A month or so, my good friend Jamie (aka my cupcake groupie) mentioned that she’d seen a lemon cupcake with raspberry frosting over on Pinterest, that looked to-die-for. It sounded great, and I added it to my “to-bake” list. Sadly, I hadn’t come across any good-looking raspberries since she’d mentioned it. That is of course, until 1 day before we left for Charleston. Oh yeah, and they weren’t raspberries, they were blackberries. But I decided to make it work, and make them happen! I mean, how can you go wrong with any lemon-berry combo?
They were absolutely, positively fabulous. I used Annie’s recipe for lemon cake, homegirl has yet to let me down on the cake front (or any other front in the kitchen for that matter!), and it was absolutely perfect. Light, lemony, and a beautiful brightness from the addition of lemon zest. And for the frosting, I just used my standard buttercream recipe, then added some pureed blackberries for flavor and color. They were so gorgeous, and it’s always a proud moment when you get that kind of beautiful color with no additional food coloring.
These little gems just have me hungrier for the warmer, sunnier times to come in the next month or so. However, it’s looking like we have one more blast of winter ahead of us this week! I hope everyone stays safe and warm, and bakes these fabulous cupcakes to brighten your day while you’re stuck inside!
Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream
For the cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lemon, zested
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup blackberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
blackberries, for garnish
To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and lemon zest. Beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl and beat for 1 more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the lemon and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Fill the cupcakes liners 2/3 of the way full with batter (I like to use a large cookie scoop). Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in pan about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, puree the blackberries in a small food processor. Strain the pulp out into a fine-mesh strainer. Using a rubber spatula, push the blackberry pulp through the sieve to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds, and set the pureed blackberries aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter over medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and carefully add in the confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla extract, as well as the blackberry puree. Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and frosting is combined.
Frost cupcakes as desired (I used Wilton 2D) and garnish with a fresh blackberry.