Tomorrow, I say goodbye (at least for awhile) to a friend. It's funny how close you can get with people in such a short amount of time. The good news is, the internet is a magical thing. Along with phones. Plus she is keeping her house on the coast, so she's already said she's going to strategically plan her trips back up from Arizona to Washington so that they coincide with when I'm making something good. Funny how food draws people together. She gave me blueberries (which are in the frosting for these cupcakes!) and a decorator's sugar and food coloring set, and I have given her lots of cheesecakes, muffins, cupcakes, etc. And sarcasm. I think that one went both ways pretty heavily though. She'll definitely be missed.
Okay. Enough of the sentimental crap. Onto to the cupcakes! Lemon cupcakes with a gorgeous blueberry buttercream frosting. Hello, delicious! I didn't used to be a blueberry person, and I'm still not when it comes to eating them by themselves, but I've decided in the last few years that they're not bad baked into things. They're actually quite delicious! And lemon. I've always been a citrus person. Lemon and lime especially. Lemon cupcakes are always so fresh and light tasting. Did I mention that she gave me a food coloring set? The good kind. With "golden egg yellow". Which I might add is a bit more yellow that I thought it might be. I think that food should look like it tastes. These cupcakes look like a gorgeous yellow lemon. In hind sight, knowing how strong the coloring is, I will use less. It is at least a nice contrast to the pretty purple/blue of the frosting. Add purple and yellow decorator's sugar, and it's PERFECT.
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
Zest of 2-3 lemons, finely grated
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Yellow food coloring (optional)
Whole blueberries (optional)
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup blueberries, pureed
4 1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325º.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour in three additions, alternating with two additions of buttermilk. Pour into lined muffin tins. If you'd like, add one whole blueberry to the top of each mini muffin cup, or three to regular size, and press down gently until about 1/2 to 3/4 submerged in batter. When baked, they will look like this and be easily covered with frosting for a lovely surprise!
Bake regular sized cupcakes for 20-25 mins, mini's for 15-20 mins. If you put blueberries in them, leave them in for an extra minute or two, the batter directly around the blueberry will need it to finish.
For the frosting, cream butter, vanilla and cinnamon until creamy. Add blueberries, mix well. Add the powdered sugar and whipping cream until desired consistency is reached. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with decorator sugar if desired.
My husband gives the "blueberry surprise" ones a 10 of 10. His only complaint was that my frosting was too soft because it was warm. Which is pretty impressive, because he's usually got more to pick at when he tries my new recipes. More to come after tomorrow's festivities!