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

vanilla blackberry cupcakes
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.

Recipe Facts

Active: 25 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 24 cupcakes

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For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes:

  • 4 cups (570g) all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 (8-ounce; 230g) package cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups (500ggranulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk

For the Black Raspberry Buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup (90g) ripe black raspberries, plus 24 more, for garnish

  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature

  • 6 cups (680g) confectioners' sugar, divided

  • 3 to 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, as needed


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

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

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

  4. Divide batter among cupcake liners (they should be about 2/3 full). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake emerges clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  5. To make the buttercream, place black raspberries and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain 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 seeds and set purée aside.

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

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

Special equipment

Cupcake tin

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
500 Calories
23g Fat
69g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 500
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 182mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 50g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 72mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)