Blackberry cupcakes with a chocolate cupcake bottom and a rich blackberry buttercream is the cupcake of choice in our house. You can top lemon, vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with this blackberry buttercream—it’s your choice! This recipe makes 4 cupcakes, but can be doubled or tripled easily.
Chocolate cupcakes with fresh blackberry buttercream:
Yes yes, these cupcakes are absolutely beautiful. But, I promise the taste and the appearance line up. You can frost these blackberry cupcakes with a butter knife, and the rustic appearance would never detract from the incredible flavors.
My daughter’s first taste of a sugar was at her 2nd birthday, where I made her my Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake with a triple batch of this blackberry buttercream slathered on top. Camille has always loved blackberries, and it seemed natural to work blackberries into her cake. After tasting the combination of chocolate and blackberries, I knew this recipe would become a family favorite!
The chocolate cupcake is moist, rich, and packed with chocolate flavor. Instead of using cocoa powder, we’re going to melt chocolate into oil to use as the chocolate base for this cupcake. Cocoa powder is great, but using melted chocolate in a cupcake really makes these next level.
Excuse me while I preach about how cupcakes made with oil, so hear me out, okay? I always make cupcakes with oil so that they’re more tender, fluffy and softer. Cupcakes made with butter can be firm on the edges, which is something I do not prefer. If you refrigerate cupcakes that are made with butter, they will become hard and strange.
I will walk you through the steps of melting chocolate in the microwave—it’s very simple! And, I’ll give you alternate directions if you’d like to use the stove instead.
For the chocolate, grab your favorite semisweet chocolate bar and give it a chop. It can be a baking bar, or it can be a bar with around 60% cacao. Dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate might be a little too dry here, so look for anything from 35-60% cacao.
Wow, this beautiful purple blackberry buttercream deserves our attention, doesn’t it? My favorite thing about this frosting is that it uses FRESH BLACKBERRIES. We’re using the beaters to break up the fruit, and the beautiful blackberry juice stains the buttercream a lovely violet color. This means the frosting has seeds, so if that bothers you, push the blackberries through a strainer that drips into the bowl with the butter. You might also like my strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Semisweet Chocolate. This is chocolate with a cacao percentage between 35 and 60%. Anything higher than 60% might make these cupcakes a little too dry. Use a semisweet chocolate baking bar or semisweet chocolate chips.
Oil. A neutral oil that does not have any flavor is best for baking: vegetable oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil. Do not use something with a strong flavor like olive oil.
Almond Extract. Just one drop of almond extract brings out the flavor of the blackberries.
Fresh Blackberries. About 12-15 fresh blackberries that have been rinsed and dried very well.
Lime. We’re using lime zest to make the blackberry flavor pop, and if you feel that your buttercream needs some extra liquid to come together, cut open the lime and use a splash of the lime juice. Blackberries and lime juice go together very well, just like my frozen blackberry limeade recipe.
How to make blackberry cupcakes:
- Gather your ingredients: chopped chocolate, oil, flour, baking powder, sugar, one egg, and vanilla extract. This is all you need for the cupcakes. The butter, powdered sugar, almond extract, blackberries, and lime are for the blackberry buttercream frosting. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit, and place 4 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
- First, we’re going to melt the chocolate into the oil. Chop the chocolate into pieces no larger than one inch. Combine the chocolate with the oil in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on LOW power for 30 seconds. Give it a stir, and repeat until all of the chocolate is melted; be sure to stir between each microwave pulse.
- Let the chocolate cool slightly by stirring it to release some of the heat. Then, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk to dissolve into the chocolate. This also helps the mixture cool off.
- Whisk the whole egg into the bowl.
- Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and salt evenly over the chocolate mixture, and then whisk until everything is combined. Don’t over-mix, but do ensure all of the flour is coated.
- Divide the cupcakes between the cupcake liners, and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Use a toothpick at the 20-minute mark to ensure the cupcakes are fully cooked. The toothpick will have moist crumbs clinging to it, but it shouldn’t show any wet batter.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before attempting to frost. Warm cupcakes and cakes melt buttercream, and you really don’t want that! You want perfect blackberry cupcakes, so be patient.
- Now, it’s time to make the blackberry buttercream: in a large bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter, almond extract, and lime juice. (Beating the lime zest into the butter ensures that the lime oil gets evenly incorporated).
- Add the powdered sugar, and beat to combine.
- Add the blackberries and beat, using the electric mixer to break up the berries. If you don’t want seeds in your blackberry buttercream, instead, push the blackberries through a strainer into the bowl.
- Add a few drops of lime juice to the buttercream, and beat very well. Taste and add more lime juice, if you think it needs it.
- You can frost the cooled cupcakes with this buttercream, or store it in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. To use, let soften slightly so that it’s a pipe-able consistency. Frost the cupcakes and serve.
Which other cupcake flavors would this fresh blackberry buttercream frosting go with?
While I paired this incredible frosting with chocolate cupcakes today, I can attest it's great on my small batch lemon cupcakes (as seen above), or my birthday cake cupcakes. You can double the recipe and smear it on my small vanilla cake, too!
How to double or triple this recipe for blackberry cupcakes:
Yes, this is a small batch chocolate cupcakes recipe, but if you want to make more cupcakes: follow the recipe exactly. Use 3 whole eggs, and triple the amount of all ingredients. Do not change anything else about the recipe.
Other blackberry recipes you would love:
For the cupcakes"
- 2 ½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 tablespoons unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
For the buttercream:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 drop almond extract
- handful clean blackberries (12-15 berries)
- ¼ teaspoon lime zest
- lime juice, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place 4 paper liners along the outside edge of a cupcake pan. Gather ingredients to make cupcakes.
- Add the chocolate and canola oil to a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir well to ensure every last bit of chocolate melts. Let cool slightly.
- Once cool, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until blended.
- Add the egg and whisk to combine.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir until blended.
- Divide between the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- To make the buttercream, gather all ingredients.
- beat together with an electric mixer the butter, almond extract and lime zest.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat well.
- Add the blackberries and beat vigorously to break up the berries. (If you don’t enjoy the crunchy seeds, mash the berries in a small bowl and strain before adding to the buttercream).
- Add lime juice to taste to bring out the sweetness of the berries. In my opinion, the frosting tastes best if it's allowed to chill in the fridge for a few hours before being spread on the cupcakes.
Semisweet Chocolate: This is chocolate with a cacao percentage between 35 and 60%. Anything higher than 60% might make these cupcakes a little too dry. Use a semisweet chocolate baking bar or semisweet chocolate chips.
Oil: A neutral oil that does not have any flavor is best for baking: vegetable oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil. Do not use something with a strong flavor like olive oil.
Almond Extract: Just one drop of almond extract brings out the flavor of the blackberries.
Fresh Blackberries: About 12-15 fresh blackberries that have been rinsed and dried very well.
Lime: We’re using lime zest to make the blackberry flavor pop, and if you feel that your buttercream needs some extra liquid to come together, cut open the lime and use a splash of the lime juice.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g