swiss Meringue Buttercream. 


I am always on a quest for a good vanilla cupcake.   You know which kind really tastes the best?  The cake mix kind.  They have such wonderful vanilla flavour and are so light and fluffy.  I have yet to find this in a scratch version.   Not that there is anything wrong with a box version!  To me, well, for some reason it just feels like cheating.

Do not despair…I am not one to give up….on cake.

I really love the way these turned out.  Wouldn’t you love to have one of these waiting for you on Valentine’s Day?

Perhaps waiting on your desk, or in your lunch?  Sitting outside your door?

Just a little surprise that says “you’re sweet!”

The toppers are just some cherries made out of fondant and coated with cake glitter.  I did happen to have real cherries in the fridge that I stole the stems off of.

I’m not going to include the Vanilla Cake recipe because it needs some work!  Use your favourite Vanilla Cupcake recipe and top with the Maraschino Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe below).

Maraschino Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup pureed maraschino cherries (I also included a few tsp of the syrup)

*just an update…if you find the cherry icing doesn’t have a strong enough cherry flavour, add a few drops of cherry oil which can be found at most baking supply stores.

1. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and cherry puree (to taste) and beat until combined.   Use immediately.


Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

22 responses to “French Vanilla Cupcakes with Maraschino Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Lovely! And yes, I would love to find one of these waiting for me on Valentine’s Day!

    • I am making these for my daughter’s first valentines day party! PS Martha Stewart has a great vanilla cupcake! Everyone loved them at a recent birthday party! 🙂

  2. kat

    those are too cute!! so perfect for Valentine’s Day!!

  3. These are beautiful! At first I thought that the cherries were real and coated in sugar. Was very surprised to find out that you made them from fondant!

  4. Happier Than A Pig in Mud

    Stopping by from Cupcakes Take The Cake… Your sweets look amazing and the photos are beautiful:@)

  5. I am absolutely in AWE of your decorating skills! Amazing. I’ve subscribed to your blog in the hopes that I’ll get much better at it.

  6. Georgia

    I absolutely adorable! Also, your photography is fantastic 🙂

  7. theyellowranger

    Thee are so cute and look so yummy!

  8. These look so darling.I’ve featured these gorgeous cupcakes on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  9. Pingback: Sweet Treat Thursdays!! « A Day In the Life of Jennay

  10. Sounds tasty!! How many cupcakes will this amount of icing cover? Could I ice a layer cake with it or is it too light to stick to the sides of the cake?

  11. This is geat! They look amazing! Decorating cupcakes is a true art.

  12. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info a
    lot. I was seeking this certain info for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  13. Pingback: 15 Lovely Cupcakes for Valentine`s Day

  14. Sheryl

    Beautiful. I would love to receive this on Valentines Day.

  15. Pingback: Valentine's Day Cupcakes

  16. Pingback: Valentine's Day Cupcakes That Your Loved Ones Will...Well...Love!

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