These easy and delicious cupcakes combine lovely, seasonal flavours of apples and blackberries. Light and airy sponge with hints of aromatic spices, topped with luscious, super-smooth blackberry buttercream!
Seasonal flavours of apples and blackberries
Apples and blackberries are at their best now, and they are the stars of today's recipe!
Spiced apples are a classic autumnal treat and a flavour that everyone loves and enjoys. The fragrant and aromatic spices, like cinnamon and cardamom, not only taste delicious, but instantly make you feel all warm and cosy.
Sweet and juicy blackberries taste oh-so- delicious, but also add the most gorgeous colour to bakes and treats. From deep purple to beautiful hues of reds and pinks, making it a perfect, natural food colouring. Just look at the colour of that buttercream!
Tips for baking spiced apple cupcakes
What I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is. All ingredients are mixed in one bowl, and the whole thing takes less than an hour to be ready, start to finish! Here are few tips to make sure your bake turns out perfect:
- Start with preparing apple sauce. I normally use Bramley apples for this. This variety is more acidic than others and creates the finest puree. However, any apple variety can be used. Simply peel, core and chop the apples, place them in a saucepan with some water, caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Cook until apples are completely tender and soft. Apple sauce is great for adding more moisture and keeping your cakes, muffins and cupcakes fresher for longer. It also acts as a fat replacer and reduces calories in bakes. I highly recommend to always have a jar of apple sauce in the fridge, it is soo versatile!
- Do not overmix the cake batter. As always, stop mixing, as soon as you can no longer see the last ingredient you've added. Overmixing the batter will result in dens and chewy bakes.
- Divide the cupcake batter equally between the cases. The secret to uniform and identical cupcakes? Use an ice cream or a cookie batter scoop! That way you can make sure that the exact same amount of batter goes into each cupcake.
The secret to perfect buttercream
Blackberry buttercream makes a perfect addition to these spiced apple cupcakes. Both flavours work so well together and they compliment each other in every way.
How to make sure that your buttercream has a perfect consistency and texture? The secret is the right temperature butter! Not too cold, but not too warm either.
Allow your butter to sit on the counter, at room temperature for about 1 hour before using it. However, the amount of time will depend on the weather and how cool your kitchen is. If it is a warm and sunny day, it may take much less. If it is cold day during winter, it may take longer than an hour.
To check if your butter is ready, do this simple test: poke the butter with your finger. If your finger leaves an indent without sinking or sliding down into butter, it is ready.
Butter should also not feel greasy or be shiny. If it is, you have left it out for too long. Simply return it to the fridge for 15- 20 minutes to firm up again.
Transfer your buttercream to a piping bag fitted with your favourite piping nozzle (I used Wilton 8B). If the consistency and texture of the buttercream feels too soft, place your piping bag in the fridge for about 10 minutes. It should be enough for the buttercream to firm up and use it again.
How to store these cupcakes
Frosted cupcakes can be made a day ahead and stored at room temperature for 1-2 days. Ideally, you want them covered or kept in the airtight container.
You can also keep the frosted cupcakes in the fridge, for about 4-5 days, before they will go dry and hard.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in the freezer (wrapped) for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature for about 1-2 hours.
Blackberry buttercream can also be frozen. Transfer it to a zip- lock bag or airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Also, if you tried this, or any other of my recipes, I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and a rating below the recipe card, it always makes my day to hear from you guys!
Spiced apple and blackberry cupcakes
- electric mixer
- 12- hole cupcake/ muffin tray
- paper cupcake cases
- Piping bag
- piping nozzle ( I used Wilton 8B)
For the cupcakes:
- 210 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 125 g light brown sugar
- 60 g caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter softened
- 160 g apple sauce see notes
- 50 g Greek yogurt
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 small blackberries for decorating
For blackberry buttercream:
- 150 g blackberries
- 200 g unsalted butter softened
- 400 g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170 C (160 C fan). Line 12- hole muffin tray with paper cases and set aside.
- Sieve the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add both sugars and stir to combine. Add butter, apple sauce, yogurt, eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined, using an electric mixer.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake cases, filling ¾ of each case with batter. (I use my ice-cream scoop for this step, to ensure the equal amount of batter in each case). Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cupcakes completely.
To make blackberry buttercream:
- Place blackberries into a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Push the puree through a sieve, discarding the seeds. Set the juice aside.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, mix together butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add 2- 3 tablespoon of blackberry juice and mix until combined. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with your favourite piping nozzle and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes. If buttercream becomes too soft, place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Top each cupcake with fresh blackberry. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- To make apple sauce, simply peel, core and chop 2 medium apples and place them in a small saucepan with 100 ml of water and 2 tablespoon of caster sugar. Cover with lid and cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until apples are completely tender and cook through.
- Make sure butter is at room temperature. Not too cold, but not too soft either. I recommend taking it out of the fridge about 1 hour before baking. To test your butter, poke it with your finger. It should make an indent without sinking into the butter. Your butter should not be shiny or greasy, and it should be cool to touch.
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