Baking with Honey: Blackberry and Honey Cupcakes.

With this simple formula, you can easily swap out sugar and use honey in any baking recipe, like these Blackberry and Honey Cupcakes.

Baking with Honey: Blackberry & Honey Cupcakes by

I’ve always loved honey, from it’s golden color to it’s silky sweetness. I’ve used it off and on in my baking, but I never thought much of it until I sat at Camp Blogaway and learned about the wonderous benefits of honey from the National Honey Board. It is a humectant and keeps your baked goods moist, as well as your skin when used in lotions and soaps. When used in cooking, it obviously adds sweetness, but it also reduces sourness and bitterness.

Honey is a fabulous cough suppressant and a great energy booster. Honey also has an infinite shelf-life. Just because the forgotten honey in the cupboard has crystalized, it is still edible. You just need to melt it to bring it back to liquid form.

Baking with Honey: Honey Varieties

While at camp, I also tasted different varieties of honey. From the light and mild orange blossom to the dark and intense avocado. My favorite was the blueberry honey. You can find what varieties are in your area here.

Baking with Honey: Honey Sticks

I brought home honey sticks for my kids to sample and they happily sipped up these little straws filled with golden honey. “Can we have more???”

But, what really got my head spinning at camp was the basic formula for substituting honey in my baked goods.

For every cup of honey you add to replace a cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup, add 1/2 tsp baking soda (to neutralize the acid in honey) and reduce the baking temperature by 25ºF.



Baking with Honey: Blackberry & Honey Cupcakes by

So, when my niece requested some cupcakes for her purple-themed bridal shower, I knew exactly what to make. I made these beautiful Blackberry & Honey Cupcakes.

They are mildly sweet, with a hint of amaretto and plenty of sweet blackberries in the cupcake, in the frosting and also on top! Honey is used to sweeten both the cupcake and the frosting.

Baking with Honey: Blackberry & Honey Cupcakes by

I can’t wait to experiment with more honey in other recipes, both sweet and savory!

Blackberry Cupcakes with Honey

These cupcakes use no artificial food colorings to get this vibrant purple color. Sweetened with honey, these cupcakes are fruity with just the right amount of sweetness! Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 16 oz blackberries, frozen, and thawed
  • 14 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 TBS amaretto
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 8 oz blackberries, fresh


  1. Prepare the frosting first to allow to chill until ready to use. Place in a food processor with a metal blade:
    • 8 oz blackberries, frozen , and thawed
  2. Pulse until blackberries are puréed and smooth.
  3. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour blackberry purée into the strainer.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, press the blackberry purée into the mesh. The juice will accumulate underneath the mesh, leaving the seeds on top. Use the rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the mesh so the juice will fall into the bowl.
  5. Continue pressing the blackberries and repeat step 4 until all of the juice is collected into the bowl, leaving mostly the seeds behind.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk together until smooth and fluffy:
    • 14 oz cream cheese , softened
    • 8 oz butter, unsalted , softened
  7. Whisk in until fully incorporated:
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 2 TBS amaretto
  8. Slowly whisk in the strained blackberry purée and whip until completely mixed in together.
  9. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to use. Clean bowl & whisk to prepare the cupcakes.
  10. Preheat oven to 325ºF and line two 24-cup mini muffin pans with liners.
  11. In a small pot over low heat combine:
    • 3/4 cup honey
    • 8 oz blackberries, frozen , and thawed
  12. Heat mixture until honey is softened, about 5 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, purée blackberries with the honey.
  14. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together:
    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  15. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together until fluffy:
    • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted , softened
    • 2 TBS amaretto
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  16. Whip into the butter, one at a time:
    • 3 eggs, large
  17. Alternate adding in the flour mixture with the blackberry mixture, until just combined, scraping down sides of the bowl between mixes.
  18. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin pans. Bake until edges of the cupcakes are lightly golden, 17-20 mins.
  19. Cool cupcakes completely prior to frosting with chilled frosting.
  20. Top each cupcake with 1 blackberry using:
    • 8 oz blackberries, fresh
  21. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.


Serving Suggestions: For a stiffer frosting, prepare frosting as directed, transfer to pastry bag, and chill at least 4 hours before frosting.

Prep Time:

Yield: 28 servings

Cook Time:

Have you tried substituting sugar for honey in your recipes?

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22 Responses to Baking with Honey: Blackberry and Honey Cupcakes.

  1. Your cupcakes are so pretty, Laura! I’ve used honey a few times but not frequently – thanks to your tips, I’m inspired to experiment some more! The farm where I pick blueberries has several large beehives at the end of the rows so I hope blueberry honey is in my future :).

    • Laura at #

      Oh, I’m jealous about that blueberry honey! It really is full of flavor and mildly fruity. Mmmmm….!!!!!

  2. The old hippie in me still clings to honey – these photos belong in a food magazine!

  3. Eha at #

    I am trying to hold onto my ages-old catchcry ‘I am not a baker. I do not make cakes’! Ha! With apologies to all my fave Oz cupcake bakers: these must be the very prettiest I have ever seen – perhaps I’ll even get around to trying whether mine look and taste half as good 😉 ! Yes, I have and do substitute sugar with honey . . .

  4. Winnie at #

    These cupcakes are extremely beautiful!
    I love the combination of flavors

  5. Carrie | acookgrowsinbrooklyn at #

    I love that there is a big ole’ blackberry perched on top of each one. Fruit on top lets me rationalize that I might be getting one of my five-a-day by indulging in a cupcake. I’m constantly experimenting with proportions so that I can substitute honey – thanks for the exact tips – I’ll definitely keep them in mind next time I bake something. {Which might be today after seeing these cupcakes}

  6. Such pretty cupcakes. I love honey!

  7. I love your cupcakes…the photography is great, Laura! I add honey in whichever way possible to my diet. I love lavender honey the most. Wonderful post and nicely written!

  8. ” . . . the basic formula for substituting honey in my baked goods. For every cup of honey you add to replace a cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup, add 1/2 tsp baking soda (to neutralize the acid in honey) and reduce the baking temperature by 25ºF.”

    Thank you! I knew there was a formula for this out there somewhere, but never looked it up. I’ll definitely put this to use. And your cupcakes? Quite nice! Great photos.

  9. These are just so pretty! I love cooking with honey, although I don’t bake much. And your photos are lovely!

  10. Look at those shades of honey, love it. We prefer honey to sugar in my house. The cupcakes look so pretty and delicious. I’m sure your niece loved them. Great photos Laura:)

  11. I don’t bake much so I’ve never replaced sugar with honey before, but for example, lemonade I do. The honey sugar replacement rule is a must keep. I love that someone experimented this to find out the perfect solution for substitution. I would be too lazy to experiment myself. I’ve also never seen that honey stick! My kids will love it… much better than candies! Your cupcakes are gorgeous! Didn’t you say you are not a baker? My level of “not a baker” and yours is far different! LOL. Beautiful job, Laura!!

  12. Adrienne at #

    I stopped by from Daily Buzz Moms. These cupcakes are so precious! I would have never thought that a black cupcake could look so yummy!! 🙂

  13. Alessandra at #

    These cupcakes are so pretty, I love there wonderful colour. I use honey often for as a better substitute than sugar. That is good advise as well, about reducing the liquid and temp on the oven. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love honey in every form, especially baked things! Your cupcakes look fantastic and the color is so nice!

  15. athena at #

    The cupcakes look great and are easy to make but for a recipe that promises 28 I only got 16 that is a very large difference and without anytime to go and buy double the ingredients i am reluctant to use this recipe again.

    • Laura at #

      I am sorry to hear that. I made this several times and it made 24-30 cupcakes each time. How full did you fill up your cupcake pan? I fill it about 1/2-2/3 of the way full.


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