In this special Mother’s Day guest post, YouTube sensation and Sugar Rebels author Nick Makrides shares his fabulous choc cherry cola cupcake recipe.

Nick is both a talented pastry chef and graphic designer, and he considers himself an ambassador for the LGBTQI+ community. He combines his love for food and design to make edible works of art. Nick’s debut cookbook Sugar Rebels: Pipe for Your Life published by Hardie Grant is out now.

“My earliest memories of Mother’s Day are going to church in the morning, which for me was a two-hour countdown session inside my head for my grandma’s amazing Sunday roast. They were legendary, but then every Greek yiayia’s roast is. Without fail, I would do two things once I finished. I would rate lunch out of 10. It was never below a 9. And I would ask my grandma if she put sleeping pills in the food right before I took a food coma nap.

“Since grandma passed away, my favourite way to spend Mother’s Day is with my mum at a really nice lunch spot. My mum and I like to go out and celebrate special occasions with good food. We sit there and dissect every dish that’s served to us and then try to recreate it at home.

“To celebrate mum’s special day, try making these choc cherry cola cupcakes for dessert. These devil’s food cake treats got the 60s diner vibe and a luscious chocolate cherry sauce in the centre. Each is crowned with fluffy buttercream frosting and a fresh stemmed cherry. They’re super cute and perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day in style.”




  • 175g (6 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 225g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50g (1¾ oz) cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 175g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 175ml (6 fl oz) cola
  • 2 tbsp cherry liqueur (optional)

Chocolate sauce

  • 250ml (8½  fl oz or 1 cup) chocolate sauce
  • 2 tbsp cherry brandy or 1 tsp cherry brandy flavouring

Fluffy buttercream frosting

  • 500g softened unsalted butter (softened)
  • 500g powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cherry brandy or 1 tsp cherry brandy flavouring
  • 2 drops pink food-gel colouring


  • 12 cherries (get the nice, shiny good-looking ones)
  • 1 cup chocolate sauce, to drizzle
  • 80ml (2½  fl oz or ⅓ cup) cherry brandy or 1 tsp cherry brandy flavouring



  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (275F) or a conventional oven to 160C (320F). Line a cupcake tin with brown cupcake liners.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a stand mixer until combined.
  3. Next, add the softened butter and continue mixing on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  4. In a jug, combine the eggs, cola, and cherry liqueur (if using) then add it on a steady stream to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds.
  5. Fill each liner three-quarters of the way. Using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process, and ensures each liner contains exactly the same amount of batter and that the cupcakes will bake evenly.
  6. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Chocolate sauce

  1. Prepare the chocolate sauce by combining the sauce and brandy.
  2. Place in a squeeze bottle and set aside.

Fluffy buttercream frosting

  1. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat and soften the butter for 5 minutes so it gains some volume and goes pale in colour.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and start mixing on low speed. Once the sugar is mixed in enough with the butter, bring to high speed and whip for another 6 to 8 minutes until the buttercream becomes fluffy.
  3. If you want to make your buttercream a little less stiff and smoother add milk and whip in until well combined.
  4. Set about 3 tablespoons of plain frosting aside.
  5. Add the cherry brandy or flavouring to the remaining frosting along with the pink food gel and mix until well combined.


  1. Core the centre of each cupcake with an apple corer and fill with chocolate sauce.
  2. Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip, fill with the pink frosting, and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. Drizzle some chocolate sauce over the frosting and stick the paper straw on the side.
  3. Add a swirl of plain frosting (using a Wilton #32 tip) on top before you finish with a cherry.


  • One batch of the buttercream frosting used in this recipe can frost up to 24 cupcakes.
  • The milk in the frosting recipe serves several purposes. It helps smoothen out the frosting and makes the sugar less grainy, it also helps make it fluffy. Generally, you should add the milk as it makes the frosting much nicer, and don’t be tempted to add too much; otherwise, the frosting will split.
  • The only time I wouldn’t recommend adding the milk is on warm days as it will cause the frosting to go very soft and it won’t be able to hold its shape. And so on warm days, it’s best to leave it out. You should not try making the frosting with less icing sugar on warm days either. The sugar helps stabilise the frosting.
  • Store your cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated or unrefrigerated).

Image and videos are from Nick’s website and YouTube channel.

See more of his fantastic recipes

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Choc Cherry Cola Cupcake Recipe by Nick Makrides
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