Perfect Black Raspberry Muffins




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black raspberry muffin with butter

Perfect Black Raspberry Muffins ~ the flavor of black raspberries (black caps) is transcendent. If you’re lucky enough to be in possession of a handful, make a batch of these moist high rise muffins.  You won’t regret it, trust me. 

 

black raspberry muffins in a basket with fresh berries

Got black raspberries?  Make muffins!

Could summer baking get any better?  Black raspberries represent the pinnacle of summer for me, it’s all downhill after this…but really you can use any summer berry for these epic muffins, and you only need a cup and a half, so go with what you’ve got.

black raspberry muffins, with butter

What are black raspberries (aka black caps)?

  • Black raspberries are a small dark purple berry from the rose family, and they’re native to North America. They’re an early summer berry, in season in May, June, and July.
  • They’re small, and intensely delicious; some say the flavor is something like a combination of a raspberry and a blackberry, but it’s really indescribable.  They’ve been call the black truffle of berries!
  • Rubus occidentalis was first domesticated in the 1830s, but production has steadily declined in the 2oth century, which is such a tragedy. Apparently these delicate berries aren’t profitable because they’re difficult to grow on a large scale, and expensive to harvest.
  • Black raspberries are still commercially grown in the Pacific Northwest, but you won’t find them in the produce aisle, these berries are processed into juices and liquors.  They’re even used as a natural food coloring because of their brilliant pigment.
  • These berries are incredibly healthy, and have higher amounts of cancer fighting antioxidants than most other fruit.

black raspberries in a berry box

Where can you find black raspberries?

Since they’re not grown for the commercial market, at least right now, you may have to hunt for these purple gems, but take heart, they grow over most of the US and much of Canada!

  • farmers markets and roadside stands.
  • pick your own farms (you can find pyo farms near you by plugging in your zip code over at pickyourown.org)
  • in the wild ~ the berries grow in many parts of the US and Canada.  Wild black raspberries are safe to eat, and there aren’t any dangerous look-alike plants, so you can pick and eat with confidence when you spot them (but as always, make sure you can confidently identify any foraged plant before consuming.)  Check out my Ultimate Guide to Summer Berry Picking for details.
  • grow them yourself!  They’re hardy in zones 4-8, and you can buy black raspberry plants online and in your local garden centers.

Frozen black raspberries in a measuring cup

How to freeze summer berries

Freezing is key to getting the most out of summer’s berry bounty whether you harvest, forage, or just Instacart your stash.  And when it comes to delicate summer berries, frozen is just as good as fresh.

  • Gently rinse and dry the berries on clean towels.
  • Lay them out on a baking sheet, in a single layer.
  • Put the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour until the berries are hard.
  • Transfer the hard berries to a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag or container, and put back in the freezer for up to a year.
  • Remove them as needed, and use them from frozen for baking, don’t thaw.

Folding berries into muffin batter

Fold frozen berries right into your muffin batter!

Throw frozen berries right into your batter, there’s no need to thaw. One benefit of using frozen berries is that they don’t break up when you fold them into a thick muffin or quick bread batter. (They’ll bake up nice and juicy.) The real benefit here is that you can keep a stash of summer berries in your freezer all year long to bake up into treats like this.  You can literally get a taste of summer in the depths of winter.

black raspberry muffin in a muffin tin

Of course you can use other berries in this simple muffin recipe, I encourage it.

This type of recipe is ideal for all the typical domesticated berries like raspberries, blueberries, etc, but also for those more unusual summer berries that you might come across depending on where you live…

gooseberries ~ beautifully translucent and tart!

currants ~ tiny jewel toned berries with an acidic kick.

marionberries ~ special variety of blackberries found in Oregon.

dewberries ~ a wild berry related to blackberries, common in the South.

cloudberries ~ golden Scandinavian berries that grow in colder climates

wild blueberries ~ tiny berries with legendary flavor!

boysenberries ~ a hybrid cross between a blackberry and a dewberry.

mulberries ~ large purple berries that grow on the Mulberry tree.

ollalieberries ~ California natives that are a cross between the loganberry and the youngberry.

elderberries ~ tiny tart purple berries that need to be cooked in order to safely consume. Avoid the stems, leaves, and roots, which can be toxic in large quantities.

huckleberries ~ like large blueberries with more seeds, but don’t worry, the seeds just add a bit of crunch.

golden raspberries ~ a mild variety of raspberry, sweet and floral.

 

black raspberry muffins in a muffin pan

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black raspberry muffin with butter
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4.89 from 9 votes

Black Raspberry Muffins

Perfect Black Raspberry Muffins ~ the flavor of black raspberries (black caps) is transcendent and this simple muffin recipe is a great way to enjoy them!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 10 muffins

Equipment

  • a muffin tin

Ingredients

  • 2 extra large eggs (large eggs will work too)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups black raspberries

streusel topping (optional)

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • sparkling sugar for the top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F and butter a muffin tin, or line with muffin tin liners.
  • If you are using the streusel topping, make it first. Combine the ingredients with your fingertips until it is crumbly and the butter is completely incorporated. The mixture will be dry. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, buttermilk, and extract. Get everything well combined.
  • Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then fold in the flour. When the flour is almost all incorporated, fold in the berries.
  • Fill your muffin cups quite full, and then sprinkle lightly with streusel mixture. Add sparkling sugar on top of the streusel. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-27 minutes, or until risen and just turning golden. Different ovens vary greatly, so check these on the early side.
  • Cool slightly before turning the muffins out of the pan. Devour warm, with plenty of butter.

Black Raspberry Muffins pin

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10 Comments

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  • Reply
    Mary Katharine Swanson
    August 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    5 stars
    These muffins were delicious–no buttermilk, so did the vinegar/milk thing. Used our home grown blueberries, but have black raspberries in the freezer (which I’m hoarding), but may part with to make these muffins with in the future.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 18, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    5 stars
    Sue-Like another reviewer posted, I too recently bought a house with a black cap raspberry bush (my neighbor kindly let me know what they were). Wow! I made your recipe this morning using the optional streusel topping. So, so good! Thank you for posting your recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      Enjoy Lisa, I’ve got a regular raspberry bush in my yard that I’m enjoying right now 🙂

  • Reply
    Rhawnie M.
    July 13, 2020 at 9:08 am

    5 stars
    Wow! These are delicious! I moved to a new house for the summer that has black raspberry bushes. I got some from the freezer from last summer, & added a few fresh that were just picked. I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I used sour cream that was watered down.
    They were purple, & melt in your mouth amazing!

  • Reply
    Brad Henderson
    July 12, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    4 stars
    The amount of ads, pop-pops and other bullshit you guys are putting on your recipe sites is absolutely ridiculous. Muffins were good, but you actually think it looks professional to have so much un-needed info, pop-ups and advertising? Geez.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 12, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      I’ve put the ‘jump to recipe’ button at the top so you can skip right to it if you like, Brad.

  • Reply
    stefanie
    July 11, 2020 at 6:07 am

    5 stars
    These are insanely good. Wow. I used large eggs, red raspberries and rum extract (I keep running out of vanilla because I am baking so much!) The texture of the muffin is perfectly tender. I love the streusel and sugar topping – not overwhelming just yummy. I am going to plant some raspberries and will look for the black variety to add to my patch – yum.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 11, 2020 at 9:08 am

      I run out of vanilla all the time and usually reach for almond, but rum sounds intriguing!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Daddo
    July 10, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Hi from Australia. What size muffin tin did you use? I’m thinking Texas size judging by the photo?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

      I used a pretty standard muffin tin Cheryl, but I’ve observed that even standard muffin tins vary greatly. Mine might have been a tad wider than normal, but not as big as Texas sized 😉