Michigan vs. Louisville NCAA: Final four recipes for fans

Tonight's NCAA championship with Michigan vs. Louisville promises to be an exciting match. Root for your favorite team with these regionally inspired dishes.

By , Kendra Nordin

2. Cherry cupcakes with cherry frosting

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    The cherry flavor in these cupcakes is subtle, and the texture is spongy. The icing is what puts them over the top!
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Cherry pie is a classic, but try a trendy twist by mixing cherries into these delicious cupcakes with a creamy frosting for a Big Blue finish.

Cherry cupcakes with cherry frosting

By Mollie Zapata, Eat. Run. Read (adapted from Sprinkles)

Servings: Makes 1 dozen large cupcakes (or 16 smaller cupcakes)

2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole cherries (thawed if frozen)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

Place cherries in a small food processor; process until puréed. You should have about 1/3 cup of purée. Add a few more cherries if necessary, or save any extra purée for frosting; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and cherry purée; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Cherry frosting (from Sprinkles)
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes 

1/2 cup frozen whole cherries, thawed

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Pinch salt

3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place cherries in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until puréed. Use an electric mixer to beat together butter and salt until light and fluffy. Slowly add confectioners sugar and beat until well combined. Add vanilla and cherry puree, mix until just blended. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream. 

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