Blackberry coconut cupcakes with blackberry buttercream

This post is a PSA for the glorious combination of blackberries and coconut. Try these out, and you too will wonder why we don’t see these two ingredients together more often! Strawberries and raspberries, sure – but why not blackberries! It’s baffling.

Here I’ve adapted a simple, dairy-free coconut muffin recipe into one that has pops of plump blackberries, that are almost jammy when baked. These are totally delicious and satisfying unadorned, but I couldn’t resist making a gorgeous lavender colored blackberry buttercream to show them a little extra love!

The cupcakes come together in no time, with no beaters or special equipment! I added some coconut flour in addition to the coconut oil, coconut milk and shredded coconut (okay – these are VERY coconut-y), that I think lends a nice bite to these treats!

Coconut milk, all purpose flour, coconut oil, blackberries, coconut flour, sugar, eggs, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt

You start by mixing the dry ingredients together, setting aside a bit to toss the blackberries in. Combine the wet ingredients, and mix with the dry, and finally stir in the blackberries! The batter is ready.

20-25 minutes in the oven is all it takes to bake these simple and delicious muffins that are dairy free to boot!

While the cupcakes cool, make the buttercream. To flavor the buttercream with blackberries, I puréed fresh blackberries and passed the purée through a fine mesh strainer, and then used a few teaspoonfuls to add a fruity tartness to the buttercream (which is usually very one-note). And the beautiful lavender color isn’t too hard on the eyes either!

I went with a simple star tip (Wilton #32) for these cupcakes, and added a blackberry on top of each frosted cupcake.

These cupcakes can also be glazed with a blackberry coconut glaze to keep with the dairy free theme – combine 1 cup of confectioners sugar with a teaspoon or so of coconut milk and whisk with a fork. Then add 2-3 teaspoons of the blackberry purée (seeds removed) and whisk until smooth and falling in ribbons.

The cupcakes can be made with any berry – raspberries would be great here, as would be blueberries and strawberries (chopped).

Blackberry coconut cupcakes with blackberry buttercream

Makes 2 dozen frosted cupcakes

For cupcakes
1 virgin coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (still liquid)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup (120 grams) coconut flour (can use whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour if coconut flour is not available)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 cups coconut milk (canned) (use 3 cups if using coconut flour above)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3 cups (about 350 grams) blackberries (roughly chopped if very big in size)

For frosting
3/4 cup blackberries
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups (16 oz or 1 lb) confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk, half-n-half or cream

Make cupcakes
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 muffin tins with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, place about 1/2 cup of the dry mixture and toss blackberries in it and set aside.

To the remaining dry ingredients in the large bowl, add the shredded coconut and stir.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, coconut oil, coconut milk and vanilla. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients until just combined.

Add the blackberries (previously tossed in flour) to the batter and combine until mixed.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester or thin knife comes out clean (blackberry juice is okay and expected).

Let cool in pan on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes and then take out of the pan and cool rest of the way on the cooling rack. Cupcakes are delicious as is without any frosting!

Make frosting
Purée blackberries in a blender or wet grinder until completely smooth. Run through a fine mesh strainer or sieve to separate the seeds from the purée. Set aside (should be about 1/4 cup).

In a large bowl, using electric beaters, beat the butter and vanilla extract together for 30 seconds.

Beat in the confectioners sugar, 3/4 cup at a time until uniformly mixed with the butter. Mixture will be a bit dry.

Add the milk (or cream or half-n-half) a teaspoon or two at a time, just until the mixture comes together, up to 3 tablespoons. Frosting will be thick.

Beat in the reserved blackberry purée (seeds removed) a teaspoon at a time until fully incorporated, up to 2 tablespoons. Frosting should be smooth and spreadable.

If planning to pipe out flowers or decorative swirls, the frosting should be stiff – such that if you put a small steel offset spatula in the frosting, it stays upright.

If planning to slather frosting on with an offset spatula for a more rustic look, the frosting can be slightly thin – such that if you put the spatula in the frosting, it doesn’t remain upright but starts leaning to one side (but doesn’t outright fall down).

If frosting becomes too thick, add one or both of the liquid ingredients just 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Making the frosting too thin is much harder to fix!

If frosting becomes too thin, add a few tablespoons of confectioners sugar and beat again. Note that this will make the frosting very, very sweet, so err on the side of leaving it too thick!

Assemble cupcakes
Frost cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip, or simply slather with an offset spatula. Place a plump blackberry on top of each frosting cupcake, if desired.

2 thoughts on “Blackberry coconut cupcakes with blackberry buttercream

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