Cherry Coke float cupcakes – what a cute idea, right?  Right!  These are essentially a chocolate cupcake base with maraschino cherry juice and Coke added for flavor and more importantly, an almost bubbly texture!  They are drizzled with a powdered sugar-Coke glaze after baking (though I’m not sure that is really necessary), topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  Easy and cute!  Baking them in red foil liners really adds a nice touch to achieve that Coke bottle look.

Ben and I tasted an unfrosted cupcake and agreed that we could taste the subtle Coke flavor, but I think once topped and garnished, the Coke mainly contributes the light, airy texture and the flavor is difficult to discern.  The original recipe uses only one maraschino cherry inside the cupcake itself, but next time I will add probably 4 or 5 because they added a great cherry flavor.  These are a really cute treat though, and were a big hit with all who tried them!


For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coca-Cola
¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries, stemless

For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. Coca-Cola

For topping:
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp. powdered sugar
Maraschino cherries


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line  a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter.  Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.   Mix in the egg until incorporated.   In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Coke, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.  (This mixture may look disgusting and/or curdled – it’s okay!)

  • 02

    Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture on low speed, alternately with the liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.  Drop 4 or 5 stemless maraschino cherries into each cupcake well and push them down into the batter.  Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 03

    To make the optional glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and Coke in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Spoon or drizzle a small amount of the top of each cupcake.  Allow to set.

  • 04

    To make the whipped cream topping, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin whipping on medium speed, slowly adding the confectioners’ sugar and gradually increasing the speed to high as the cream holds soft peaks.  Whip until the cream holds stiff peaks, being careful not to overbeat.  Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes and top each with a maraschino cherry.


  • Elizabeth

    These look delicious…something I’m sure my hubby would like too! About how long do they bake?

  • oneordinaryday

    A cupcake after my own heart. Love cherry coke. What a fun idea.

  • Annie

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Sorry about that, I must have taken a break from writing the post and accidentally left out the baking time. I have corrected it now. Thanks for the heads up.
    :) Annie

  • I am loving the ingredients in here, not just the Coke, but other stuff.
    Gorgeous photo too.

  • cookingbride

    How cute! I like the picture!

  • SUCH a fun recipe!!

  • I love it! Those are adorable!

  • These are so cute!!! I love the idea! Chocolate and cherry are such a great combo and adding Coke (my guilty pleasure) makes it even more special.

  • Goodness gracious, these look delicious!

  • These sound delicious and they’re so cute!

  • Oh wow, those are so cute and look super yummy. I am printing this recipe and adding it to my baking list. Question, can you really taste the soda flavor?

  • How do you think this would work with Coke Zero?

  • crockpottuesdays

    These sound so good! I’m not normally a baker, but I might have to try these out!

  • Annie

    Hi Miss Kitty,
    If you read the second paragraph of the entry, I mention the soda flavor. It was noticeable without frosting, but once frosted I lost it (Ben claimed he could still taste it).
    :) Annie

  • Annie

    Hi Michelle,
    I really have no idea about Coke Zero, I’ve never tasted it. I don’t do diet drinks.
    :) Annie

  • Those sound great!! Do you think grenadine could be used in place of the maraschino juice? (trying to think of things I already have in my house!)

  • Annie

    Hi Cat,
    I have actually never used grenadine before, so I’m not really familiar with it or how it would be as a sub. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to try!
    :) Annie

  • Thanks….I totally didn’t see that.

  • nutmegnanny

    Oh my goodness these are adorable! I need to try these:)

  • So cute, I love cherry coke! Where did you get those cute red liners? How fun!

  • Annie

    Hi Kerstin,
    I can’t remember! I know I got some at C&B last holiday season, but I think this batch may have been from Not sure!
    :) Annie

  • Sarah

    How darling! Cherry coke is a definite fave.

  • Mr & I have this weird thing. When we go to the movies, our “movie drink” is always a shared cup of Cherry Coke. I am not a soda drinker, so I have no idea why I even do this, but it is our little tradition and it makes us happy! Are we a wee weird?!? ha! Cupcakes look yummy!

  • Ohhh, these look so good! I wish I could have some, but I stopped drinking soda over a year ago…darn it!

  • Beautiful presentation!

  • These are adorable to say the least. I’ll have to try them out!

  • These are precious, Annie! I just got some new pastry bag tips that I’m excited to play with, I think one of them would be perfect for this whipped cream.

  • That looks so good, I need to go have dinner!

  • Wow! I love the picture.

  • These cupcakes sound absolutely scrumptious! I love how they look like simple little chocolate cupcakes, but how they have that added hint of flavor and “bubbliness.”

    I will have to make these soon :)

  • These are so cute! I am going to try these this weekend!

  • I made these today and they are seriously amazing!!

  • These are just adorable! Great recipe :)

  • These are so creative! And they are adorable… I am bookmarking this recipe to try. Love the cherry on top, too!

  • Elizabeth


    I made these this weekend for a family celebration and they were just AWESOME! I got so many compliments and will be emailing several people a link to this recipe. Thanks for another great find!

  • I tried these last night, and they are so yummy! I agree with you in saying the glaze isn’t really necessary. I halved 1 cherry for putting in the cupcake batter, and it was plenty for my taste. I also added about a teaspoon, give or take, to the whipped cream. It tasted just like vanilla ice cream…floats are made with vanilla ice cream! =) Thank you VERY much for this yummy recipe!!

    P.S. I LOVE your blog…and pictures (so jealous!)!!!

  • Savannah

    So, I guess I’m a bit late for this party, as I just found your website. I will be making these cupcakes as a dessert for a wedding but had a question… Would a regular ‘ol buttercream icing taste ok on these? Or can you tell me how long it is before the whipped cream falls? I just don’t want these dripping everywhere since it’s an outdoor wedding.

  • Annie

    I think regular buttercream would be too heavy for them to still taste like cherry coke cupcakes. Whipped cream holds up fine after piping onto a cupcake, though I’m not sure about it being outdoors (though I can’t imagine buttercream holding up well outdoors either).

  • kaley

    I just made this for my dads birthday they turned out amazing =]

  • Mell

    Would the recipe work as well if Cherry Coke was used?

  • Annie


  • Angela

    Do these need to be refrigerated most of the time? I am making a cupcake tree for a wedding and would like to put these on it. I love your website. Such yummy goodies I can’t wait to try.

  • Annie

    I’m not a food scientist so you’ll have to leave it up to your own judgement. Personally, I try to keep dairy products such as whipped cream refrigerated as much as possible.

  • tana

    I made the cherry coke cupcakes and there were awesome ! I added vanilla to the frosting!

  • Checat

    Made these today and they are wonderful!! Ended up not making the glaze or the whipped cream and they were still amazing! Thanks for the great idea

  • Yay! I made these cupcakes for my work girls as a 4th of July treat (AND it was also my first venture into making non-box-mix cupcakes) and they were FABULOUS. I only put two cherries in my cupcakes, cuz I’m not a “huge” fan of maraschino cherries (I know, I know). Everyone loved them, and then I decided that I’m going to try a whole bunch of your cupcake recipes. The Cookie Dough ones are next! Thanks for a great recipe, Annie!

  • Amanda

    Will they be too salty if I use salted butter?

  • Anonymous

    Just reduce the salt in the recipe a bit.

  • Bryandbecky888

    Think Diet Coke would work?? These look amazing! I’m excited to make these!!

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions.

  • I made these cupcakes for a birthday party and they’re very tasty, unique, and make for a cute presentation! I did use the glaze, but you’re right, I don’t know if it was really necessary. Might have worked as a barrier to keep the whipped cream from absorbing into the cake though, I’m not really sure. I only put one cherry in the center of the cupcake. I definitely feel like more than 1-2 per cupcake would be too much, but maybe that’s just a preference. I think 1 worked nicely! And of course I topped them with the sweetened whipped cream, which I piped on, and an additional cherry! We definitely enjoyed these. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Lilnacho9898

    can i refrigerate the batter?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that.

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    I had made these a couple of years ago shortly after you posted about them. I made them again yesterday for my son’s first birthday party. Oh, they are still delicious! I got rave reviews on them from the adults, and kids think any dessert with a cherry on top is already a winner! I put 3 cherries inside each cupcake and the batter yielded 18 cupcakes for me. Darn, leftovers. :)

  • Claire

    The cupcakes just came out of the oven and then look (and taste) fantastic! Great recipe! These will be perfect for the summer picnic we are headed to!

  • Iammichelleann

    Well, I tired this recipe a few different ways!

    1. Cake only

    2. ICake with cherries mixed in batter

    3. Batter, cherries, and more batter (So the cherries would be in the middle). Trying to make it where I didn’t have to hollow out every piece of cake to fill with cherries!

    I found out, I over thought the whole thing! Its best to make the cake only THEN fill them. No other way came out very good!!

    However, I did make my own cherries too! With sour jared cherries mixed with sugar and cornstarch. While cooking I added Cola with the cherries. I thought they tasted great! WAY better than cherry pie filling!!! They are good, not something I would make often but if the mood struck and the time was right . . I would!

  • I’m excited to try these out!