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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Chocolate Buttermilk Blackberry Cupcakes

Updated: Apr 29

A few weeks ago a friend sent me a photo a chocolate-blackberry cake. I was instantly enthralled by the colors and thought: I will have to make that for my own birthday. Then I realized I could make them to celebrate Jake's 49th instead. Upon looking at her text again, it was just a photo. No recipe. No worries...I can make it up as I go along. And it was a hit. A friend who doesn't usually eat sweets ate TWO cupcakes. I'll take that as a win.

As I mentioned, I didn't have a recipe to start with...just a gorgeous photo. So I cobbled together some of my other favorites and added fresh blackberry purée* to both the cupcakes and the frosting. Since the purée was made with frozen blackberries*, you can make this anytime of year, but I would only garnish with fresh ones so they don't weep into your frosting.

*To make blackberry purée, place frozen blackberries in a skillet over medium-low heat until the berries are softened. Press the berries through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Stir together the pulp and juice expressed to form the purée.

**To freeze blackberries - or any other kind of berry - I rinse the berries under cool water, pat them dry, remove any stems, leaves, or moldy berries. Spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze completely. Then I bag them and use as needed throughout non-berry season. Easy!

Gently pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

Chocolate Buttermilk Blackberry Cupcakes


  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cups flour

  • 3/4 cup organic dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup organic granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup blackberry purée

  • Also needed: cupcake liners (I used black), piping bag and tips, fresh blackberries for garnish


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup blackberry purée

  • 5 Tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar

  • ½ cup cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine the buttermilk, blackberry purée, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk till smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the blackberry-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together buttermilk, sugar, 1/2 cup blackberry purée, and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture thickens and resembles a thick pudding. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Press plastic wrap into the top to prevent a skin from forming.

Cream together the butter and cocoa powder on low speed until the cocoa powder is incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add the cooled buttermilk-blackberry mixture to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add vanilla and mix on high for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Using a piping bag and tip, decorate the cooled cupcakes. Add a fresh blackberry before serving.

A Mini Cake

I decided to make him his own mini cake so he wasn't blowing out candles over the cupcakes that everyone else was going to eat.

Now I need to decide what I am going to make for my own birthday cake.

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