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Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes to Celebrate

Celebrate warm weather with these easy Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes! Tangy lemon cupcakes are topped with a fluffy blackberry buttercream frosting. You’ll love the fruity combination of lemon and blackberry flavor. Garnish them with fresh, juicy blackberries for a pretty presentation that’s tough to beat!

photo of blackberry cupcakes on a cake stand on a white wooden table

This guest recipe was contributed by Ali of Gimme Some Oven.

Creating This Blackberry Cupcake Recipe

One of my favorite things about the arrival of warm weather is getting to spend time outside enjoying it with good friends.

From grilling on the back deck, to picnics with friends, to morning coffee dates on the front porch, to (at least in my world) a calendar full of weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers that somehow always seem to hit during the spring — it just seems like everyone is so ready to enjoy the freshness and beauty of a new season!

So as always, I find myself always looking for some fresh new recipes to bring along to celebrate! This season, my new “go-to” recipe are these homemade Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream.

There’s something about the lemon and berry combination that everyone always seems to enjoy!

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

photo of blackberries in a food processor to make blackberry buttercream frosting

Tools and Supplies Needed to Make Blackberry Cupcakes

Here’s a quick overview of some of the helpful tools and supplies that I like to use when preparing this cupcake recipe:

  • Electric Mixer – you can use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer.
  • Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons – to accurately measure the ingredients.
  • Large Mixing Bowl – useful for sifting the dry ingredients together.
  • Rubber Spatula – spatulas are great for scraping down the sides of the bowl as you mix the cupcake batter. This ensures that no dry ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Muffin Tin and Cupcake Liners – for baking the cupcakes.
  • Wire Rack – to cool the cupcakes.
  • Food Processor – to puree the fresh blackberries for the buttercream.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer – Blackberry seeds are quite large, so the blackberry buttercream tastes best if you strain the seeds out of the blackberry puree.
  • Piping Bag and Piping Tips – not necessary, but nice! You can always spread the frosting with a spoon and butterknife, but a piping bag and tips will give the cupcakes a professional look.
photo of ingredients needed to make lemon blackberry cupcakes

Ingredients in the Blackberry Cupcakes

These easy cupcakes have two components: the lemon cupcakes themselves and the blackberry buttercream frosting. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

For the Cupcakes

  • All-Purpose flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Buttermilk
photo of blackberry buttercream being prepared in a mixer for a lemon blackberry cupcake recipe

For the Blackberry Buttercream

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Blackberry Puree
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lemon Zest
  • Salt
  • Confectioner’s Sugar

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

Ingredient Substitutes for Blackberry Cupcakes

Typically I don’t recommend making a bunch of substitutions when preparing a new recipe. When making substitutes, you won’t know if you don’t like the recipe or if the recipe didn’t turn out due to a preparation mistake, an ill effect from the substitute, or something else.

However, if you do choose to make substitutions in a recipe, I recommend only making one substitute at a time so you don’t have a building effect of multiple poor substitutions.

Below are the answers to commonly asked questions about ingredient substitutes in this recipe for Blackberry Cupcakes:

Can I Substitute the Buttermilk?

Yes, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can easily make your own substitute in about five minutes.

Can I Substitute Salted Butter in Place of Unsalted?

Yes! Just decrease the salt by 1/4 teaspoon for every 8 tablespoons of butter used. If you use salted butter in this cupcake recipe, you’ll skip the salt all together due to the amount called for.

I’m Out of Baking Powder. What Can I Use Instead?

You can easily make homemade baking powder if you’re out of it (provided you have the ingredients needed to make it). Check out my How to Make Baking Powder tutorial.

photo of cupcake batter being prepared in a mixer for a blackberry cupcake recipe

How to Make these Blackberry Cupcakes

I promise, these are such an easy cupcake recipe to make! Here’s an overview of how they’re made:

  1. For the cupcakes: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full. (I like this trick for filling muffin tins) Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean.
  5. For the blackberry buttercream: Cream the butter on medium speed until smooth, then mix in the blackberry puree, vanilla, lemon zest and salt.
  6. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until combined.
  7. Then beat until light and fluffy.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

photo of cupcake batter in a baking pan

Tips for Making Blackberry Cupcakes From Scratch

  • Feel free to substitute whatever berries you have on hand for this recipe. I happen to adore blackberries, but blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or even cherries would be lovely with this.
  • If you want the cupcakes to be even stronger in lemony flavor, add extra lemon zest to the batter and not lemon juice. Adding extra lemon juice will alter the texture of the cupcakes.
  • Both the frosting and cupcakes can be prepared in advance. Store the frosting in the fridge until ready to pipe onto the homemade cupcakes.

How Do You Know When Cupcakes are Done?

I always recommend starting with the shortest baking time listed in these blackberry cupcakes. Over baked cupcakes can be very dry (or end up burning).

After the shortest time, open the oven, pull the oven rack out while wearing an oven mitt, and gently insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. The cupcakes are done if the toothpick comes out clean.

If the toothpick comes out with batter on it, return them to baking and set a timer for 2-3 more minutes. Then, check again. Repeat as necessary.

Can I Fill these Blackberry Cupcakes?

I haven’t ever filled these blackberry cupcakes, but you certainly can if you’d like! This cupcake corer is a popular tool to hollow out a small portion of the cupcake so you can add filling.

I recommend filling these blackberry cupcakes with lemon curd, extra blackberry puree, or blackberry jam (look for seedless!)

close up overhead photo of a cupcake with blackberry buttercream frosting

How Do You Frost Cupcakes?

For all of my tips and tricks on frosting cupcakes, I recommend reading this post. It explains how to fill a frosting bag, which piping tips I like best, and more!

If you want to do a fun two-tone color combo, you’ll want to check out these two-tone piping tips to learn how to pipe with two or more frosting types or colors. This would look gorgeous with the recipe as is, and then a second color with some extra purple food coloring added to it for a darker second color. Or, you could also swirl with lemon buttercream (white, with no food coloring)

Can I Frost the Cupcakes in Advance?

You can, but it’s best to frost them the day you plan on serving them. The longer the cupcakes are in the fridge, the more they’ll dry out.

The frosting can still be made ahead of time and chilled until ready to use, though! Just let the blackberry buttercream come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes if you’ve stored it in the fridge.

The best way to keep your blackberry cupcakes from drying out if you want to make them in advance is by storing them in one of these cupcake storage devices.

photo of lemon blackberry cupcakes on a white wooden table with lemons and flowers

How to Garnish this Blackberry Cupcake Recipe

Garnishing isn’t required, but it always makes things prettier! Especially if you’re making these blackberry cupcakes for a special occasion. Here are some garnish ideas:

  • Fresh Blackberries – fresh blackberries is the easiest way to garnish these cupcakes!
  • Lemon Slices – use full circle lemon slices, or cut lemon slice into quarters for small pie shaped lemon pieces
  • Fresh Herbs – mint leaves, lemon balm (a member of the mint family), or a small sprig of thyme go perfectly!

If you want to get fancy, include all 3 or a combination of 2 of your favorite garnish ideas!

How to Store Blackberry Cupcakes

Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers. Once you add the blackberry frosting, the cupcakes will need to be refrigerated in an airtight container.

photo of lemon blackberry cupcakes with blackberry buttercream on a cake stand

How Do I Freeze these Blackberry Cupcakes?

Head over to my How to Freeze Muffins tutorial. You can use the same basic method to freeze the unfrosted cupcakes if you want to make them more than a day in advance (or you have extras).

If you want to freeze cupcakes with the frosting on them, you’ll need to flash freeze them first so the frosting doesn’t smash when they’re stored. Otherwise, you can freeze the frosting separately or make it just before you plan to serve the cupcakes.

The Best Blackberry Cupcake Recipe

Just wanted to pop on here to say that I’ve been making these cupcakes practically since you posted this recipe for my customers of my cottage baking business. It continues to be a huge favorite among them!” — Selena

One of the best cupcakes EVER. Every year my asst. manager requests these from me for her birthday. I have been making these going on 5 years now.” — Jenn

My boyfriend and I made these a couple weeks ago. They turned out great!” — Devin

Made these for a bridal shower…they were such a big hit. I used seedless blackberry jam instead of a puree for the frosting…probably used more like a half cup…otherwise did everything the same and they turned out perfect!” — Maggie

photo of lemon blackberry cupcakes on a white wooden table

More Recipes for Homemade Cupcakes:

You’ll love these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Caramel Glaze if you’re a fan of a sweet and salty dessert.

These cute Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes have bits of real maraschino cherry in the bright pink Cherry Vanilla Buttercream. 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Raspberry Sauce are the perfect combo of a fluffy, light vanilla cupcake, rich chocolate buttercream, and a tangy, sweet fresh raspberry sauce.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes feature chocolate cupcakes with chunks of andes mint and vanilla mint buttercream. The green, mint buttercream makes them perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream are a delicious spring cupcake to celebrate a birthday with!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes feature a sour cream chocolate cupcake base and a bright raspberry buttercream frosting. These are always a big hit for Valentine’s Day!

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.

What is one of your favorite “go-to” recipes to celebrate warmer weather?

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photo of blackberry cupcakes on a cake stand

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This season, my new “go-to” recipe are these delicious Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes. There’s something about the lemon and berry combination that everyone always seems to enjoy.

Ingredients

For the Lemon Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • grated zest of 2 lemons (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Blackberry Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup blackberry puree (preferably strained)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar

Garnish Ideas

  • Fresh Blackberries
  • Lemon Slices
  • Fresh Herbs: mint, lemon balm, or thyme

Instructions

For the lemon cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
  6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.
  7. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  8. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

For the blackberry buttercream frosting:

  1. Puree the blackberries in a food processor. Then, press the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove and discard the seeds.
  2. With a mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add blackberry puree, vanilla, lemon zest and salt, and mix on medium-low until well-combined.
  4. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until combined.
  5. Then beat for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Frost and garnish as desired!

Notes

Cupcake Storing Tips

Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 685Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 34mgSodium 157mgCarbohydrates 167gFiber 1gSugar 152gProtein 3g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

About the Author:

Ali is the home cook and photographer behind the blog Gimme Some Oven. She loves coming home to a (quiet!) kitchen to relax into creating simple, delicious meals. All the better, of course, when shared with those she loves.

Dre

Sunday 5th of June 2022

Awesome cupcakes! Found this looking for ways to use up last summer's frozen blackberries, and my family LOVES lemon too. They are delicious! I made as written except I added a bit more zest because I love lemon. I also wanted a fruity and not super sweet frosting, so for my half batch (1 dz) I used almost 1/4 c. puree and about 2 c. sugar. The frosting is a gorgeous dark pink and tastes like blackberry heaven. I could eat it with a spoon!

Katie

Monday 6th of June 2022

So glad to hear you liked it!

Selena

Saturday 20th of June 2020

Hi Ali-just wanted to pop on here to say that I’ve been making these cupcakes practically since you posted this recipe for my customers of my cottage baking business. It continues to be a huge favorite among them! (I just make an SMBC and add the puree!) Thanks for an absolutely delicious cupcake recipe!

Katie

Monday 22nd of June 2020

So glad to hear! Thanks for stopping by!

Jenn

Sunday 18th of August 2019

One of the best cupcakes EVER. Every year my asst. manager requests these from me for her birthday. I have been making these going on 5 years now. While I did post on the yummly app with pictures, I am on my lap top now making the recipe, and I wanted to give another shout out to say thank you for this recipe. I used to use another icing recipe and after 5 years on a laptop I was able to compare, the only difference is instead of the blackberry puree was, the blackberry jam, which I prefer to use since it is seedless.

Thank you for making such a light and fluffy cake. and Delicious icing.

For the cupcakes, I had enough for 24 cupcakes, and 3 cakes (the pans that are like an easy bake oven for the rainbow cakes) I also used a small 1/4 scoop ice cream scoop. I filled the normal cupcake lines with 2 of the scoops making it pretty full but not enough to over flow when the rise and poof out. one or 2 were a bit poofier than i would like, so I save those for me since these cupcakes usually go to work for her birthday

Katie

Monday 19th of August 2019

So glad you love these so much. I really appreciate that you took the time to come by and share this with me! :)

Britta

Wednesday 18th of May 2016

Hello! I really want to make this recipe for an upcoming event I am doing but want to do a trial run first. How many days do you think the batter can be stored in the fridge between the trial run and the event? Or should I just make all of them and just freeze the cupcakes?

Katie Goodman

Thursday 19th of May 2016

I would not store the batter because the baking powder will activate and begin the rising process in the uncooked batter (rather than in the oven) by the time you prepare the second batch you can have very different results. I recommend making a half batch for your trial, so that if you do not like them you aren't stuck with extra frozen cupcakes that you don't enjoy (and wasted ingredients).

Nancy

Sunday 6th of December 2015

So I made this cupcakes, and I have the following comments 1) They were very tasty :D 2) the batter "expands" a lot so be careful, a little less than half the cup will do. 3) You can get a little more than 24 cupcakes with this recipe Hope this is helpful

Katie Goodman

Monday 14th of December 2015

Thanks for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed them! :)

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