Monday, May 9, 2011

Berry Good

I haven't done much baking since my surgery on April 1st, and the itch to make some cupcakes had really kicked in. I was inspired by a recipe from Annie's Eats, one of the blogs I follow, for Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. I love the combination of blueberries and lemons. They marry so well and create a harmonious balance of sweet and tart. These cupcakes have a delicate white cake flavored with fresh lemon zest and juice. The cake is dotted with fresh blueberries, although I'm sure you could use frozen if fresh aren't available. The cream cheese frosting is also flavored with the lemon zest and juice. I will definitely make these cupcakes again - they're the perfect cupcake for warmer weather.

Sorry for the less-than-stellar picture - I took it on my camera phone.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
(From Annie's Eats)

Yield: about 16 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
¾ cup cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 large lemon

Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Blend in the milk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.) Garnish with fresh blueberries.

Source: cupcake adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride