Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes with Fresh Blackberry Buttercream

Makes 24 cupcakes

Blackberries add bright flavor and gorgeous color to the buttercream that tops these citrusy cupcakes.


  • 7 tablespoons strained blackberry puree (made from about 1½ cups of fresh blackberries)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


For the Blackberry Buttercream: 

Using a blender or food processor, thoroughly puree the blackberries. Strain the pureed blackberries through cheesecloth or a fine strainer/sieve to remove the seeds. (Discard seeds). You will use 7 tablespoons of this puree.

 In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

 Slowly add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add blackberry puree and pure vanilla extract and beat.

Gradually add in the remaining powdered sugar, beating on low speed until combined. Then beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

For the Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes: 

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of your electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.

Beat in the zest and vanilla.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, beating until just combined after each addition.

Divide batter among lined cups, filling each ¾ full. I use a large cookie scoop/ice cream scoop to ensure equal-sized cupcakes. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean and edges have just started to brown.

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool. After about 10 minutes, remove the cupcakes from tins and allow to cool on wire rack.

Frost with blackberry buttercream.

Nutritional Analysis:
Calories: 390, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 17 g, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Sodium: 75 mg, Fiber: 2 g

Recipe by Michelle Palin, who has been learning from cooking magazines and shows, blogs and cooking classes for years and now shares her own recipes on her blog, My Gluten-Free Kitchen (mygluten-freekitchen.com). She has been cooking and baking family-friendly gluten-free meals since her celiac diagnosis in 2010.