Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blackberry Cupcakes

Recipe Review: Fresh Blackberry puree paints basic vanilla cupcakes pretty purple! 

My friend Ashley's birthday was yesterday so I thought it would be a perfect time to make some cupcakes (now that I know how easy it is to make them from scratch!) and give buttercream another shot (last time it had good taste, but poor texture) I had originally wanted to make peach cupcakes but there were no ripe peaches at the store so I did a last minute switch up to blackberry. I loved how the blackberries turned the cupcakes bright purple- and they were still pretty after baking.

Blackberry Cupcakes
adapted from: bumbles and light
makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup blackberry puree (reserve about 1 tablespoon if you want to tint your icing)

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Whisk together the milk, vanilla and blackberry puree. Add half of the dry ingredients to the electric mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Add the milk/blackberry mixer and continue to mix. Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake tin and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Blackberry Puree: Puree 6 oz of blackberries in a blender with 1 tablespoon agave nectar and a splash of water. Strain and discard the seeds. This should make about 1/2 a cup.

Buttercream Frosting
12 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla

Blend in the sugar in two batches, beating well after each addition

Beat in the milk, adding until desired consistency is reached and continue mixing on medium high speed until light and fluffy. (If desired add 1 Tablespoon blackberry puree to tint frosting purple) Yield: frosting for 12 cupcakes.

This time the buttercream turned out perfectly! I was so excited. It piped on to the cupcakes just right and held its shape but still had great flavor. There was a lot of feedback online about shortening and butter- (all butter is better for flavor, shortening helps out the consistency but affects the taste, I found that doing a 3:1 ratio of shortening to butter was just right) A little sprinkle of nonpareils and they were set. I couldn't believe how great they looked- I kept looking at the cupcakes thinking "Did I just do that??"

Since I've been investing so much effort into making these cute cupcakes lately I got boxes so that they wouldn't get messed up in transit, and this way I don't have to chase people down to get my tupperware back- I love it! Can't wait till I have another event to bake for so I can try more flavors and decorating ideas. I also had the revelation that I don't have to bake 2 dozen cupcakes at a time- batches of 12 are so much more manageable and take less than an hour to bake start to finish. Also with a dozen I don't have tons of  leftover cupcakes sitting around the house tempting me. So Happy Birthday to Ashley- thanks for giving me a wonderful excuse to bake these!!

** Update ** I stumbled upon a cupcake contest and saw that the theme was birthday cupcakes so I've entered this post into the Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge. Please vote for me! They have some pretty great prizes:
Wish me luck!!


  1. As soon as I saw the blackberries, I had to check out your post! Yum...what a great summer recipe. I saw that same Mystery Box contest...good luck!

  2. What a fun cupcake -- all grown up with fruit but still a tasty treat.

  3. What a fun idea! I love these, I might have to make these sometime soon ;)

  4. What a lovely cupcake! Love the pretty purple color. :)

  5. Great cupcakes, I'm loving the purple. I have a bunch of strawberries sitting in my fridge, so I'm going to test your recipe out with them - I can't wait!

  6. Made these with strawberry, they were phenomenal. Great recipe, thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. Yay I'm to glad to hear that they turned out well!

  8. Christie- La classe de français dit, "Ces petits gateaux ont l'air délicieux!" Jon voudrait ton numéro de téléphone. Jacquie dit, "Salut!" Ils veulent que tu les apportes des petits gateaux."