These fresh blueberry cupcakes are loaded with berries and are even topped with a blueberry frosting swirled with vanilla! They are so moist and have a hint of lemon and vanilla.
In addition to the pantry basics in my favorite vanilla cupcakes, this recipe requires lemon zest and 6 ounces of fresh blueberries for the cupcake itself.
The frosting requires 3 ounces of fresh blueberries in addition to the butter and sugar found in my classic American buttercream frosting.
How It’s Made
If you’ve never made cupcakes before, read my cupcake FAQ to learn some basics before getting started on this recipe.
Many of my best cupcakes are variations on my vanilla cupcake, and this one is no exception; that recipe is tried and true and, once you master it, it can be adapted to so many different flavors.
To make these cupcakes, start with the recipe for my vanilla cupcakes and reduce the amount of vanilla extract you use to 2 teaspoons. Add the zest of a small lemon into the dry ingredients when you start making that recipe, and gently fold in a half pint of blueberries just before baking.
I recommend that you make a swirl of blueberry and vanilla frostings.
Start by making vanilla frosting and then removing half of the frosting from the mixing bowl.
Next, cook down fresh blueberries in a pot to make a blueberry sauce. I’ve seen recipes that add sugar and other ingredients to the blueberry sauce, but the sauce doesn’t need anything but blueberries.
After around five minutes, the blueberries will break down and release their juices. Run the sauce through a sieve to make it nice and smooth.
Mix some of the blueberry sauce into the half of the frosting in your mixing bowl and it will turn a really pretty purple color.
Then, fill half of a piping bag with each frosting. (If you want to make the whole thing purple, then just skip the step of dividing the frosting in half.)
When you pipe the frosting, the two colors will swirl together.
Top the cupcakes with extra blueberry sauce!
Expert Tips and FAQs
While I recommend fresh blueberries, you can use frozen blueberries if you bring them to room temperature first. For the berries in the cupcakes, drain off any extra liquid from the defrosted berries before adding them to the batter.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour not self-rising
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest zest from about 1 small lemon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup canola oil you can also use vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract use pure, not imitation
- 2/3 cup whole milk room temperature
- 6 ounces fresh blueberries
- 3 ounces fresh blueberries
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar add more until it reaches your preferred consistency
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)
- Gently fold in blueberries.
- Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
- Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
- When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.
- Heat blueberries in a small pot on medium-low heat, stirring periodically for about five minutes or until they soften and start to release their juice.
- Push the cooked blueberries through a fine sieve to get a smooth blueberry sauce.
- Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
- Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
- Add salt and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more powdered sugar to make the buttercream frosting stiffer.
- Remove half of the frosting and place in a separate bowl.
- Add 3 teaspoons of cooled blueberry sauce to the frosting still in the electric mixer bowl and mix until the frosting looks uniformly light purple.
- Place some of each kind of frosting into one piping bag. Use a spatula to spread vanilla frosting on one half of a piping bag fitted with a star tip and blueberry frosting on the other half of the bag.
- Pipe a frosting swirl onto cooled cupcakes.
- Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Use room temperature ingredients – everything will mix together more smoothly that way.
- If you need to use frozen blueberries, bring them to room temperature before using.
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