olive oil cupcakes with berry buttercream

all normal things this week, it has been a very average (but pleasurable!) week. i worked regular hours, drove to the gym, listened to all of today's top hits on my iphone while i jogged at a medium pace, wore neutral colors, reacted to politics, had salads for dinner, and watched tv before bed. (i was so bored out of my mind for the first game of thrones episode that i'm hate-ignoring the second episode until i finish the second season of how to get away with murder.) 

once or twice a day i looked out my window to chart the growing progress of my rhubarb patch. the leaves are almost up to my knees, so i'm going to give it another week before i pull out my machete. i'd like to make short ribs with rhubarb, have you ever done that?

what else. we celebrated taco tuesday on a wednesday, since it was cinco de mayo eve and the end of spring planting celebration, and we ordered coronas. which was the least normal thing about this week. i don't think i've ever ordered a corona in a restaurant before. am i boring you? is this boring?

the tulips are blooming, i have a bill to pay, and two yellow dresses to drop off at the dry cleaner.

ok bye. 

normal things, all normal things. 

these are deceptively light cupcakes! true, they're filled with sugar and have a 2:1 ratio of cake to frosting, but the flavor of fresh berries, a splash of o.j., and a nice large glug of buttery olive oil makes these brighter than most. (bright. maybe that's a better descriptor than light.) all of these flavors sit so nicely on a canvas of vanilla almond cake for a perfect springtime treat. i used raspberries and blackberries for the buttercream since that's what i had access to, but feel free to use any berry you'd like! (if you have a cute berry bush with some obscure berries to spare, i'll trade you for some rhubarb??) and my olive oil of choice for these is california olive ranch's mild and buttery olive oil, which doesn't overpower and plays so well with the almond flavor in the cake.  

olive oil cupcakes with berry buttercream

makes 12



1/2 c almond meal
3/4 c sugar
1 c flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 c california olive ranch olive oil
1/2 c whole milk
2 tb orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract


1 c fresh raspberries or blackberries or a mix
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract


fresh berries



to make the cupcakes:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. line 12 cupcake tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

in a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, milk, orange juice, almond extract, and vanilla. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. pour the batter into the cupcake tins, filling them up halfway, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 18 minutes.

let cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then remove to the rack and cool completely. 

to make the buttercream:

purée the berries in a food processor and then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. place the berry purée in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. beat until combined. (it will look slightly curdled at first, but continue beating, eventually increasing the speed to medium high, for a few good minutes until combined and fluffy.)

to assemble:

frost the cupcakes as desired, top with fresh berries, and enjoy!


thank you, california olive ranch, for sponsoring this post!