Blackberry-Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

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These lightly spiced, fruity vegan cupcakes have a tender and delicate crumb with a soft texture from the full-fat oat milk and a blend of baking soda and baking powder. The frosting is soft after beating but will pipe beautifully and is surprisingly stable. Its bright lemon flavor and light, melt-in-your-mouth quality are similar to Swiss or Italian meringue buttercreams.

Blackberry-Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
Yield:
12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1.50 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounces)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • .50 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ cup plain full-fat oat milk (such as Oatly) 

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries (about 3 oz.), plus more for garnish 

  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar 

  • .50 cup salted vegan butter (4 oz.), melted (such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks) 

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Frosting

  • 1 cup salted vegan butter (8 oz.) (such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks), softened

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar (about 8 oz.)

  • .50 cup aquafaba (from 1 [15.5-oz.] can chickpeas)

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Finely chopped raw pistachios

Directions

Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Whisk together oat milk and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut blackberries into quarters, and set aside. Whisk sugar, melted vegan butter, and vanilla bean paste into oat milk mixture until well combined. Add flour mixture, and whisk until batter is just smooth with no lumps. Gently fold blackberries into batter. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (about 1/4 cup each).

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of several cupcakes comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the frosting

  1. Beat softened vegan butter in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add powdered sugar; continue beating until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add aquafaba, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. If frosting appears broken, continue beating to bring it back together. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until frosting is fluffy and thick, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Beat in lemon zest and juice.

Assemble the cupcakes

  1. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch open star tip, such as Ateco 824 (1M). Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, and garnish with chopped pistachios and blackberries.

Note

If using unsalted vegan butter, increase salt by 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup butter for cupcake batter. For frosting, add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Make Ahead

Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 day. Let come to room temperature before serving.

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