Chocolate Blackberry Merlot Cupcakes are a decadent dessert perfect to share with your friends at upcoming holiday events!
Original post in August 2012; Content and photos updated October 2020 for improved reader experience.
Chocolate is hands-down my favorite flavor for cake or cupcakes. And blackberries are my favorite berry. So, it only makes sense that I pair the two together for a fabulous cupcake. But what really makes these special is the blackberry merlot puree that is mixed into both the batter and the frosting. I mean, how much more delicious could a cupcake be?!?
Blackberries and merlot, with a little bit of sugar soak for a bit so the blackberries soak up all that merlot deliciousness, then puree those babies and strain the seeds out for a delicous puree. I had a little leftover that I saved for…well, all sorts of things. Add to champagne, drizzle over ice cream, use as a topping for cheesecake. Yum, yum, yum!
What do you need to make Chocolate Blackberry Merlot Cupcakes?
Granulated sugar (for the blackberry merlot puree, cupcakes, and frosting)
All purpose flour
Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
Salt (for the cupcakes and frosting)
Unsalted butter (for the cupcakes and the frosting)
Vanilla extract (for the cupcakes and frosting)
Egg whites (for the frosting)
Now, I don’t typically make Swiss meringue buttercream, but let me just tell you that it is well worth the effort involved, because it is AMAZING on these cupcakes. However, if you prefer a more traditional buttercream, you can use this recipe, and substitute the blackberry merlot puree for the blueberry puree. I recommend giving the Swiss buttercream a try, though!!
These are some of the most delicious cupcakes I have had in a long time. Moist chocolate cupcakes are complimented with the addition of blackberries and merlot in the cupcake and the frosting!
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Make sure you check out more delicious chocolate cupcate recipes from #OurFamilyTable below!
Chocolate Blackberry Merlot Cupcakes
For the blackberry merlot puree:
- 3 cups blackberries
- ½ cup Merlot
- 1 Tbsp sugar
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
To make the blackberry merlot puree
- Combine the blackberries, merlot, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl, stir, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator and place in a blender or food processor and process until pureed, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, mashing with a spoon or spatula, to strain out the seeds.
To make the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line mini or standard muffin tins with liners.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well.
- Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the 1/2 cup of the blackberry merlot mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth, about 30 seconds. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to fill lined muffin tins.
- Bake 18-22 minutes for standard size, or 11-13 minutes for mini size, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing them to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting
- Place one inch of water in the bottom of a pot, and bring the water to a simmer. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl fitted over the pot, and bring mixture to 150 degrees F, whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume, about 10 minutes.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Continue mixing until smooth.
- Add the salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 cup blackberry merlot mixture and mix to combine.
- Use a spatula to put frosting into a piping bag, or apply directly to the cupcakes with spatula.
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