Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup vanilla sugar*
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh blackberry juice**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature

blackberry cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 6 wells in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture. Whisk together the milk and blackberry juice, then add it to the rest of the batter and beat until well combined. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with just one or two dry crumbs. Cool briefly in the pan, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before icing with blackberry cream cheese frosting.

*I used this absolutely divine vanilla sugar but you can make your own by storing a vanilla bean (or a few) in granulated sugar for a number of weeks. Or you could just use plain sugar and add some vanilla extract. The vanilla sugar is really good though, so it is worth trying!

**Made from 1 cup fresh blackberries, mashed and sieved to remove the seeds.

My thoughts:
This recipe came out my urge to start taking more advantage of our extremely prolific blackberry bush. Initially I was going to pair the blackberry with lemon but then on a whim decided to try out my new vanilla sugar. I am glad I did, the results were many times better than I think the best version of lemon-blackberry combo would have been. The vanilla not only accentuates the blackberry flavor but also makes it really taste like a cupcake and not a muffin. I think it is my new favorite Summer cupcake: light, fruity and fresh.


  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m heading to a farmer’s market this afternoon, so I’ll definitely look for blackberries! Vanilla sugar sounds like a great idea.

  2. These are gorgeous! I’m away from home until Sunday but will stop on the way home form the airport to pick up blackberries so I can make them tomorrow night. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  3. looks good. how many cupcakes does this recipe make? it looks like a small amount which would be perfect for our 2 person house!

  4. Kickpleat- Only 6!

  5. An extremely prolific blackberry bush in your backyard? How great! As expensive as blackberries are at the farmers’ market, it must be nice to be producing your own.

  6. YUM, and we will soon have blackberries galore!

  7. How great you have a blackberry bush!

  8. I love this cupcake!


  9. Blackberries are just so delicious, I can’t believe you have a bush in your backyard-I am so evious. It’s interesting that you said the cake turned out like a cupcake and not a muffin. There is a difference, I know, But, it seems like such a fine line. What are the big differences?

  10. Hi Ivy-
    We planted the blackberry bush last year. It was really tiny but now it is huge-at least 7 ft tall. We’ve been getting almost a cup of berries a day.

    To me what makes a cupcake a cupcake and not a muffin is a combination of things. It is generally finer textured, you almost always cream the butter, there are generally no large chunks of fruit in the cake, and they are very moist, not to mention sweet! Muffins are coarser textured, and are often made with oil (like a quick bread) and chunks of fruit.

  11. Looks so elegant. I’m definitely bookmarking this one. I can think of a lot of uses for that blackberry cream cheese frosting.


    This was fantastic! I’m including this in a post tomorrow!

  13. We have tons of blackberries in our yard (one huge cultivated bush and many, many wild ones) and I’ve been making berry crumbles galore. Now some of the berries are getting SO ripe that I can hardly pick them without crushing them – I think it may be time for this recipe calling for blackberry juice. I can’t wait to try it1

  14. curious skull, shoeless panda, and young socks

    These cupcakes are amazing! I cant wait to try the blackberry cream cheese icing, because the blackberry cupcake is simply delish!

  15. I cant wait to try the blackberry cream cheese icing, because the blackberry cupcakes are delish! i love blackberries, so this is like a dream come true!