• Wood chips, cherry or walnut  1 lb or 6 1/2 cups
  • Gold Medal™ Devil's Food Cake Mix (11112)  5 lb or 1 box
  • Water, cool approx. 72°F  3 lb 8.00 oz or 7 cups
  • Dried cherries  1 lb 4.00 oz or 3 1/2 cups
Cherry Bourbon Sauce
  • Cherry juice  8 oz or 1 cup
  • Bourbon  8 oz or 1 cup
  • Dried cherries  5 oz or 1 cup
  • Honey  11.50 oz or 1 cup
Almond Cream Topping
  • Heavy whipping cream  14 oz or 1 3/4 cups
  • Powdered sugar  3 oz or 3/4 cup
  • Almond extract  2 tsp
  • Marcona almonds, smoked, finely chopped  6 oz or 1 1/2 cups


Wood Chips
  1. Place wood chips in large bowl; fully covered with water and let soak for 1 hour.
  2. Drain water off of soaked chips.
  3. Place soaked chips in an even layer on a full-sheet pan; on lowest rack of oven.
  4. If using convection oven, turn fan speed to low or off. Bake chips for time stated or until wood chips become aromatic:
  • Convection Oven* - 275°F for 20-30 minutes
  • Standard Oven - 300°F for 25-35 minutes
  • *Rotate pans baked in convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 10 minutes of baking.
Smoked Cake Mix
  1. Empty cake mix into 12x20x2-inch full steam-table pan and spread evenly.
  2. Place steam-table pan of mix on center rack of oven (chips will stay in oven for duration of the smoking process). (Place pan of wood chips next to pan of cake mix; if using reel oven).
  3. Smoke cake mix for 30 minutes; remove from oven and cover with foil. Discard wood chips.
  4. Allow cake mix to cool completely before using to make batter.
  1. Pour 1/2 of total amount of water into bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  2. Add fully cooled, smoked mix; mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Add remaining water while mixing on low speed for 1 minute. Stop mixer; scrape bowl and paddle Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Fold dried cherries into batter. Deposit batter using a #40 scoop into greased mini-muffin pans.
  5. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in pan and then remove.
  6. Place right side up onto a cooling rack, set on top of a sheet pan. Note: Cakes should be topped with sauce while still warm, so start preparing sauce while cakes are in oven.
  7. Bake:
  • Convection Oven* - 300°F for 10-13 minutes
  • Standard Oven - 350°F for 14-17 minutes
  • *Rotate pans baked in convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 5 minutes of baking.
Cherry Bourbon Sauce
  1. Place cherry juice and bourbon in a sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cherries; boil for 10 minutes, maintaining boil, until liquid reduces by approx. half.
  3. Remove sauce from heat; add honey and stir until combined.
  4. Add carefully, hot cherry bourbon sauce (including the cherries), to the bowl of a food processor; pulse for 10-15 seconds, or until all ingredients are thoroughly combined (sauce will not be completely smooth).
  5. Add approx. 1 tsp sauce on top of each, still warm, mini cake.
Almond Cream Topping
  1. Add cream to bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  2. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
  3. Add powdered sugar and almond extract; whisk until fully combined.
  4. Add almonds to whipped, sweetened cream; fold in until incorporated.
  5. Top each mini-cake with approx. 1 tsp of almond cream topping, immediately before service.
Formulation courtesy of General Mills Foodservice