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Black Cherry Sour Cream Muffins


After I pulled this batch of muffins out of the oven, I immediately thought that I should have made muffin-tops instead of the whole muffin. The tops were perfectly domed, rising up nicely over the top of the muffin tin, and had a slightly crisp top, thanks to some sugar sprinkled on before baking.

Then I tasted one of the slightly cooled muffins and was glad that I hadn’t. While this recipe probably would make excellent muffin tops if you have a specialty muffin top tin, even the “stumps” of the muffins are tasty. They have a good cherry flavor and a slightly dense, but tender, texture. Combined with the little crunch of sugar on top, the muffins had a coffee cake-like feel to them.

To ensure that you get a good rise, make sure your muffin cups are about 3/4 of the way full. This will provide enough batter to lift above the rim of the muffin cup. Also, don’t worry if your batter has a pink/purple hue to it. The cherry juice is responsible, but the muffins will take on a more normal look during baking.

I recommend using a food processor to “pulse” the defrosted cherries. This will give you some variety of size and saves a lot of the time that would be needed if you were simply to try and chop them.

Black Cherry Sour Cream Muffins
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream (light or regular)
1/4 cup cherry juice (or milk, if juice is unavailable)
1 cup pitted black cherries (defrosted, if frozen), chopped
coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, egg and melted butter. Add in 1/2 of the flour and the sour cream and stir to combine. Stir in cherry juice (or milk) and remaining flour, just until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in cherries and divide into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each generously with sugar.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen.

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  • Courtney
    April 30, 2007

    I can’t believe what perfect timing this is. I accidentally grabbed cherries instead of blueberries the other day. I was just going to google “cherry muffins” after doing my daily blog check, and after changing your blog name you are now on the last one I look at on a daily basis!

    Hmmm, hope I have sour cream, or these may have to wait until tomorrow.

  • Cheryl
    April 30, 2007

    Perfect. Love a good muffin recipe, especially one that uses sour cream.

  • Brilynn
    April 30, 2007

    I’ve worked at my grandparents cherry orchard every summer, I love anything that has anything to do with cherries, these look quite tasty!

  • grignote barbotine
    April 30, 2007

    I did same muffins last week but with frozen red berries. It’s so good.

  • Vicki
    April 30, 2007

    I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I love the new site design and your consistently awesome recipes and commentary. These muffins look like a little bit of heaven, and I will be sure to make them soon!

  • Jasmine
    May 3, 2007

    Would sour cherries work? I have a ton in the freezer that I should use up before the season comes around again. I suppose I could just try it and find out.

  • Clover
    May 3, 2007

    Oh how I wish it was Sunday, so I could just lounge around eating these muffins all day! They look fantastic, and a great use of the cherries I have sitting in the freezer!

  • Heidi
    May 5, 2007

    So I am making these with yogurt instead of sour cream, thawed out chopped peaches instead of cherries and half and half instead of milk. Guess I’m not quite making them, huh? 🙂 They smell really good baking, though. I’ll let you know how they come out.

  • jelena
    June 13, 2007

    hello nicole!
    i’ve been reading your blog lately,and i am amazed by the way you’re doing it…the reason i haven’t made anything yet is that i cannot make up my mind! everything looks so yummy,but some of the ingredients i can’t buy here,and i don’t know how to substitute them
    since i am not experienced,and i’ve got used to the general rule of “adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stirring only until the ingredients are just combined”,i don’t understand the part: “Add in 1/2 of the flour and the sour cream and stir to combine. Stir in cherry juice (or milk) and remaining flour, just until no streaks of flour remain.” – will i over mix it this way???
    and,as Jasmine asked-can i use sour cherries??
    i hope to get an answer from you
    many many thanks in advance,and thank you for sharing all these great recipes with us!

  • Lisa
    November 28, 2007

    Jelena, If you ever come back here, you won’t over mix it, and I always use sour cherries. I just cut them each in half instead of chopping them, so you get a big rush of cherry. These are great muffins!

  • Joanna
    January 23, 2012

    A friend just gave me some fresh cherries and I had sour cream so I made these muffins. They just came out of the oven and are delicious! I like to try and make things a little healthy, so I used 1 Cup of White Whole Wheat Flour and 3/4 a Cup of almond meal instead of All-Purpose Flour. I also added a little almond extract, just to add a little more yummyness…anyway…they’re really yummy! Thanks!

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