Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Also try my lemon blueberry layer cake!

lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

I had a major case of the blahs earlier this week. I caught a cold from all the travel/hustle bustle. But, thankfully, I’m feeling much better as the week progresses. For my Instagram friends who suggested drinking hot water + 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 Tbsp honey, thank you! I added a little cinnamon and sipping it a couple times really helped me get over this bug. We’re dubbing that warm concoction the cold-fixer-elixer. Try it next time you’re down!

lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting topped with blackberries on a white serving plate

Now let’s focus on better, brighter, happier items!

We have lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting on today’s menu. These cupcakes are all sorts of flavorful with a giant dose of naturally colored (yay!) and naturally flavored (yay again!) blackberry frosting. They’re your dessert answer for everything coming up:

  • Literally any springtime celebration = these cupcakes.
  • Lilac/lavendar wedding color scheme? Done.
  • Bridal shower? Obviously.
  • Baby shower? This is your dessert, totally gender neutral.
  • Mother’s Day celebration? Mom approved.
  • No reason at all? Do you even need a reason to make cupcakes?

In terms of flavors, they remind me of my lemon berry yogurt cake.

lemon cupcake batter in a cupcake pan

lemon cupcakes

This is my basic lemon cupcake recipe. They’re soft and fluffy with bright and sunny lemon flavor. I published the recipe 4 years ago and they’ve never steered us wrong! The recipe is actually my most popular cake recipe on my blog: lemon blueberry cake… only reduced to make cupcakes. So if you’ve tried the lemon blueberry layer cake recipe, you know the cupcake version is a winner too.

There’s nothing crazy or fancy about the batter. Simply creamed butter + sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, milk, and lemon. The usual gang! The batter is creamy, silky, and has the most unbelievable fresh lemon fragrance. You’ll fall in love even before you steal the first taste.

Remember to only fill your cupcake liners 2/3 full– just like you see above.

Grab fresh blackberries, puree them in a food processor (I use my little ninja!), then push through a fine mesh strainer to rid the seeds. You’re left with thick and seedless blackberry juice, which will go directly into the frosting. I suppose a blackberry jam works just as well, though the flavor may not be as potent.

2 images of pureed blackberries in a food processor and blackberry puree in a mesh sieve

blackberry cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl

(Don’t you just want to swipe a taste with your finger???)

I don’t suggest doing this method with any other berry– though raspberries *should* be fine. Strawberries and blueberries produce a juice that’s much too thin for cream cheese frosting. You know what to do instead? Freeze-dried berries. You know I swear by freeze-dried strawberries in frosting.

#1 Issue with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a cream cheese frosting variation so make sure you’re using block cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. That’s the #1 issue readers face when making cream cheese frosting. You want the actual block of cream cheese, sold right next to the tubs of cream cheese spread.

The blackberry flavor in this frosting is mild, but you’ll know it’s there. The blackberry cream cheese frosting is a little thinner than we’re used to because of the added juice, but I was still able to pipe it with my #12 round tip. I actually loved how light it was, especially paired with an equally light lemon cupcake. The frosting is also super soft and just as creamy as you see in the photo above. ♥ ♥ ♥

lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

This is, without a doubt, my new favorite cream cheese frosting. I’m already planning on using it to fill a sponge cake roll and urge you to try that too! Also, doesn’t looking at the purple color instantly put you in a better mood? Experience it all ASAP. ↓

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lemon cupcakes with blackberry cream cheese frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 mintues
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These lemon cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and exploding with lemon flavor. Topped with fresh blackberry cream cheese frosting for the ultimate treat!


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk*
  • zest + fresh juice of two medium lemons*

Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, divided*
  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk, lemon juice, and zest until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Puree 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup blackberries in a small food processor. Push through a fine mesh strainer to rid the seeds. You’ll have a couple Tablespoons of puree.
  6. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, blackberry puree, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes. I used Wilton #12 round tip. Garnish with remaining berries.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Plain cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand MixerNinja Master Prep | Glass Mixing BowlsMini Strainer | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Frosting Bags | #12 Round Decorating Tip
  3. Milk: I suggest whole milk or buttermilk. Any milk is fine, but you’ll get the most wonderful moist, soft, and rich texture with either of those 2.
  4. Lemons: About 1 and 1/2 Tbsp zest and 1/4 – 1/3 cup lemon juice.
  5. Blackberries: I don’t suggest using frozen blackberries, nor do I suggest any other berry. Raspberries *might* work, but strawberry and blueberry puree will be much too thin. Instead, use freeze-dried strawberries or blueberries like we do in this frosting.
Creamy, silky, and smooth blackberry cream cheese frosting made from blackberry puree! The BEST spring dessert, bridal shower, baby shower, and wedding cupcakes recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com


  1. Sally, these look terrific! I love lemons and blackberries! Such a great combo! I might have to try this sometime. Right now I’m trying to decide if I should make your goat cheese quiche or your crustless sausage one for Mother’s Day! They both look so good I can’t decide lol XD

    1. I guess it depends if you’re a fan of crust or not. Personally, I love the goat cheese/sun-dried tomato version, but the lower calories in the sausage quiche is pretty awesome for how incredible it tastes 🙂
      Here are both recipe if others reading this are curious:

      Goat Cheese Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche
      140 Calorie Cheesy Sausage Quiche

  2. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    I love blackberries, but I feel they contain too much seeds for baked goods. But I love this method of adding blackberries to cream cheese frosting. I can’t wait to try this combination of lemon and blackberries. Thanks, Sally!

  3. Jenny from jennyisbaking.com says:

    They do look terrific! I will give them a try. And also excited about what is going to happen on your Facebook page.

  4. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    So pretty, I love that dreamy blackberry frosting!

    1. I had a feeling you’d love this recipe, Laura!

  5. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    mm i love honey lemon “tea” even just when i want something warm to drink, but never thought of adding apple cider vinegar for a cold remedy! will have to try that next time (: anyways, this lemon and blackberry combo sounds like it’d make for something that’s deliciously sweet-tart!

    1. the ACV addition REALLY helped. And the honey and cinnamon made it easy/delicious to drink. 🙂

  6. Gorgeous!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever tried blackberry frosting, but I’ve been loving blackberries recently. And of course frosting is an excellent form of anything delicious 🙂 (though, on that subject, it’s weird to me how some fruits are NEVER used in anything. Cantaloupe, kiwi (rare), honeydew, watermelon…I assume watermelon has to do with its water content, but it still seems like it could work…)

    1. My guess is that the fruits are just much too watery. Other than fruit tarts/fruit pizza where the fruit is just placed on top as decoration, I’ve seen little as well!

  7. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    These look so beautiful!   I love the spring colors and am all about finding baked goods to make for each season.

  8. Nurfatma perveen says:

    Sally, looking at these cupcakes makes me feel so much more better about my terrible day today!

    Up next, actually making these cupcakes to make my day gloriously better

    1. I hope your day gets better!

  9. Mama V @ Snowflaks & Coffeecakes Cooking School says:

    SO PRETTY! And they look so good! I just love me some blackberries – in any shape or form, but this frosting is just GORGEOUS! And your recipe for Cold Fixer-Elixer? It’s a keeper too!

    1. I can’t take credit for the hot cold remedy drink but MAN that stuff really helped!

  10. Sally, these sound amazing! I cannot wait to make these! Best wishes for your LIVE Facebook event tomorrow! I wish I could watch it. Have a blessed day!

    1. It will still be there after the video is LIVE– that’s the awesome thing about Facebook LIVE videos. They are saved in my video archive and on my feed!

  11. These cupcakes scream Spring! I made your lemon raspberry cupcakes for Mother’s Day last year, so this year, I should switch things up just a tad 😉

    1. Yes! They are perfect for Mother’s Day!

  12. I love this cupcake recipe – I pulled it from your website last week and made them for my co-workers (after making a test batch for my family!). I used the raspberry buttercream frosting (made with preserves) that was published with your recipe. They were a HUGE hit! I can’t wait to try the blackberry cream cheese frosting too!

    1. If you liked the raspberry frosting with these I really think you will LOVE this one too! 🙂

  13. these are so perfect!! I can’t wait to try these, and I will definitely be sneaking a few licks of that frosting!!

  14. I heard on the radio this morning that today is National Cupcake Day ( who can keep up with this craziness??) and look at you posting this beautiful recipe for cupcakes!! I also think the cake roll would be killer!!! Have a wonderful Thursday!!

    1. Yep, these are the perfect way to celebrate Cupcake Day! I have this frosting in the cake roll on my to-do list 🙂

  15. Do you think it would work to cook the blackberry juice until it’s reduced? That way you have less liquid and with a more concentrated flavor. I’ve done that with puréed strawberries for a strawberry buttercream (before I knew about freeze dried) and it worked really well. Berry flavored frostings always end up being my favorites!  

    1. I can’t see why not!

  16. Sally, this looks delicious. I read the whole recipe a few times and didn’t realize it was blackberries until a comment above – in my mind I read blueberries every time. Geez! I am going to try these out as a possible baby shower dessert, pending approval from the mom-to-be. ~smile~

    1. Ha – Roseanne, they would be the perfect spring baby shower dessert! Blueberries would be much too thin for the frosting, but you will love the blackberries 🙂

  17. Alexis Courson says:

    Do you think this blackberry frosting would pair well with a white cake?

    1. absolutely! here is my favorite white cake recipe.

      1. Alexis Courson says:

        Thank you! I’m sure my Grandmother will love it for Mothers day!

  18. You read my mind! I’ve been thinking about blackberries today, and that frosting looks perfect. 🙂

    1. It really is! You will love it!!

  19. Kim | Unrefined RD says:

    I love the combination of lemon and blackberry! These are super cute, Sally 🙂 

  20. Blogtastic Food says:

    Looks amazing! love the cream cheese frosting (:

  21. These look delicious! I’m so glad you’re feeling better! ACV is a great natural remedy. Good luck with your live video! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it, but I’ll watch the recording!

  22. Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says:

    These cupcakes are so dang pretty!! I don’t know if I could eat it. Just kidding…I totally would. But they are seriously amazing looking Sally! And I’m sure just as yummy! Xoxo 🙂

  23. Julia @ Happy Foods Tube says:

    Lemon cupcakes are my favorite ones! The blackberry frosting looks amazing and I am definitely trying it pretty soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Hillary Harper says:

    I want a bowl of that frosting in front of me right now! 🙂 

    I’m going to make this to bring to Mother’s Day brunch!

  25. Jerilyn Moyer says:

    Totally making these for our ladies luncheon tomorrow as my gift to them!! I absolutely love blackberries and lemons…thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

    1. Let me know how everyone likes them!

      1. Jerilyn Moyer says:

        The cupcakes were a huge success! Everyone was raving and asking for the recipe. They were so much fun to make and turned out so pretty!!
        Thanks again for posting

      2. You are welcome!! So happy they were a hit!

  26. Rebecca Jimenez says:

    Hi Sally,
    First of all, thank you for the work/play that you do to share your recipes with us! I’ll be baking cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday this week and thought, “Lemon will be perfect.” So of course, I needed a good recipe and you were my go-to. I wanted to use beets to color my buttercream frosting but decided on blackberries since that’s what I have on hand. I love that upon opening your page, these cupcakes were the first thing I saw. Too perfect, so thank you! 

    Question though: can I also use this batter to bake a cake in a 9 inch baking pan? If so, how long in the oven and how hot? 

    1. I hope you all enjoy these cupcakes! For a cake, this batter will be too much for a single layer 9-inch cake. However, you can fill the pan halfway and use any extra batter for cupcakes. Same oven temp, though I’m unsure of the bake time for the cake. Alternatively, you can make the lemon layer cake linked in this post. You can leave out the blueberries. Use this blackberry cream cheese frosting for it.

  27. Hi Sally! I made these last night for Mother’s Day brunch this morning, and when it came to the frosting, I had trouble getting it thick enough to stand up on it’s own when I piped it. I might have added a bit too much blackberry juice (my blackberries yielded more than a couple Tbsp), but I added a little extra powdered sugar and then I refrigerated it before frosting the cupcakes. It just puddled on the cupcakes. 🙁 It didn’t look light and fluffy like in the photos. Any ideas for what I did wrong? They’re absolutely delicious, though!! 🙂

    1. Hey Heather! Make sure you’re measure that blackberry puree. Too much means liquid frosting. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  28. Jean Vandermoor says:

    I made these cupcakes today. Absolutely delicious.  Everyone loved them. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. You are welcome, Jean!

  29. I made these for Mothers Day, boy what a HIT! The cupcakes are to die for, perfectly lemony sweet, like those sugared lemon hard candies from old timey candy stores. And the frosting was amazing! I’m a die hard chocolate lover, and these may just be making a break for my all time favorite cupcake spot. Everyone loved them, and now my co-workers are ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the 4 leftover cupcakes I brought in for them.

    1. Ok, if they can win over a die hard chocoholic then I know they are good 😉

  30. Amy - Baking with Granny says:

    I can’t wait until blackberries are in season again here in Scotland. We love nothing more than getting out and about, trawling through brambles and picking (& eating!) fresh wild blackberries!

    1. That sounds amazing! Bookmark this recipe and report back when they are in season there! 🙂

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