Recipe courtesy of Nicole Braddock

Cherry Moonshine Pie Cupcake

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
Share This Recipe



3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1 tablespoon vegan butter substitute 

2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Pinch of salt 

Cake Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 

1/2 cup vegan butter substitute, softened 

1 cup vanilla soy milk 

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar 

Shortbread Crust:

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying cupcake pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons soy milk 

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, optional

Cinnamon, for sprinkling

Apple Compote:

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

1/2 cup moonshine

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Frosting:

3/4 cup vegan butter substitute

1/4 cup vegan shortening 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Soy milk, for thinning, optional

Cherry Moonshine Reduction:

1 small jar maraschino cherries with juice

1/2 cup moonshine 

1/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

12 fondant fingers (or plastic novelty fingers)


  1. For the streusel: Combine the pecans, brown sugar, vegan butter, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. For the cake batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, mix the granulated sugar and vegan butter together on medium-low speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes; scrape down the bowl. Slowly mix in the soy milk, applesauce and vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture, and then fold in the vinegar. 
  4. Divide half of the batter among the liners, sprinkle on some of the streusel and then top with the remaining batter. Top off with more of the streusel and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
  5. For the shortbread crust: Turn over a cupcake pan and spray the bottoms with nonstick spray.
  6. Combine the flour, oil, soy milk, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla if using in a medium bowl and mix together with a fork; the dough will be crumbly. Refrigerate for 20 minutes in the bowl or wrapped in plastic wrap.
  7. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and use a circle cutter or a coffee cup to cut out circles. Cut out a very small circle in the middle of each dough circle. Place the dough circles on the bottoms of the cupcake pan and bake for 10 minutes. Once out of the oven, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar while still hot.
  8. For the apple compote: Put the apple pieces in a medium saucepan, add the moonshine, brown sugar and vanilla and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  9. For the cinnamon frosting: Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the vegan butter and shortening until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon and mix until a whipped fluffy texture, another 3 to 5 minutes. Add a splash of soy milk if needed.
  10. For the cherry moonshine reduction: Put the maraschino cherries with their juices in a small saucepan, add the moonshine and granulated sugar, place over medium heat and bring to a small boil. Immediately add the cornstarch and let simmer for 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and then pour the mixture through a strainer. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  11. To assemble: Using an apple corer or paring knife, cut out the center of each cupcake. Put a generous amount (about 1 tablespoon) of the apple compote in each cupcake. Frost with a small amount of cinnamon frosting. Place a shortbread crust on top of the frosting on each cupcake. Where the hole is cut out, place a fondant finger or plastic novelty finger through the crust. Drizzle some cherry moonshine reduction over each.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.