These white chocolate cupcakes with vanilla & blackberry buttercream roses taste amazing and look even better. Despite looking ridiculously impressive, the buttercream roses are actually easy and quick to make, even if you haven’t made them before. There’s also a gluten free option!
Do you have a go-to recipe? You know, one that you always turn to when you need to quickly whip up something delicious and impressive? Yep, me too. There are quite a few actually, and every single one is a favourite.
Imagine that there’s an occasion (I’ll leave the specifics up to your imagination) where you want to wow a few people, but you know there won’t be a lot of prep time, so you (of course) decide to make your go-to recipe.
Now imagine all the things that could go wrong. Yes, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Of course every single thing that could go wrong does go wrong, and all you’re left with is a bunch of ugly somethings of questionable taste. So there you are, in the middle of this mess, not sure whether to start laughing like a crazy person or to throw a monumental tantrum… like a crazy person. When I say “you”, I actually mean “me”. I’m sure you’re much more sane.
And if you’re frowning at the screen right now, thinking how such things never happen to you… congratulations, you’re perfect and we can’t be friends.
Just kidding, I’m sure you’re a super lovely person that simply has too much luck. Can I get some?
But as they say, the best revenge is to bake something completely different and do it like a boss – in my case, this ‘something different’ turned out to be these AMAZING white chocolate cupcakes with vanilla & blackberry buttercream roses. They taste even better than they look, and (if I do say so myself) they look pretty damn good.
Want to know a secret? This was only the second time I’ve attempted buttercream roses, and actually the first time piping them directly onto the cupcakes. See how pretty they’ve turned out? That just goes to show you that: (1) YouTube tutorials are a godsend and (2) it’s actually super simple! Check out this YouTube tutorial – I’ve found it super helpful. (As for the multi-colour effect: check out this tutorial, starting from 4:55 – for two-colour roses, use only two types of buttercream, obviously.)
Now, the buttercream roses aren’t there just to look pretty (although they do that job quite wonderfully, don’t you think?) – they also taste absolutely amazing. The sweetness of the vanilla buttercream is balanced by the refreshing, slightly acidic notes of the blackberry buttercream, so that the end result is creamy, silky smooth and not too sweet.
These white chocolate cupcakes are actually different from my previous white chocolate cupcakes – here, the white chocolate pieces are studded throughout the cupcake (rather than white chocolate melted and incorporated into the batter). I still can’t decide which one I prefer – I just might need to make a batch of each again, so as to come to a hard-core scientific conclusion.
(Psst! There’s a gluten free version, as well!)
These cupcakes with buttercream roses make everything better. Looking at them makes you smile, and eating them makes you… want another. Like any good cupcake should. To paraphrase from the brilliant movie Julie & Julia: “I love that after a day when nothing works, you can come home and absolutely know that if you whip softened butter with almost-too-much icing sugar, it transforms into creamy fluffiness. That’s such a comfort.”*
*Original: “You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
If you haven’t seen the movie – please, do. It’s a must-see for all foodies and food enthusiasts out there.
- 160 g (~1½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2½ large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g (~1½ cups) plain or gluten free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp milk
- 75 g (2.6 oz) white chocolate, chopped
- 340 g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 400 g (~3¼ cups) icing/powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g (~1¼ cups) blackberries
- ½ of the vanilla buttercream
- ¼ cup vanilla buttercream
- ¼ tsp green food colouring
- cling film
- 2 piping bags
- petal piping nozzle (e.g. Wilton 104)
- leaf piping nozzle (e.g. Wilton 352)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.
- In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla extract, and mix until you get a uniform, fluffy mixture.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Add ½ of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the milk.
- Add the other ½ of the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the chopped white chocolate.
- Bake in the pre-heated at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool before decorating with buttercream roses.
- Using either a hand mixer with the beater attachments or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale and somewhat fluffy.
- Add ½ of icing/powdered sugar and beat the butter/sugar mixture on medium to high speed for about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ½ of icing/powdered sugar and the vanilla extract, and beat the mixture for a further 10 minutes (5 minutes medium speed, 5 minutes high speed). At this stage, the buttercream should be very pale, creamy and fluffy.
- In a saucepan, bring the blackberries to a boil. The blackberries will soften and release their juice.
- Simmer until the juice is significantly reduced in volume and a thick, jam-like consistency is reached (about 5 – 10 minutes).
- Pass the cooked blackberries through a sieve to remove their skins and seeds. Use a spatula or spoon to press the blackberry "jam" against the sieve so as to extract all of the reduced juice.
- Allow the reduced juice to cool completely before adding it to the buttercream. If it is too warm, it will melt the butter, which you most definitely don't want.
- Add the cooled reduced blackberry juice to ½ of the vanilla buttercream and beat the buttercream at high speed for 1 minute.
- Using a spatula, scrape along the mixing bowl walls to check that all of the blackberry juice has been incorporated. If it hasn't, mix again for 1 minute.
- Mix ½ tsp green food colouring into ¼ cup of vanilla buttercream.
- Arrange the vanilla and raspberry buttercream on cling film, make a "cling film sausage", cut off one end of the "cling film sausage", and insert it into the piping bag with a petal nozzle (e.g. Wilton 104). See this YouTube tutorial for clarification (from 4:55, with only two colours of buttercream).
- Pipe the buttercream roses: see this super helpful YouTube tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
- Transfer the green buttercream into another piping bag with a leaf piping nozzle (e.g. Wilton 352).
- Pipe the buttercream roses.
- The white chocolate cupcakes with buttercream roses keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3 – 4 days. (Hmmm... I give them a day.)
Looking for more super cute cupcakes? You’ve come to the right place!