birthday baking. [blueberry & lemon cupcakes]

August 10th, 2010 by | comments

A friend of mine celebrated her birthday last night—and we all know what that meant. I had a reason to bake! I wanted to make something that I had never made before, so I decided on blueberry and lemon cupcakes. The birthday girl was kind enough to share her cupcakes with our table of 12 so that everyone got a taste. I’m not sure how well blueberry cupcakes went with sushi, but they still got two thumbs up all around the table.

Since two of the main ingredients are fruit, one of my friends asked if that meant they were healthy. Unfortunately, I had to say no. But it would be ideal if they were, right?

The sweetness of the blueberries and the subtle tartness of the lemon is a surprising, yet delicious, combination. The recipe initially did not have a strong lemon taste, so I altered it a bit to make sure the lemon stood out. One suggestion for the recipe was to freeze the blueberries for 4 hours. By doing this, the blueberries would not sink to the bottom. I’d say this trick worked!

Cupcake recipe:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup half & half

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. grated lemon peel (2 lemons)

Juice of about 1 lemon

1 1/4 cups (or more) fresh blueberries, frozen for 4 hours


Sift flour and next 4 ingredients into large bowl. Whisk melted butter and oil in medium bowl. Add eggs (one at a time); whisk to blend. Whisk in buttermilk, half & half, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just to blend. Stir in frozen blueberries. Divide batter among liners (makes 24 cupcakes).

Bake cupcakes about 18-20 minutes (depending on the hotness of your oven) at 350 degrees. Transfer cupcakes to racks to cool.

Frosting recipe:

3 cups powdered sugar

10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 tsp. (or to taste) coarse kosher salt

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tsp. (or more) half & half

Combine first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Add 4 tsp. half & half. Using electric mixer, beat until well blended and fluffy, adding more half & half if dry. Add powdered sugar according to desired thickness of frosting.

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