Welcome spring with these Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes... The lemon cupcakes have a lemon curd filling and a deliciously pretty blackberry cream cheese frosting!
(This recipe for Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes was originally published in April 2012, but was updated with new photos in 2019).
Do you ever make a recipe you're sure you're making for the firs time only to realize halfway through cooking/baking it that you've made the exact same thing before? It's been happening to me so often lately that it feels like some sort of food amnesia. Or maybe I'm just getting early onset Alzheimer's (the really sad thing is, I totally could NOT for the life of me remember the word "Alzheimer's" and it took me a good 30 seconds to think of it… And 3 spell check attempts)? Or maybe it's just something about the seasons. But I've made something very similar to these lemon blackberry cupcakes before. Almost exactly four years ago today on Easter weekend. Creepy.
Four years ago, it was these Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes that I made from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit. The cupcakes that I'm sharing with you today are Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting. They're incredibly different in terms of ingredients and method, but the main elements, lemon and berries, and their appearance are quite similar.
I didn't even realize this until I was topping my cupcakes with a blackberry garnish and thinking they looked familiar. Hello. I guess springtime means it's time for citrus and berries! Which is totally fine with me. You can never have too many lemon and berry recipes in your arsenal. And this one has the bonus of lemon curd filling, which is to die for.
LEMON CUPCAKES WITH BLACKBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE
Luckily, the cupcakes are quite easy to make, too! The frosting is definitely more of an icing since it's thinner than the typical frosting. Lots of berry frosting recipes will have you push your fruit through a sieve/strainer so you can just utilize some of the juice, but I went full-on blackberry and added them right into the mixer with the butter and cream cheese. This definitely makes the icing thinner, but super pretty and delicious.
Of course, before you can frost anything, you're going to have to actually make the lemon cupcakes. But I recommend starting with the lemon curd because it needs a good 2 hours to chill in the fridge. You can even make this a day or two in advance.
Homemade Lemon Curd
Contrary to popular belief, making lemon curd is actually quite easy. The key is to whisk, whisk, whisk! As long as you're constantly whisking to keep the eggs from curdling, you're going to end up with a delicious curd.
In a double boiler or a heat-resistant bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk together eggs, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk non-stop for about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture really starts to thicken (or until it reaches about 160 degrees F on a thermometer).
Whisk in butter 1 Tbsp at a time, whisking until it's melted in. And immediately push mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Pour curd into a jar or bowl and let chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The lemon curd will thicken up quite a bit more as it chills.
Homemade Lemon Cupcakes
Now that the curd is in your fridge chilling away, you can make the lemon cupcakes. In the bowl of a mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, and lemon zest. Beat the ingredients until combined and nice and fluffy. Add the eggs to the batter in the mixer, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat in half of flour mixture. Add milk and lemon juice and beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
Pour the batter into cupcake papers in a cupcake tin, about ¾ to the top. And bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the cupcakes come out clean.
Let cupcakes cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
Homemade Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Ready for some frosting/icing? This was a total experiment on my part. I just knew I wanted cream cheese frosting with fresh blackberries. Not too much to ask, is it? Well, like I mentioned earlier, it turned out to be more of a thin icing, but it was delicious!
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and blackberries and beat at high speed to combine. Beating at a high speed will make the blackberries break down. It also releases the water from them and thins out the cream cheese, making for a thinner icing.
Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time until you have a good consistency and taste. Add 2 ½ cups and if you want to thicken it a bit more, add the final ½ cup.
When your cupcakes are cooled, core them. You can either use a cupcake corer (here's an affiliate link for the one I use all the time!) or you can simply cut a little piece of the middle out. And fill that center with the cooled lemon curd.
Now, frost/ice all of the cupcakes! And add a blackberry on top for the finishing touch.
I absolutely love the color of the icing! Sure, it was a little bit thinner than the typical frosting, but it looked stunning and was nice and light tasting.
But my favorite part of the cupcake was probably (no… definitely) the lemon curd. It added a fantastic tangy kick to the cupcake and made me crave summer weather and more seasonal fruits. Plus, I always say a good cupcake filling can do wonders for a dry cupcake. Not that these were dry, but if you're worried about getting the perfect cupcake, add a delicious filling and your problems will be solved in an instant.
In fact, all your problems will be solved immediately when you enter the sugary, citrusy oblivion that these lemon cupcakes with blackberry frosting bring. Trust me, I know. Problems? What are those?
But seriously, there's something so fun about biting into a cupcake and discovering a delicious surprise inside. Especially when you're already really excited about the deliciousness on top of the cupcake from that gorgeous blackberry cream cheese frosting.
So, even though I've made a super similar cupcake in the past, my food amnesia definitely benefited me here. Had I remembered those lemon raspberry cupcakes, chances are I never would have made these lemon blackberry cupcakes. And I'm so, so happy these are now in my life!
Clearly, spring has me craving citrus and berries.... What does it have you craving?
If you love citrus in the springtime (or all the time!) as much as I do, check out my Lemon Cookie Dough Bars and my Lavender Lemon Cookies. I also can't wait to try this Frozen Lemonade Pie from My Casual Pantry!
Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Lemon curd (recipe below)
- Blackberry cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
- 12 blackberries, for garnish
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temparature
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- 2 ½-3 cups confectioners' sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 papers.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon zest. Beat the ingredients until combined and nice and fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the batter in the mixer, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat in half of flour mixture. Add milk and lemon juice and beat to blend. Beat in remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into cupcake papers in a cupcake tin, about ¾ to the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
- When cupcakes are completely cooled, core them either using a cupcake corer or a knife. Fill each cupcake with cooled lemon curd.
- Frost cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting and top each cupcake with a blackberry garnish.
- In a double boiler or a heat-resistant bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk together eggs, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk non-stop for about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture really starts to thicken (or until it reaches about 160 degrees F on a thermometer)
- Whisk in butter 1 Tbsp at a time, whisking until it's melted in.
- Immediately push mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour curd into a jar or bowl and let chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and blackberries and beat at high speed to combine.
- Add confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time until you have a good consistency and taste. Add 2 ½ cups and if you want to thicken it a bit more, add the final ½ cup.
So pretty! The frosting really makes them gorgeous. I am craving light fresh meals- veggie packed stir frys, salads, etc!
Curd filling? Yes! I think we tend to gravitate towards the same things, especially when the seasons change. Don't be too hard on yourself. Like you said, the more the merrier with recipes 🙂
Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) says
I just bought two pounds of Meyer Lemons... so I might have to make a version of this! Love love the fruit combo too 🙂
sarah k. @ the pajama chef says
mmm, these cupcakes look awesome. they would be perfect for my mom's birthday!
Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen says
These look awesome! I love the citrus and berry combination, especially at this time of year!
berries and asparagus and beans! these would suffice, though 😉
Gia Grossman says
I'm always in the mood for cupcakes every season of the year! Plus, tomatoes. These look so fun!
They look awesome and the flavour combination seems great.
Colleen @ Culinary Colleen says
These are so pretty! Something about the spring weather makes me crave lemony desserts.
These are gorgeous! And the flavor combo is a favorite! I am craving blueberries like crazy!
So like spring. Love the lemon curd in it. Oh my! This opens the taste buds.
The cupcakes look AMAZING! So does that mushroom benedict...yum!
I think Lemon cupcakes are a perfect spring/summer treat! Bookmarking these now!! 🙂
Lawyer Loves Lunch says
I really need to stop reading food blogs before bed because now I really really want a cupcake (with lemon curd)! And who knew there was such a thing as a cupcake corer?!?
Perfect spring cupcakes! We love lemon curd at our house...even mix it with yogurt. But what I really love, is your frosting. Can't wait to make it.
Elina (Healthy and Sane) says
Lemon + berries make me think of spring and I'm totally happy with repeating this combo over and over 🙂
these sound so good. I've been looking for an excuse to use my cupcake corer, I may have just found it 🙂 I usually crave asparagus and tasty strawberries!
I'm always in the mood for lemony desserts this time of year! I always make a lemon/berry something for Easter 🙂
That mushroom benedict looks ridiculously good!!!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
I love cupcakes with filling! With the warmer weather coming up. I am craving more fruity, lemony desserts like this one 🙂
Umm yes I've definitely done the same thing. Maybe it's food blogger alzheimers? Like after you've been bloggin for a certain number of years, you lose all memory of what you've cooked before? Hmm. Either way these cupcakes look MAJOR.