Black Velvet Cupcakes
Black Velvet Cupcakes

My partner, Dwaine, has a green thumb. Sadly, it has not rubbed off on me.  I may be able to keep my cooking herbs alive (with help), but he’s the one who makes the garden bloom in spring.  He’s always fussing over the black raspberry bushes planted on the side of the house.  We’ve harvested tons of fine black raspberries that we then freeze to use later.  This is one black raspberry recipe I’ve found for Black Velvet Cupcakes that really captures the flavor of these delicious berries!

An additional side benefit of this recipe is how it creates a truly black cupcake. Not just dark like chocolate . . . but a true blue-black. They’re fun at parties for people who are turning a certain age!

Tips for Black Velvet Cupcakes

First, you’ll need about 3/4 cup of raspberry puree.  Many times, I’ll just blend the berries in a blender or use some of the raspberry preserves we make from scratch.  But the seeds can be a problem for some people.  And in a cake, seeds can really throw off the smooth texture you’re going for.  So I recommend making a puree.

I start with a one-pint bag of frozen berries.  Frozen is much easier, as the freezing process breaks down the cell walls and releases a lot of juice from the berries before you’ve even had to touch them. Fresh berries will not release NEARLY as much juice and pulp.  I heat the berries in a pan on the stove, stirring with a whisk until the berries are broken up and mostly liquid.

Next, I put a cup or so of the berries into a strainer over a bowl. Using a spatula, I simply press the berries firmly against the side and bottom of the strainer, working with a back and forth motion.  The pulp and juice will pass through, leaving the seeds behind.

Once you’ve pressed a while, lift the strainer and scrape off the good stuff that hasn’t already fallen into the bowl.  Keep at it until you’re satisfied there isn’t anything else coming through.  I find a one-pint bag can release about 1 1/2 cups of puree – enough for TWO recipes, with a little to throw in the frosting.

Now we have the puree, we’re ready to start baking.

Black Velvet Cupcakes

Using all-natural ingredients, these Black Velvet Cupcakes are bursting with raspberry flavor.  They bake up a natural, rich black, making them perfect for those “black-humor” occasions.  
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Rest in tin, then cool on rack10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Black Raspberry Recipes, Black Velvet Cupcakes
Servings: 36 Cupcakes
Author: Don Herman


  • 2 1/2 cups Flour Or you could substitute up to 1 cup of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Butter Softened
  • 1/3 cup Lard Softened, or oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract Real, not imitation
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon extract I use organic
  • 3 lg Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup Raspberry Puree

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8 oz package Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Butter Softened
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Raspberry Puree
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Extract


  • Prepare the cupcake tins by lining with paper cups. This recipe makes 3 dozen, but I never bake more than 2 tins at a time. (Be sure to use the same color tins when baking – one light pan and one dark will bake at wildly different times!)
    For more info on how baking pans can make or break your baking, see my article on Baking Pans.
    Cupcake tins Prepped for Batter
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the evaporated milk with the puree. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whip the butter, lard (or oil), sugar, vanilla and lemon extract until well-blended and fluffy.
  • With a paddle attachment, mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the flour mixture, alternating with the raspberry mixture. Mix until blended, but no more than 2 minutes or so.
  • Scoop the thick batter into the baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in a preheated 325 F oven for about 21 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Test with a wooden toothpick or by touch.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, lemon extract and puree, then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Blend until smooth.


These cupcakes are REALLY easy to overbake, so watch your time carefully.  Be sure to use just a 325 F oven – not a 350!  Other than that, they are . . . a Piece of Cake!

If you need the right baking pans for the job, check out my article on Best Baking Pans. And if you’re curious about black raspberries (as opposed to their much more common cousin, red raspberries), check out this article from Penn State.

Contact Us

Send me a message at Baking Naturally! I’d love to hear from you.

Tray of sugary sweets for article on low sugar baking

Low Sugar Baking

Reducing sugar in baked goods can be challenging because sugar plays a crucial role in…

Read More

Recommended Articles


  1. Hi! I am wondering why my cupcakes are not black? I followed the recipe exactly, with one substitution…I used my homemade black raspberry jelly instead of the puree (the jelly is raspberry puree, sugar and gelatin).

    1. Concentration. Using the pure puree is a much more highly concentrated dose of black raspberry than you’re going to ever find in a jelly, which is mostly water and gelatin.

  2. I think there is a typo in the recipe directions. First you say to add the sugar to the flour but then later you say to cream the butter & sugar together.

    I am baking these now but didn’t realize the mistake until I had already mixed the flour and sugar together. Hope it doesn’t negatively affect the cupcakes.

    1. You are right! It shouldn’t affect the cupcakes. The sugar should NOT be included in the flour mixture, so I removed that. Thanks for the catch.

  3. My husband and I have two black raspberry bushes in large pots in our back yard. This year, 2016, we had such a great crop I’m kinda jellied out. This recipe looks wonderful, just what I was looking for. I don’t like using food coloring in food so naturally using the berries is awesome. I am looking forward to making these this week. I’m in the last of our berries. Thanks.

    1. Glad I could help.

  4. We had some raspberries come off our plant this year, too, and I was very eiectxd. I didn’t take any pictures of them, though although the thought did cross my mind.

    1. I used frozen berries from at least two years ago for these, and they were perfectly fine.

Comments are closed.