Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Wild Blueberry Cupcakes

Cupcakes | 26th April 2012 | By

On a recent trip to St Austell, I was quite excited to discover Nature Kitchen, a shop dedicated to spices and herbs. One of the purchases I made that day was a pot of bilberry powder (ground dried bilberries). Bilberries are the UKs native blueberry and grow wild around these parts. They are incredibly good for you, but the season is short and they are often difficult to find. They are also much smaller than the commercial blueberry that most people are familiar with. Buying the powder, I reasoned, would not only enable me to give a blueish colour to cake icings, but would imbue me with super powers too!!!

Eager to try this out as a flavouring and colouring, I decided to make some wild blueberry cupcakes at the first opportunity. I had a pot of wild blueberry spread I could also use (jam really, but because it’s made with apple juice rather than sugar, EU regulations prevent it being called jam). I based the cake part of the recipe on the one given for raspberry cupcakes in Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, substituting the blueberry spread for the stated raspberry jam. I also used half wholemeal flour as I usually do and made a couple of other tweaks. The icing I made up.

This is what I did:

  • Creamed 110g unsalted butter with 180g cardamom (caster) sugar until well beaten and fluffy.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Sifted 125g self-raising wholemeal flour, 120g plain white flour and 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda.
  • Measured out 125ml milk and added 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Stirred in 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/3 of the milk.
  • Repeated this process twice more until all flour and milk incorporated.
  • Roughly stirred in 3 tbsp blueberry spread, so that the mixture was streaky rather than  all one colour.
  • Spooned into 12 of my favourite blue cupcake cases and baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
  • Left to cool a little then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Melted 50g white chocolate (Green&Black’s) in a bowl over hot water, then left to cool a little.
  • Beat 125g mascarpone cheese in a bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Added, rather cautiously at first, a bit of the bilberry powder and stirred it in. Then proceeded to add larger and larger quantities as the colour was not as powerful as I thought it might be. I probably used a rounded teaspoonful in the end.
  • Beat in the white chocolate.
  • Spread over the top of the cakes with a palate knife.
  • Used some of the sugar alphabet letters from my recent cake decorating wins to write Wild, Blue, Berry, Cup, & Cakes on the top (this was rather time consuming and I’m not sure I’d be so exacting again).

The cakes were delicious, well risen, moist and surprisingly light. The icing was also good and set the cakes off nicely, I thought. I loved the colour, but was a little disappointed that I couldn’t taste anything in the least bit fruity. CT, however, as a seasoned bilberry forager was adamant he could taste the bilberries. My palate obviously requires radical cleansing.

As B is the letter chosen by Ros in this month’s AlphaBakes, I’m submitting my Blueberry cupcakes to this monthly challenge hosted alternately by The more than occasional baker and Caroline Bakes.

I’m also adding this to Made With Love Mondays, a blogging event created by Javelin Warrior which I keep meaning to enter but never seem to manage. The aim is to encourage people to make everything from scratch rather than using ready made items.


  1. Susie @ Fold in the Flour

    26th April 2012 at 7:36 am

    These look lovely, and I think the colour of the frosting looks fantastic. The best thing is that it’s totally natural from the bilberry powder! 🙂

    • Choclette

      5th May 2012 at 9:16 am

      Yes indeed Susie, that’s what I was so excited about.

  2. Jennifer

    26th April 2012 at 8:31 am

    I love these – such a beautiful colour and the bonus being all natural. I have to get myself some of this bilberry powder.

    • Choclette

      5th May 2012 at 9:16 am

      Thanks Jennifer, the bilberry powder was a great find.

  3. shruti

    26th April 2012 at 9:33 am

    love the color…the cupcakes look so cute 🙂

  4. A Trifle Rushed

    26th April 2012 at 10:26 am

    What a wonderful shop to find. You are such a creative cook, these cakes not only look but also sound truly scrumptious. And I love your little letters labelling them 🙂 Jude x

  5. Suelle

    26th April 2012 at 12:28 pm

    What a gorgeous colour – it would make pretty macarons!

  6. Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog

    26th April 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I love how cute these look, such a lovely colour and good for you too? Major bonus!

    Nom! x

  7. Jo

    26th April 2012 at 3:33 pm

    What a brilliant colour! I love that it’s achieved naturally from fruit. The cupcakes look lovely un-iced too, although it’s a shame the flavour didn’t come through as strong as you had hoped.

  8. Lauralovescakes

    26th April 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The colour is fab! I’ve used freeze dried raspberry powder before and it worked a treat! 🙂

  9. Javelin Warrior

    26th April 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Choclette – these are awesome! I love the color of the frosting and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of bilberries before. And I must find me some of that powder because it does such a beautiful job at adding eye appeal (and perhaps flavor?). Thanks so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays – what a treat!

  10. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    26th April 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I love the colour of the raw mix… I think I would have found it hard not to just stop at this stage and eat the bowl…

  11. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    26th April 2012 at 5:47 pm

    the stuff in the bowl… not the bowl itself you understand!

  12. Clare

    26th April 2012 at 10:53 pm

    They look beautiful! Fabulous colour!

  13. Baking Addict

    26th April 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for entering these to AlphaBakes. I love the colour! Great use of the sugar alphabets too. It’s a shame you couldn’t really taste the berries but at least CT did! 🙂

  14. Working london mummy

    27th April 2012 at 5:23 am

    These look stunning, and I love bilberries- in France known as myrtilles. Such an intense blue

  15. thelittleloaf

    27th April 2012 at 8:29 am

    Absolutely stunning recipe, I can imagine these taste even more incredible than they look! And so much better than using food dye – nature provides the best colours 🙂

  16. Janice

    27th April 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Great colour from the wild bilberries. Pity the flavour wasn’t more pronounced, maybe including some blueberry jam would bring it out?

  17. Foodycat

    28th April 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I love the colour! How strange that the taste wasn’t strong.

  18. Green Dragonette

    28th April 2012 at 1:00 pm

    These really caught my eye-you are clever coming up with such an idea!

  19. Caroline

    28th April 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous colour! And so much nicer to know it came from a natural product than a food colouring bottle. Pity the taste wasn’t stronger, but I suppose it means you’ll be able to marry it with other baking flavours more easily.

  20. Cupcake Crazy Gem

    28th April 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks, yes from now on it’ll be milk chocolate chunks in the banana bread all the way! these cupcakes are so beautiful! I love the vivid purple tones. Bilberry powder – how unusual! what a shame the taste didn’t come through stronger but I love the idea of them. It’s certainly a great ‘B’ bake!

  21. Kit @ i-lostinausten

    29th April 2012 at 10:58 am

    Wow! Love the color of these gorgeous cupcakes! Never tried Bilberry powder so not sure how it taste like. Maybe by using some fresh blueberries like I did for my Blueberry tart will make it more tastier or even blueberry jam will help.

  22. Gloria

    29th April 2012 at 2:53 pm

    look amazing!!

  23. Maya Russell

    30th July 2013 at 7:26 am

    I didn’t know you could get bilberry powder. The colour is fantastic.


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