Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chocolate/Blackberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

I've been getting crazy about cupcakes recently.  I know they've become something of a fad in the last few years, but to be honest, I haven't really understood how there are entire stores devoted to selling these compact sweets.  What's the big deal? 

However, my friend Christina's recent birthday seems to have tipped off a new baking obsession - even rivaling my fixation on pie! - focused on these very cakes.  I made my first batch for her birthday in March, and the photos you see here are the second batch I made the following week.

I used Martha Stewart's recipe for chocolate cupcakes, which produces a very moist, rich cake without too much trouble.   

I didn't realize that craft stores carry loads of baking supplies, but they do.  And that's where I found these cupcake papers and the cake decorating tools I used for the frosting.  (Thanks, Mom!)

The vanilla buttercream icing is adapted from a recipe I found on the Food Network site.  The one adaptation I made is that I used unsalted butter, and mixed 1/4 tsp. salt to the sugar before I blended it with the butter.  It produced an icing that was delicious as well as easy to use for decorating.

After the cupcakes were cooled, I put the icing in a disposable pastry bag fitted with a tip and used that to apply the icing.  Then I put a fresh blackberry in the center in each cake, and voila.

I've made a few different types of cupcakes since then, which I'll be posting soon.

One last note: you can't really see it in this close-up photo, but the mauve color in the background is actually a pew at my church!  Incidentally, I brought these cupcakes in celebration of one of the pastors being ordained recently, and we loaded these onto a plate found in the church kitchen and photographed them on the church pew. 

(Photo: Dan Nystedt)


  1. Beautiful work! The blackberries are such a fun contrast with the icing.

  2. These look great. I'm about to try them to see if I can do something like this for my sister's baby shower. :D

  3. Good luck Chaela! The great thing about these cupcakes is that they're actually pretty easy to do, especially if you have a good pastry tip and a pastry bag for the frosting. I think that blackberry is a lot of what makes them so pretty, and those look that way without us doing anything but placing it on the cupcake.