Nigella's Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes recipe

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Nigella's rich and decadent chocolate cherry cupcakes, made with cherry jam and topped with chocolate ganache.

  • Prep15m
  • Cook25m
  • Total40m

Sainsbury's recently tempted me into using their online grocery shop by offering a hefty discount so I looked for ingredients not found in our usual supermarket, Tesco. These cupcakes came to mind.

In the original recipe, Nigella says:

“The jam I use for these is the morello cherry preserve from Sainsbury's special selection; if you're using a less elegant, and probably sweeter confection, reduce the sugar in the cake a little.”

Sainsbury’s cherry compote has less sugar (29g per 100g) than their cherry conserve (54.6g per 100g) so I used the compote and didn’t reduce the sugar.

While these cupcakes are on the heavier side due to the jam, they’re rich, moist and decadent. I think of them as a special occasion cupcake.

This is the recipe where I first discovered chocolate ganache and I’ve used it to top many cakes since. It’s beautifully simple. Combine:

  • 100g of dark chocolate
  • 100g of double cream
  • Heat gently

I’ve only had ganache split once and it was because I let it overheat. If this happens, take the pan off the heat, add a tiny bit more cream, and whisk as hard as you can. The ganache should come together once it cools but if it doesn't, keep adding tiny amounts of cream and whisking furiously until it does.

Another reason I love this ganache, aside from the taste, is that unlike fresh cream it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.


Nigella's Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

  • Prep15m
  • Cook25m
  • Total40m
Makes: 12



  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100g dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 300g cherry jam (raspberry works well too)
  • a pinch salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour


  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
  • 12 glace cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
  2. Cupcakes: Melt 125g of butter in a saucepan on a low heat then add 100g of dark chocolate. Leave for a few minutes then turn off the heat and stir to combine.
  3. Add 150g of sugar, 300g of cherry jam or compote, a pinch of salt and 2 beaten eggs to the saucepan and stir well. Once the ingredients have combined, stir in 150g self-raising flour.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean, then leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack.
  6. Ganache: Once the cakes have cooled, melt 100ml of double cream and 100g of dark chocolate together in a saucepan (I use the pan that previously held the cake mixture), then leave to cool for a minute. Whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken then spoon a little onto the top of each cupcake using the back of the spoon to spread it around.
  7. Top with a glace cherry (12 in total) and store in an airtight container.

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