Love and Olive Oil

Chocolate Balsamic Raspberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Balsamic Rasperry Cupcakes

These cupcakes were inspired by a truffle, found at our local chocolate shop. It’s one of my favorites, and for some time now I’ve been curious as to how it’d fare in cupcake form.

The final result was rich and delicious, with just a hint of tang from the balsamic vinegar. The frosting turned out a bit runny, I was barely able to pipe it (and probably shouldn’t have). Next time I’d probably up the proportion of butter/sugar to raspberry mixture for a thicker consistency. But no matter, runny frosting isn’t going to prevent us from enjoying a truly delicious (and unique!) cupcake.

Chocolate Balsamic Rasperry Cupcakes

We made these the day a few friends were joining us for dinner. Along with a dozen of the Black Pearl cupcakes. Ok, it was probably overkill, but I rarely get to make TWO kinds of cupcakes, a whole two dozen cupcakes, in one day, so I enjoyed every second of it. Makes me wish I had more people I could pawn off my cupcakes to, but most of the time it’s just the two of us. So I only make a half batch, precisely six cupcakes. Because that is all we can eat before they start to dry out. And dry cupcakes are no good, no matter how delicious the cupcake might have been initially. While I’m sure my neighbor and her daughter will never get sick of the random deliveries of excess cupcakes, I don’t bake nearly as much as I’d like to for the sole reason that I hate wasting food. That, and Taylor already has enough cavities for the both of us. More sugar isn’t going to help that. Oh, the perils of baking…

Chocolate Balsamic Raspberry Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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1 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Frosting:
4oz (1/2 cup) fresh raspberries plus 12 rasperries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar, set aside for 5 minutes (mixture will curdle). Whisk in sugar, oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in soy milk mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not over mix).

Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Separate out 12 raspberries for garnish and set aside. Gently toss remaining raspberries with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Set aside and allow to macerate for 15-20 minutes. Roughly mash berries with a fork until no large chunks remain.

Cream butter until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Mix in raspberry mixture. Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition (depending on the temperature of your butter, you may need more or less sugar to achieve the proper consistency). Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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  1. Hello. Would it be okay to leave the almond flour out of this recipe? Thanks 

  2. Would it be possible to make this as a cake, instead of cupcakes? Do I need to change anything?

  3. Hi! We bought some Chocolate Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and I’m wondering can it be subbed for the regular balsamic vinegar. I’m trying to find some way to use it.
    These sounds amazing and I’d love to make them. I just happened to have bought raspberries today then found your recipe. It’s fate.

  4. Made these and they were amazinnnng! Thank you so much for your awesome recipes as usual!

  5. I know this post is very late given but I found this on Pinterest and am keen to try it. Cannot find almond meal in my country and almond flour is too expensive. Is there any reasonable substitute? cornmeal maybe? or just leave it out if I canot get almond items?

    • Easiest would be to grind up some almonds yourself. The finer the better. They really add a lovely flavor to the cupcakes. However, if necessary just add a bit more flour in lieu of the almond meal entirely.

  6. I helped my girlfriend makes these a few months back for her brothers wedding. They were to die for! I now make them whenever I have guests or am invited to something and I really want to impress! So unique! So tasty!

  7. I just made these today (because my hubby invited some friends over). Just like you, I always go crazy when we have company cause it means I can make a lot of cupcakes and they won’t go to waste.

    Delicious recipe. LOVED IT!

  8. Hi these sound so good but I’m allergic to almonds so I’m wondering what I could put in instead of that??

  9. So glad you enjoyed them, Lisa! And good to know that draining the raspberries and adding just a little to the frosting worked for you! Will definitely have to give these another go, they were too good not to! :)

    And for me, the recipe always makes 12 regular size cupcakes plus a few generous batter licks. :) hehe.

  10. I made these last night with coconut milk instead of soy and they were AMAZING! I love that your cupcake recipies often seem to yield 12 cupcakes + a little leftover for 6-12 minis. =)

    As for the frosting, I heeded your warning and did the following:
    ~4 oz raspberries + 1 tsp each sugar and balsalmic. Mashed up after 15 min or so, drained off any excess liquid, and added about 2 Tbsp of this to my frosting (same as yours but only 1.5 c confectioners sugar). The consistency was perfect. I wanted to add more raspberry but was afraid it would be too runny. Still tasted good, subtle raspberry/balsalmic flavor, and just sweet enough as not to overpower the cake. Just my two cents. Anyway keep up the good work!

  11. Nicole – The almond meal adds a nice texture and a hint of almond flavor to the final cake. I love it. You can use some very finely ground almonds or even almond flour if you can’t find almond meal. :)

  12. Oh these sound delicious! I’ve never used almond meal in anything before… wonder how crucial that is to the recipe?

  13. you are so right, I am lucky enough to work for an Italian family who owns and sells barrell aged balsamic, the 50 year old balsamic is like a sweet dessert syrup that is dreamy over fruit, pastries and gelato. I can’t wait to try this recipe using L’acetaia vinegars.

  14. I’m not sure why cupcakes would go to waste. Put them on a cookie sheet,
    freeze them and put in container. By freezing them on cookie sheet the icing
    won’t get messed up when they are put in a container. I just remove whatever
    number of frozen ones I want and put the rest back in the freezer.

  15. Even with runny frosting, these look adorable.

  16. Another interesting cupcake! I hadn’t thought of balsamic with raspberry, only strawberries but then again I struggle with thinking outside of the box.

  17. I’ve enjoyed balsamic for a long time with savory dishes but only in the past year have started to appreciate what it adds to sweet ones and these sound divine. With 15″ of snow on the ground and everything on hand I might just have to test them today!

  18. @Jessie – I was wondering that too! I ended up buying some soy milk just in case, since I didn’t want to risk it. Now I’m stuck with this greying milk substitute. Guess I’d better make more cupcakes with it!

  19. Love the twist in the recipe! and raspberries sound great:) its really an interesting recipe, so it would be great if you could send it in for my sweet celebrations event on my blog!:)

  20. Jessie – Go for it! The substitution shouldn’t affect the final outcome. Vinegar curdles soymilk in pretty much the same way as regular milk. :) Let me know how they turn out if you make them!

  21. But can I substitute regular milk for soymilk? I have a soy intolerance. Will it curdle in the wrong way?

  22. Mmmm, three things I love. I can’t wait to try these!

  23. O never mind the runny icing I still think they look gorgeous and indeed a very interesting flavor combination!

  24. Wow! Those look great! One day I will make some of your cupcakes, and not just drool over them :(

  25. Oooh, what an intriguing combination of flavors! You are so creative and fearless! Congratulations on having this recipe featured as the post for the day at I’m going to have to set aside a weekend for trying all of your cupcake recipes that I’ve been saving up. I think this makes 6!

  26. I’ve actually seen people take really good quality balsamic (the super thick stuff!) and use it like chocolate sauce over ice cream. Yum!

  27. ahhh i need to make these. i’ve never put balsamic vinegar in anything sweet and i have a feeling it would be fantastic.

  28. Balsamic vinegar is pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it? Sounds perfect with raspberry and chocolate – so pretty too! Lucky friends :)

  29. Runny frosting or fantastically piped frosting, your cupcakes always look fantastic and sound sooooo good.

  30. These sound divine! This is one recipe I’m definitely going to have to try out.

  31. These are SO amazing, and I am so thankful to have gotten to taste them first hand!

  32. Your cupcakes always have the most interesting flavor combinations! I love balsamic with fruit. These look absolutely divine!

  33. Very, very pretty. I love that you took inspiration from a favorite truffle :)

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