There's nothing better than biting into a delicious cupcake, except when that cupcake has a sweet berry filling in the center! These cupcakes are incredibly moist, and offer the tart flavor of lemon to brighten the sweet flavors of blackberry and buttercream. They're simple to make, and while they take a little extra work to add the filling than regular cupcakes, it's oh so worth the effort! This recipe is inspired by Fork and Beans.
 lemon cupcakes with blackberry filling

Prep time: 40 minutes  

Cook time: 20 minutes  

Total time: 60 minutes  

Yield: 15-18 cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Filling and Lemon Buttercream Frosting (vegan, gluten-free)


Including ingredients for the blackberry filling (starting with 1/2 cup water) and for the lemon frosting (staring with 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick)
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest from two lemons
  • 1.5 cups multi-blend gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 2 cups organic blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick, softened
  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest from a lemon for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and fine sea salt.
  3. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the vegan mayonnaise and sugar together for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the lemon juice, almond milk, vanilla, and zest to the mayo and sugar mix, and blend in until combined.
  5. With the electric mixer on low speed, add half the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Spoon the cupcake batter into the muffin tins, filling each well to about two-thirds full. Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for 20-23 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back to shape when gently touched. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. lemon cupcake with filling
  7. To make the filling, combine the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl until there are no clumps.
  8. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a simmer over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the blackberries and simmer until they're soft enough to smash with a wooden spoon. About 3-5 minutes should be enough. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cornstarch lemon juice mix until combined. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. As it thickens just barely to a jelly consistency, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  9. To make the frosting, cream the 1/2 cup of Earth Balance buttery stick in a large bowl using a mixer on medium speed. Add in the almond milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  10. Gradually add in the powdered sugar. Begin with about one cup and keep mixing until completely combined. Add more one-quarter cup at a time until you have the consistency you want. You may not need the full two cups of sugar. Beat for several minutes until fluffy.
  11. To fill the cupcakes, cut out a 1" intact circle in the middle of the cupcake, taking care not to cut through to the bottom. It will come out shaped a bit like a cone. Cut the bottom portion off the cone, keeping only the top as a lid. 
  12. Using a teaspoon, spoon the blackberry filling inside until the hole is nearly full, then cover back with the intact cupcake "lid."
  13. Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and pipe it on the top of each cupcake. Top with a light sprinkle of lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!

lemon cupcakes

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Filling and Lemon Buttercream Frosting (vegan, gluten-free)
Tart and sweet, with a delicious berry center, these vegan cupcakes are a crowd-pleaser!