How Do Black Raspberries and Blackberries Differ

How do black raspberries and black berries differ?

Blackberries are a type of berry native to North America. They grow on trees or shrubs, but they’re most often found growing along streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. Their edible fruit contains small seeds with a bitter taste. Black raspberries have been cultivated since ancient times in Europe; however, their cultivation was banned there due to their association with witchcraft during the Middle Ages. Blackberries were brought back to Europe in the 17th century and soon became popular throughout Europe. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that they really took off.

The first commercial production of blackberries began in New Jersey in 1838 when John D. Rockefeller purchased land near Newark, N.J., where he planted a few acres of blackberry bushes. By 1860, Rockefeller had bought enough land to produce over 10 million pounds of blackberry jam annually (and still does).

Today, blackberry products account for $1 billion in annual sales worldwide.

In the United States, blackberries are mostly grown commercially in the southern states such as Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Other areas of the country that grow them include Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Blackberries are known to contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins . Anthocyanins are pigments that protect plants against disease and insect attacks. These same pigments are also found in red cabbage, red wine and other plants. Black raspberries have a similar flavor to blackberries but somewhat more tart. They’re smaller than blackberries and can be grown in colder climates.

Black raspberries actually belong to the rose family and are indigenous to Europe. They were brought over to North America by European settlers in the 19th century and have been cross-bred over the years to produce a larger fruit with a more intense flavor.

Black raspberries are very high in fiber and vitamin C and are a good source of manganese.

The major difference between black raspberries and blackberries is that raspberries are creamier than blackberries because they contain less seeds and have a more delicate texture. That’s why black raspberries are sometimes called “the princess of berries.”

Black raspberries also contain anthocyanins, which give them their intense pigmentation.

Black raspberries are best picked and consumed shortly after being picked since their high water content can cause them to spoil quickly. They can be used in a wide variety of pies, muffins and other pastries, jams and preserves. They can also be used as a nutritious additive to oatmeal and nonfat yogurt or softened in a smoothie.

Black raspberries are also thought to have a greater concentration of antioxidants than their cousin, the blackberry.

Black raspberries can be found fresh in the summer and fall at farmers’ markets and natural food stores. If you can’t find fresh black raspberries, then you can substitute them for frozen (make sure there are no added sugars or syrups).

Black raspberries are a very delicate fruit with a distinctive flavor. If you have never tried them before, then I suggest you do so soon!

Black raspberries contain a very high level of antioxidants and are very nutritious.

Because they are quite fragile, it’s better to pick your own rather than purchasing them from a store; unless, of course, you like getting up early and going out in the fields to make your selection!

Once you’ve made your decision on how you want to add black raspberries to your diet, here are some delicious choices you can make:

Black Raspberry Milkshake

This delicious and nutritious blend of black raspberries and bananas is a perfect way to re-energize in the middle of the day or when you need an extra boost of energy.

1 cup non-fat yogurt

3 fresh or frozen black raspberries

1 banana, sliced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Drink immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Black Raspberry Sun Tea

Sun tea has been a refreshing staple of the South for many years. This version uses black raspberries to give it an extra kick!

1/2 cup fresh black raspberries

4 tea bags

Place raspberries in a large glass or jar. Add 1 quart boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Add tea bags and allow to steep for 15 additional minutes. Remove tea bags, add ice and enjoy!

Black Raspberry Honeydew Juice

This is a simple, yet elegant blend of sweet honeydew melon and tart raspberries that is sure to become a family favorite.

1 honeydew small watermelon

1 cup cubed honeydew melon

1 cup black raspberries

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Black Raspberry Banana Ice Cream

We all scream for banana, but when you add the sweet, ripe flavor of black raspberries to this favorite summer treat, everyone will be joining in on the fun!

2 cups skim milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ripe but firm bananas

1 cup black raspberries

Combine milk, sugar and 1 cup water in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally; stir in the vanilla.

Meanwhile, place bananas in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and poke several holes in the top with a knife. Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds or until the bananas are soft when mashed.

Scoop banana and half of the raspberries into a food processor; process until smooth. Slowly pour 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into food processor; process until blended. Stir the milk mixture into the remaining hot milk mixture in pan. Add black raspberry puree; heat through (do not boil).

Makes 6 servings.

Black Raspberry Pie

A fresh fruit pie with a lattice crust is sure to be the star of your next family gathering. The tartness of the raspberries and sweet honey flavor of the carrots will have everyone coming back for seconds.

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

2 tablespoons warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces


1 1/2 cups fresh black raspberries

1 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup honey

4 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons milk

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For crust: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, salt and 2 cups flour. Stir until blended and then add the egg. Stir until mixed and then add the butter. Stir until the butter is coated with the flour and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Press into a ball, cover with a cloth and put in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

After 45 minutes, press the dough down and divide into 2 portions. On a lightly floured surface or between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out each portion into a 12-inch circle. Carefully fold each circle in half and then fold in half again to form a quarter circle. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press edges down with a fork to seal them.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

For filling: In a small bowl, combine the black raspberries and pecans. In another bowl, combine the honey, butter, milk, flour and vanilla. Spread the filling mixture onto the bottom crust. Top with the black raspberries and pecans. Place the top crust over the filling and cut slits so it looks nice.

Bake for 15-20 minutes more or until lightly browned.

Makes 8 servings.

Bourbon Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberries have a distinctive flavor that blends well with a variety of fruits, but is especially tasty with apples or pears. The cobbler topping gets its crunch from the golden delicious apples and its tartness from the lemon juice.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups 2% milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted


3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups blackberries, rinsed and drained well (if frozen, do not thaw)

3 cups diced peeled Granny Smith or other tart apple (about 2 large apples)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter

For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Add the blackberries and apples; toss to coat. Add the lemon juice and butter; toss until butter is melted. Spoon into a shallow 2-qt casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.

Let stand while preparing the topping.

For the topping, in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, white sugar and salt; add the milk and butter. Beat with a fork until blended (the mixture will be lumpy).

Sprinkle evenly over filling.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Blackberry Buckle

The buckle is a tantalizing coffee cake made with fresh or frozen berries. The berries are always rinsed and drained well before using. When fresh berries are out of season or too expensive, frozen berries are a good substitute and can always be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

This coffee cake is lovely served warm with a glass of milk or a steaming hot cup of coffee.

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


3 tablespoons milk

2 cups powdered sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

Cut the butter into several pieces and place in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of sugar and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture; stir just until mixed. With a spoon, gently fold in the berries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the milk and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the batter in the pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Makes 16 servings.

Glazed Cranberry Ring

This is a big holiday favorite in my house because it’s so easy to make. The rings are always a big hit when taken to parties or family gatherings too. And they can be made a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container or wrapped well and freezer for up to one month.

The glaze is super easy to mix up too, just dump everything into a bowl and stir.

Cranberry Filling:

2 one-pound bags fresh cranberries (about 4 cups)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the berries begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Roll out the dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 (4×4-inch) squares. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cranberries on one square of dough. Moisten the edges with water and top with a second square of dough. Pinch the edges to seal, then gently push the edge with your thumb to create a decorative border.

Cut a small piece off the bottom of each so that they stand evenly. Place on the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool on the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the rings are baking, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. When the rings are cool enough to handle, dip the tops into the glaze and place right side up on a wire rack. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Makes 2 dozen.

NOTE: For this recipe you will need 2 (16×12-inch) sheets of frozen phyllo dough, thawed.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

These festive muffins are light and delicious. The warm spices are wonderful against the lightly sweet pumpkin. These can be made a few days ahead and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature. If you wrap them well, they can also be frozen.

Perfect with a hot cup of coffee or an ice cold glass of milk.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup low-fat (1%) milk

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line with parchment paper, your muffin tins.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pie spice, salt and nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light in color. Whisk in the pumpkin and milk. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not overmix.*

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed in the centers. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to the rack to cool completely.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Makes 1 dozen.

NOTE: For this recipe you will need 1 (12-cup) muffin pan lined with paper liners.

*To test if your muffins are done, insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean, they’re done. Overmixing makes your muffins tough.

From Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion, Volume 1

“I have to hand it to you, kid,” says Vaughn, helping himself to another slice of quiche. “Baking something is a lot easier than killing someone. I’ll be glad to go back to just shooting people in the face.”

“I’ll be sure and note that on your tombstone,” I say, punching him in the shoulder.

What does that mean?”

“We’re in a library. You can’t have a tombstone.”

He looks confused for a moment, but then his eyes widen as he makes the logical leap. “Ohhhhhh…! I get it. Good one, Zee.”

“Thanks.” We sit in silence for a minute before Vaughn speaks up again. “So, I’m gonna miss you, kid.

You know that, right?”

“Of course I know that.

Why wouldn’t I?”

“I dunno. We never really talked about it. I mean, we’ve been through some stuff, but we were always doing it together… I dunno, I’m not explaining this very well.”

“It’s alright.

What’s wrong?”

What isn’t wrong?

Seriously, Zee. I’m gonna miss you. We’ve been through hell and high water together. Literally! And now you’re leaving. You have a whole life ahead of you, but…

What about me?”

What about you?

You’ll be fine. You always are.””Right… I just mean…

What am I even doing with my life?

I mean, I’m no Jedi. I’m no soldier. I’m no hero. Not really. Honestly, I don’t know why you even hang out with me.”

“Because you’re a good person who’s had a tough life. And you’re my friend.”

He smiles at that. “

I really am, aren’t I?”

“Yes, you idiot.

Sources & references used in this article:

Cultivar differences and the effect of winter temperature on flower bud development in blackberry by F Takeda, BC Strik, D Peacock… – Journal of the American …, 2002 –

High tunnel raspberries and blackberries by C Heidenreich, M Pritts, MJ Kelly… – Cornell University, New …, 2012 –

Antioxidant capacity and phenolic antioxidants of midwestern black raspberries grown for direct markets are influenced by production site by M Ozgen, FJ Wyzgoski, AZ Tulio, A Gazula… – …, 2008 –

Variation in anthocyanins and total phenolics of black raspberry populations by M Dossett, J Lee, CE Finn – Journal of Functional Foods, 2010 – Elsevier

Blackberry production systems-a worldwide perspective by BC Strik, CE Finn – X International Rubus and Ribes Symposium 946, 2011 –

Practical implications of differences in the ethylene production of Rubus fruits by JN Burdon, R Sexton – … on Postharvest Treatment of Horticultural Crops …, 1993 –

Processing and storage effects on monomeric anthocyanins, percent polymeric color, and antioxidant capacity of processed black raspberry products by A Hager, LR Howard, RL Prior… – Journal of Food …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library