Delicate vanilla cupcakes topped with buttercream frosting swirled with berry preserves are lovely and delicious!
Who can resist a homemade cupcake piled high with fluffy buttercream? Certainly not me! And if you add a swirl of blueberry and strawberry preserves to the buttercream these cupcakes become even more irresistible.
This recipe is inspired by one I saw in the Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Keiffer. Sarah’s is one of my favorite baking cookbooks and when I saw her vanilla cupcakes with berry swirl frosting I just had to try them myself! They turned out so beautiful and flavorful, and my whole family loved them. Bake up a batch for a summer party or special occasion!
Delicate Vanilla Cupcakes
Even though I have my own vanilla cupcake recipe that I love, I decided to try Sara’s cupcake recipe and it did not disappoint. These cupcakes are soft and tender and full of so much vanilla flavor. Plus, even though they are delicate, they held up to piping and didn’t stick to the paper liners, which is very important!
Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream with Berry Preserves
I opted to use my favorite whipped vanilla buttercream frosting for these cupcakes because I can never get enough of it. It’s the frosting I use for almost everything!
The only change I made for these cupcakes was to add a swirl of blueberry and strawberry preserves to add a flourish of color and subtle fruity flavor. I prefer preserves over jam as I like the bits of berries swirled into the frosting, but jam (which tends to be uniform and chunk-free) can also be used. Bon Maman is my favorite brand for quality berry preserves, but you can also make your own if you’re feeling extra fancy— see my homemade strawberry preserves, and homemade blueberry preserves (used in the link as a cake filling).
How to Make Swirl Frosting
To achieve the swirl of preserves in the vanilla butter cream you’ll need:
- Large piping bag fitted with tip of your choice (I like to use a closed star tip, Ateco #849)
- Vanilla frosting
- Berry preserves (can use 1 or 2 kinds, any more may be too difficult)
- Small pastry brush or spatula
And here’s how you do it:
- Place fitted piping bag into a large glass and fold edges over. Using a glass instead means you have two hands to work with.
- Use a small pastry brush or spatula to “paint” thin stripes of preserves up the sides of the inside of the piping bag. Make 1-2 stripes of each variety of preserves (I did 2 each of blueberry and strawberry, so 4 total). The thicker/heavier the preserves are, the more likely they are the run down the sides. Consider thinning preserves slightly with water if needed and work quickly.
- Carefully add frosting to the piping bag. You want to disturb the stripes of preserves as little as possible, but it’s okay if they get a little smudged.
- Twist piping bag closed and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. I love this video tutorial if you need some help frosting with a piping bag.
Other Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting
- Coconut Cupcakes
- Blueberry Muffin Cupcakes
- Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes
- Raspberry Rosé Cupcakes
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Vanilla Cupcakes with Berry Swirl Frosting
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, divided (250 ml)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature (226 grams)
Berry Swirl Buttercream Frosting:
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (455 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (226 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml)
- 1/2 cup berry preserves such as blueberry, strawberry and/or raspberry
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a regular cupcake pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick baking spray.
- In a bowl, combine eggs, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if mixing with hand-held mixer, add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cubed butter and remaining 1 cup buttermilk.
- Beat on low speed until moistened, then increase speed to high and beat until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
- Add egg mixture in 2 additions, mixing after each.
- Fill cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full. Bake until tops of cupcakes are barely golden and bounce back when gently pressed, 16-18 minutes.
- Let cool in pan for a few minutes, than remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if mixing with hand-held mixer, add powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and cream. Mix on low until moistened, then increase to high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
- Brush sides of a piping bag with berry preserves, making anywhere from 2-4 stripes of preserves.
- Carefully add frosting to piping bag.
- Pipe swirled frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
- Cupcakes will keep for a few days at room temperature, but they will hold up better chilled in the fridge.