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Aug 25


Wild Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes with Sugared Vanilla Icing

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It’s funny how some things change as I get older, like the way I look at blackberry picking season. As a child, it meant going to pick berries with family in the wild bush, which meant wearing long sleeves and long pants in hot weather, occasionally getting pricked by thorns despite “protective” clothing, swatting shrill mosquitoes and hovering deer-flies around me, and hopes of finding bountiful areas of blackberries, so that we could be done sooner and return home.


Nowadays, all the same things happen (think long sleeves, thorns and deer-flies), but somehow it doesn’t seem so bad. Being outdoors in all it’s glorious beauty, enjoying warm temperatures and the fruits of my labour (literally!), bring a quiet pleasure I can’t exactly explain. Perhaps if I was a better writer, I’d be able to, but for now, suffice it to say, blackberry season brings me happiness.

They’re simply delicious and such a perfect treat all on their own, but add them to pancakes (my father’s are famous with family and friends!), cook them for jam, or, a new recipe around here, make them as cupcakes… and sigh, heaven.

It’s been a great summer for blackberries, and experimenting with cupcake recipes has been easy with so many around.

There have been plenty for Mom’s home made blackberry jam (Yay! Let’s just say her jam makes it to my absolute top 3-favorite-things-to-eat list!)…

and, plenty for these little cuties around here, too.

I’m excited to share the recipe for these wild blackberry vanilla cupcakes with you…

I paired them with vanilla icing, and rolled the icing in white sanding sugar, so biting in them brought a satisfying crunch, along with a soft, fluffy, vanilla taste with bursts of blackberry flavour.

You could keep them like this if you like – just icing without the sanding sugar.

Easy to pipe with an Ateco size 8 tip, the swirl is how I applied the icing to the cupcakes before I dipped them in sparkling sanding sugar.

It might be difficult to see in the photo, but my cousin added blackberry juice to a glass of milk (Thanks Simone, such a good idea!), which turned out to be another tasty experiment. {The adorable straws are from The TomKat Studio btw!}.

Blackberries hidden underneath the icing was another great idea she had – such a nice flavour combination of fresh and baked berries!

Whether or not you’re able to pick wild ones in your area, I hope you enjoy blackberry season too, and happy baking!



Wild Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes with Sugared Vanilla Icing

Yield: Makes approximately 24 cupcakes.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups blackberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  2. In a mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy (a few minutes).
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Stir dry mixture into wet (butter) mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 3 of buttermilk.
  7. Fold in 2 cups of blackberries.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measurer, scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.
  9. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until cake tester (toothpicks or skewers work well too), inserted in centre comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in muffin tins for about 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely before adding icing.
  11. Icing recipe can be found here .
  12. Pipe a swirl of icing on top of cupcake, and roll the iced cupcakes in a bowl of sanding sugar. Top with a blackberry or decoration of choice and enjoy!


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  1. August 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Very cute! I love to go berry picking but I always end up putting more in my mouth than in my bucket! 🙂

  2. August 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    These are so pretty! I love this idea!

  3. Kim
    August 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful, as always! Love you cake plate too!

  4. Roshini
    August 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful cupacakes and looks so tasty.
    I Haven’t tasted blackberries ever in my life. we don’t get those in this part of the world ;(

  5. August 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Love this! They are so beautiful and sound so delightful! I was reading the recipe and the instructions talk about adding buttermilk, but the ingredients list doesn’t have buttermilk. Did I overlook something?

    • marian
      August 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Oh thank you, Madi! How did I miss the buttermilk and salt?! I checked my notes and yes, I forgot to type two ingredients in the list. It’s corrected now! xoxo

  6. Novi
    August 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    This is very lovely.. Have to try the recipe. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  7. August 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE blackberries ….so this sounds amazing…and if your Mom would like to share her jam recipe…that would be wonderful too 🙂 xo

    • marian
      August 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ll definitely let her know, Jane! 🙂

  8. August 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    These look amazing! Was there any problem with the seeds? I was asked to make a raspberry cake for next month for a wedding and I don’t like the idea of people having to pick seeds out of their teeth at a wedding. Any ideas?

    • marian
      August 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brynn,

      There wasn’t a problem with the seeds in the batter, but if there were enough fresh, unbaked berries on top of the cake etc., there might be a chance of it. If you can, try a batch and let me know what you think! xo

  9. August 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I can’t tell if I like the cupcakes with or without the sanding sugar. They’re both great!

  10. Dalila
    August 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    These look so yummy! Do you think i could use sour cream instead of buttermilk?

    • marian
      August 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dalila, it’s a little thicker, but should work. Please let me know how it goes if you try it!

  11. August 26, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning Marian,
    such a lovely blogpost…these cupcakes, somehow I had to think of Christmas (and I LOVE christmas!) – that sugar sparkles so nicely…

    Love those cupcakes!

    And baked blackberries would be no problem for my allergies so I would love to give those a try <3

    Have an amazing week and thanks for sharing <3
    xoxo, niner

  12. August 26, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    What a great use for fresh blackberries. The sparkly icing on these is so pretty; the sanding sugar really adds a special touch.

  13. August 26, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I love the way you frosted the smooth-topped ones, Marian! So pretty!!

  14. August 26, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Beautiful cupcakes, Marian! Blackberry picking is one of my favorite things too! 🙂

  15. August 26, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    These are just beautiful! We have been picking tons of blackberries from our garden these past few weeks and I’ve been looking for new recipes to make with them. I’m looking forward to adapting this recipe to gluten-free. Thanks for sharing!

  16. August 26, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    These are so lovely. I hope you post that blackberry jam recipe – it’s one of my favorite types of jam.

  17. August 26, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    So pretty! I really like the use of the wild blackberries in cupcakes!

  18. August 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m so jealous of all your blackberries. These cupcakes are gorgeous. Love the shot of the chipmunk!

  19. August 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    We had so much rain this year that the blackberries weren’t that great. I love your cupcakes. They are adorable!

  20. August 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    WOW! These are too pretty to eat!

  21. August 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    These are just too cute!! Love em!!

  22. August 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Marian, you always have the most elegant treats and these cupcakes are no exception.

    And I am seriously jealous of your wild berry patch!

  23. Maria Theresia
    August 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I love this post and love the blackberries. Cute chipmunk!
    beautiful work like always.

  24. August 27, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    These are the cutest cupcakes ever!! So magical with the sugared vanilla icing 🙂


  25. Jenny H.
    August 27, 2013 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Love the idea! They look absolutely adorable!
    And the sanding sugar just gives it that perfect little extra!
    It might try this with my Cupcakes for Halloween and roll them in orange Icing sugar to create a pumpkinish look. 🙂

    Thanks for another fab post!

  26. August 27, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    These are just so, so pretty and make me salivate for fresh blackberries. I love the touch of the sparkling sanding sugar, and the little hidden berries inside- perfect blackberry cupcakes as far as I’m concerned!

  27. August 27, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Such delicate & pretty cupcakes ~ tea party perfect!

  28. August 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I prefer to make mini everything, should I cut the bake time in half? What do you think?

    Totally making these with my daughter this weekend. 🙂

    • August 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi Katie,
      Yes, that sounds good. Check with a toothpick, or skewer, when you take them out of the oven… if it comes out clean, they’re baked. The tops shouldn’t look wet either, and spring back a bit to the touch. Hope that helps!

  29. September 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    These sounded simply delectable and looks so pretty! Love how the sanding sugar made it look so chic ♥Jo

  30. Lisa
    September 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I made these this weekend for a pot-luck, they were a hit! Great recipe, they were dense, which was good. I placed the berries in the cup with the batter. Thank you and I just love your site.

    • marian
      September 3, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Joanna and Lisa! Thanks for your sweet compliments!

  31. September 5, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    These are absolutely stunning, and the second I saw them on Pinterest I thought, “These have Marian written all over them!” and sure enough, they did 🙂 Pinned!

  32. Allison
    September 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I love these cupcakes, so cute! They would be fabulous for my daughter’s birthday party. She’s allergic to milk though 🙁 Do you have any substitute suggestions for the buttermilk?

    • September 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Allison,
      I’m sorry, I haven’t tried it so don’t know for sure… You could try an applesauce for the moisture it requires. Or, if you have a vanilla cupcake recipe you already like, just add blackberries! xo

  33. September 24, 2013 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    OMG, these seriously look so delicious. I’m obsessed with blackberries right now and I love picking them too. Also, I just made a blackberry margarita the other day and it was SO good. I’m going to share your post on my FB fanpage too later today. FB.com/SavvySleepers. Keep up the great recipes!


  34. Naomi James
    September 26, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    OMG these cupcake decorations are so pretty, and very inspiring, i might just go home and bake myself some cupkakes. They look simple, but still so amazing, but i think i would use whipped cream on top instead of the icing, i find the icing too sweet.

    Ah-mazing xx

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