Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes With Black Raspberry Buttercream From 'Fruitful' Recipe

Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes With Black Raspberry Buttercream From 'Fruitful' Recipe

[Photograph: Steve Legato]

This recipe came to Fruitful from Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, the duo behind Brooklyn's Ovenly, a beloved bakery located in Greenpoint. Light and slightly tangy vanilla cupcakes are topped with a pale purple buttercream, flavored with black raspberries, a berry that's darker and slightly more tart than the familiar red raspberry.

Why this recipe works:

  • Normally, a cupcake would be frosted with cream cheese buttercream, and garnished with berries. These cupcakes turn the flavors upside down, packing the topping with fruit, and leaving the vanilla and cream cheese for the cake itself.
  • The process for making the buttercream is very simple, and doesn't have to be made with black raspberries, if you don't have them; blackberries work well too.

Excerpted from Fruitful by Brian Nicholson and Sarah Huck (Running Press). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Steve Legato.

  • Yield:Makes 24 cupcakes
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour


  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes
  • 4 cups / 570 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (8-ounce / 230 g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup / 225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups / 500 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml canola oil
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml whole milk
  • Black Raspberry Buttercream
  • 3/4 cup / 90 g ripe black raspberries, plus 24 more, for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup / 170 g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 6 cups / 680 g confectioner's sugar, divided
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, as needed


  1. 1.

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Fill two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  3. 3.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each addition; beat in the oil. Gradually beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.

  4. 4.

    Divide the batter among the cupcake liners (they should be about two-thirds full). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake emerges clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  5. 5.

    To make the buttercream, place the black raspberries and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the solids with a spatula to extract as much puree as possible. Discard the seeds and set the puree aside.

  6. 6.

    In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with 1 1/2 / 300 g cups of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cream on low speed until combined. Beat in the remaining sugar and the raspberry puree until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, Beat in additional cream, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.

  7. 7.

    Frost each cupcake generously with the buttercream and garnish each with a raspberry before serving.