These cupcakes are all sorts of flavorful with a giant dose of naturally colored and naturally flavored blackberry frosting. They are without a doubt your dessert answer for any upcoming springtime celebration, bridal shower, baby shower, Mother’s Day celebration, or no reason at all. This time of year I crave something light to escape the often heavy, winter-like desserts. In a pinch? Use boxed lemon cake mix! I recommend adding the juice and zest of ½ a lemon—no one will know the difference.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup milk
Zest and fresh juice of two medium lemons
For the frosting:
1 cup fresh blackberries, divided
8 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. To make the cupcakes: whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up from the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat on medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, pour in milk, lemon juice and zest until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour/spoon batter into liners, filling ⅔ Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting: puree ½-⅔ cup blackberries in a small food processor. Push through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high until smooth and creamy. Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, blackberry puree and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish with remaining berries.