When Life Hands You Lemons Make…Cupcakes

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For someone who doesn’t like mixing their fruits and cakes I realized that I have already posted two recipes that incorporate fruit in them. But what’s a third recipe?
Truth is, I am starting to come around to the idea of combining the two entities as long as the results are as delicious as these lemon poppy seed cupcakes. Even the frosting, an unlikely mix of blueberries and cream cheese, is delicious.
Plus it’s spring, why not celebrate with a few blueberries and some lemon…zest?

This recipe calls for a blueberry puree. It instructs you to place the berries in a food processor but if you don’t own one just blend them in a blender until smooth and go from there.
LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES & BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Lemon-poppy-seed-cupcakes-with-blueberry-cream-cheese-frosting-web-2
INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes:
  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
 Frosting:
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ½ to 5 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
DIRECTIONS 
  1. To make the cupcakes – preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the poppy seeds and give it a quick stir. In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub them together until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add in the butter. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until it is very light. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add in one third of the flour mixture. Next, add in half of the buttermilk mixture, beating until incorporated. Repeat this process, one third flour mixture, remaining half buttermilk mixture. Finally add in the remaining third of the flour mixture. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium low and beat for 2 minutes, to ensure it is well aerated. Fill the prepared cupcake tins evenly with the batter (about ⅔ of the way full).
  4. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. This recipe yields about 22 cupcakes.
  5. To make the frosting add the blueberries to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the skins, using a wooden spoon to help push it through. Measure out ¼ cup of the strained puree and set aside (any extra you can discard).
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar (start with the 4 ½ cups) to the bowl in several batches, beating on low / medium-low until combined (it will be very stiff at this point). Add in the ¼ cup blueberry puree, vanilla and salt. Start on low then increase the speed to medium high and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl and beater blade as needed. If the frosting is not thick enough to pipe, add in additional sifted confectioners’ sugar to get it to your desired consistency (and beat again on medium high – I usually add the full 5 ½ cups since I prefer it to be stiffer when piping).
  7. Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish as desired.

Recipe source: cookiemonstercooking.com

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