Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes
Makes 24
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
tsp. salt
1 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cups Coca-Cola (no Diet allowed!)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 (15-oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 Tbsp. cherry liqueur (optional)

cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cup cherries preserves, or something similar, such as goo from the can of pie filling
24 cherries, to garnish
12 drinking straws, cut in half

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides if needed. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, Coke, and vanilla extract, making sure to let the foam calm down after you mix it in.
4. Beginning with the flour mixture, add to the butter mixture, alternating with the Coke mixture in 4 parts. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
5. Fill each muffin cup about of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Once cooled, use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the middle of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of cherry pie filling to each cupcake.
7. To make the frosting, beat butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and cherry goo, and beat until frosting is smooth. Pipe decoratively onto cupcakes and finish each with a cherry and a straw.