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Looking for a sweet treat to serve at your end-of-summer fête? This zesty citrus-infused cupcake from food writer and Ravenous Kitchen blogger Carla Snyder is your best bet. Topped with buttercream and blackberries, the colorful dessert is just one of 70 tangy recipes from her latest cookbook, Sweet and Tart ($12; amazon.com). Also on Snyder's menu? Orange sherbet, lemony hazelnut cookies, and mini ginger donuts with lemon glaze. Try this no-fuss recipe as a starter, and add the rest to your fall to-do list.

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Lemon-Blackberry Cupcakes

Makes: 24


3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp baking powder

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

5 large eggs

3⁄4 cup sour cream

Zest of 2 lemons, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups blackberries

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

1⁄4 tsp kosher salt

Whole milk or half and half, if needed

24 blackberries


1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper cups.

2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.

3. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl on high speed until fluffy. Turn the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and lemon zest and beat until creamy. Turn the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the lemon juice and beginning and ending with the flour, beating until smooth and no lumps remain.

4. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans 180 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

5. Combine the blackberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, smashing the berries to a purée. Bring to a boil and let bubble for one minute. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the pulp. Let cool completely before continuing.

6. Beat the butter and 3 cups of the powdered sugar in a mixer bowl on medium speed. Add the salt and 3 tbsp of the berry purée, turn the speed to low, and slowly add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar. If the buttercream is too thick, thin it with a little milk.

7. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fluted or star tip and pipe the buttercream completely around the tops of the cupcakes. Nestle a fresh blackberry on top of each. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (once the frosting has set up, cover the cupcakes). Bring to room temperature before serving.

Related Video: How To Frost a Cupcake