Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

Spring is officially here and what better way to celebrate spring is with some delicious and fresh flavors. Lemon is such a wonderful flavor that just freshens everything up.  It is a light yet strong flavor that can be used in so many ways.  I really wanted to highlight the lemon while still keeping it light and fresh.  These lemon cupcakes did just that.  Since it is hard to keep a strong lemon flavor in a cupcake, I thought adding a lemon curd to these cupcakes would be perfect. Not only does it give a wonderful texture to the cupcakes but it also really amps up that lemon flavor.  The texture of the cupcake is also so perfectly light and airy.  In these cupcakes, you whip the egg whites before adding them to the batter which makes them have the perfect texture.  These are not your typical dense gluten free cupcakes but they are light as air.
The week before I made these cupcakes I made one of my berry pies and I made it with blackberries.  It was amazing and I couldn't stop thinking about it all week.  I thought about making a blackberry frosting to go with these cupcakes to kind of shake up the flavors a little bit.  Any kind of berry is so fresh and light with the flavors that I thought it would be a perfect companion to the lemon cupcakes.  Now I just had to figure out the best way to make the frosting to give it the right texture.  I knew I wanted to make the frosting using fresh blackberries but didn't know the best way.  After lots of research I found that the best way would be to boil down the berries in order to extract all the juice without too much of the water. I really wanted that blackberry flavor to come through in the buttercream so that really seemed like the best option. Let me tell you, it worked PERFECT!!  If you feel like doing this is way too much work, it really isn't. It is a lot easier than you might think.  You just plop the berries in a pan with some lemon juice and cook them down until you get a nice thick puree.  Put it through a strainer and you have just what you need to make your blackberry frosting.
Not only did the frosting taste amazing but the color is just as pretty as it gets.  I just topped the cupcakes with a blackberry and they looked like the perfect spring cupcake.  After I took my first bite I was in heaven.  I was right with the combination of flavors.  Each part of the cupcake combined with the others really made the perfect dessert.  The light and spongy cake mixed with the punch of lemon curd and then topped with the soft and decadent blackberry frosting is just as amazing as it sounds.  These babies are worth all the love that you put into them, I guarantee it! I made these for my mom for Mother's Day and I am pretty sure she ate about 6 cupcakes that night.  She told me that she just simply could not stop herself, they were that good!
I know that when describing these cupcakes they might seem like way to much work and you might not even think that you are able to do it but know that they are so much easier than they look.  Just read through the recipe a few times or watch the video in order to really get familiar with the steps that you will need to to do and then it should go pretty easy.  I actually made the cupcakes and lemon curd the day before I needed them and then I made the buttercream the day of to kind of space out the steps and it really wasn't a lot of work.  They are just so fun and taste amazing and will surely impress anyone that you make these for. Check out my YouTube channel for more great recipes and product reviews!

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

prep time: 1 hourcook time: 18 Mtotal time: 1 H & 18 M
The two flavors of lemon and blackberry come together to create the perfect cupcake. Using all fresh flavors these cupcakes are absolutely amazing and are just perfect for those spring and summer months.


Lemon Cupcakes
  • 3 eggs, separated 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 package (15 ounces) gluten free yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup orange juice (fresh or from the carton)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Lemon Curd
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (more if needed), sifted


How to cook Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

Make the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set pans aside.
  2. Rinse and pat dry lemons with paper towels then grate the yellow zest onto a small plate. Measure 2 teaspoons for the cake batter. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice through a fine sieve, discarding  the seeds. Measure 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
  3. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a separate container.  Beat the whites with an electric mixer or stand mixer on high until stiff peaks from, 3 to 4 minutes. Set the beaten egg whites aside.
  4. Place cake mix, sugar, orange juice, and oil in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat on low until incorporated and then increase mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites into the batter until no traces of whites remain and the batter has lightened.  Scoop or spoon the batter into the lined cupcake cups, filling each two-thirds full. Remove any unfilled paper liners.
  5. Place the pans in the oven side by side and bake the cupcakes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes.  Run a dinner knife around the edge of the cupcake cups and transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before frosting, 20 minutes longer.
Make the Lemon Curd
  1. Rinse and pat the lemons dry with paper towels. Grate the yellow zest onto a plate until you have 1 tablespoon of zest.  Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds; you should have about 1/4 cup of juice. Place the lemon juice and zest in a medium size bowl. Whisk in the sugar and eggs and beat until well combined, 2 minutes. Whisk in melted butter until incorporated.
  2. Pour the lemon mixture into a heavy medium-size saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture gradually thickens and comes to a boil, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the zest, if desired. Pour the lemon cured into a glass bowl or jar and cover it with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate until cool.  Lemon curd can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Make the Blackberry Buttercream
  1. Combine the blackberries and lemon juice in the small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and stir constantly until blackberries have become soft enough to mash effortlessly, about 6-7 minutes. It will look a lot like blackberry jam. Once the mixture can coat a spoon, remove from heat and place a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl and push the puree through, leaving any seeds and large chunks behind.  You should have about 1/4 cup of blackberry puree.  Allow mixture to cool completely before using.
  2. Place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat butter on medium until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Add in the cooled blackberry puree and beat until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.  Add in the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, on low speed.  Once all the sugar has been added, add in the salt then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 full minutes.
Assemble Cupcakes
  1. With a small spoon or scoop, scoop the middle out of each of the cupcakes.  Fill a piping bag or a plastic bag with the lemon curd and gently fill the empty space in the cupcake. Scoop out the desired amount of cake to in order to have the desired amount of filling. Make sure to not go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake or the lemon curd will seep out.
  2. Spoon or pipe the blackberry buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake. Place the frosted cupcakes on a serving plate and, if a garnish is desired , place a blackberry onto each cupcake. Serve and Enjoy!
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  1. These sound delicious! Can’t wait to make them! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you!