Purple & Green: Lime-Blackberry Cupcakes

Many months ago, I did an engagement photo shoot for my friend Erin and her fiancé Matthew.


They had only been engaged for a couple months when we shot these photos, and they were eagerly planning their wedding for July. In what seems like the blink of an eye, it's now nearly the end of the school year and a group of us planned Erin's bridal shower at work. Another coworker volunteered her house, and I was the first to volunteer to (shocking, I know) bring the cupcakes.

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Erin and Matthew's wedding colors are purple and lime green, a combination I adore, and luckily translates well to flavors too. These needed to be special…Erin has been a dear friend to me this year, and she truly deserved something delicious to celebrate her upcoming wedding. I had to stick with her color scheme, and was originally going to just do a simple dyed cupcake and icing.

And then I challenged myself to avoid dyes and go with fun flavors instead. Green was easy: lime. I already had a lime pound cake recipe, but it's for a very heavy end product. I came up with a lovely fluffy lime cake, and then after a few failures, an amazingly silky blackberry Italian meringue buttercream. The candied limes were an afterthought, but they too were delicious!

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While the cake wasn't the original green that I'd envisioned, the frosting was a complete and total masterpiece. I was both shocked and impressed with myself that it turned out as beautifully as it did, and the color was perfect.

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Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting and Candied Limes

Ingredients (32-36 cupcakes)

Lime Cake
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Blackberry Italian Meringue Buttercream
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 sticks butter, cool but softened
  • 1 pint blackberries, washed
Candied Limes
  • 3 limes, washed
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup water


Lime Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F, and line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and mixing well between each addition.

Add the lime juice and vanilla, lower the speed to medium, and mix until well-combined. Don't worry, the mixture will look somewhat curdled, this is normal!!

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry mixture 1/3 at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.

Once combined, mix about one minute, then let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.

Fill cupcake pans about 3/4 full, then bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 325°F, then bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15 additional minutes. Cool fully before frosting.

Blackberry Italian Meringue Buttercream

Puree the 1 pint of blackberries until nearly smooth. Press the puree through a sieve over a bowl to remove the seeds. Sweeten with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

Mix together 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy-bottomed pot and set it to boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, begin whipping the egg whites with the cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/4 cup sugar, and whip until stiff peaks form.

When the sugar mixture reaches 248°F, pour in a steady stream into the egg whites while the mixer is running. Continue whipping until the bowl is cool to the touch.

Switch to the paddle attachment.

Add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition. Don't worry (again) if the mixture falls or looks curdled; it will come back together!

Once all the butter is added, mix in the blackberry puree until evenly combined.

Frost cupcakes with a pastry bag and Wilton 1M tip (or a knife!)

Candied Limes

Slice the limes thinly and quarter the slices if desired.

Blanch the slices (boil, then quickly cool using cold water), and drain.

In the same pot, mix together the 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, bring to a slow simmer, and add the lime slices.

Cook until the pith is translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and dry on a cooling rack at least 1 hour, but up to overnight.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and use to top cupcakes.

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It's funny, after everyone ate these, I got all sorts of funny comments, but my favorite was this "Is there anything you can't do? You do the cupcake thing, the crochet thing, the nail art thing, the photography thing…AND you speak another language!" For some reason, this made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Most importantly, Erin loved them. And really, that's all that mattered in this case!
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Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
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8 Responses to Purple & Green: Lime-Blackberry Cupcakes

  1. Sheri says:

    Beautiful! They look delicious too!
    Sheri´s last blog post ..Picture Frame Winner!

  2. Jackie says:

    Wow- these flavor combos sound awesome!! (I love me some citrus). And candied lime slices. Genius.
    Jackie´s last blog post ..Jungle Cake

  3. These look so amazing! Love the engagement photo, too. 🙂 That wedding color scheme sounds lovely!
    Jenn (eating bender)´s last blog post ..ConGRADulations, Eric!

  4. These look just lovely 🙂 Erin must have been so chuffed that you went to so much effort, you are indeed a talented lady as the other person said!
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker´s last blog post ..Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  5. Biz says:

    Those turned out amazing Mara! 😀 Hope you guys have central air. 😀
    Biz´s last blog post ..I have the day off!

  6. beautiful cupcakes! beautiful colors! What a happy bride that will be.

  7. Mara – those turned out amazingly beautiful. I am also in the same camp of “what can’t you do?” Love it!

  8. Absolutely lovely!!! I’d like to get engaged and married all over again, and fly you up here to Vancouver to take our photos. 🙂 Kidding of course, but you’re a very very talented photographer (and chef!) Hope your week is going well Mara.
    Roz@weightingfor50´s last blog post ..A Big Step Forward

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