Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Ah spring time. If it wasn't for the thin layer of pollen on everything, I'd really be able to enjoy it. I'm loving the fact that it's finally warm out (not that this past winter was that cold anyways) and it stays light later...which is even more awesome now that I finally have some porch furniture and can sit outside and enjoy it.

Of course, with spring comes a whole new set of baking flavors. For me, fall is all about warm spices, winter is spices and peppermint, and spring and summer are about light fresh lemon and blueberry! It's a fantastic combination of fruit, and perfect to put in...cupcakes! One of my best friends just moved back to town and had a housewarming party, so I decided to bake some lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting for her since that recipe has been sitting on my Pinterest board for months just begging to be made.

This recipe made about 16 cupcakes, but it can be give or take a few depending on how much you fill up each cupcake wrapper. You'll want to have the oven at 350, and the pan lined with the liners so the process will be smoother.

Start with 3/4 cup regular all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup cake flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt mixed together in a bowl and set aside.

Then you'll combine 8 tbsp room-temperature butter, 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, and the zest of a whole lemon to be mixed together on medium speed for about 2 minutes...just until it's light and fluffy!

 Then add in two eggs (one at a time, and beat about 20 seconds after each addition), plus 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice.

Once all those ingredients are mixed well together, you'll add in half of the dry ingredients and mix well for a couple minutes, then add 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk, mix well, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is perfect.

Once the batter is done, in a separate bowl, toss about a cup of fresh blueberries with 2 tbsp flour (this helps them not sink in the cupcake batter as they bake), and then lightly fold the berries into the batter with a spatula.
 Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 with batter and bake for about 22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean!

Now for the frosting!!!! I do love a good cream cheese frosting, and with a lemon kick to it? So awesome.

You'll start by beating 8 oz of cream cheese and 5 tbsp room temperature butter for a few minutes until well nice and smooth.
 After you add in the zest from one lemon and a tbsp of fresh lemon juice, mix in 3 cups of confectioner's sugar, one at a time, until you have a good consistency for your frosting. You'll want to beat the frosting for a couple minutes at medium speed to make sure there are no sugar clusters in the frosting.

After frosting the cupcakes, I topped them off with some fresh blueberries!
These were seriously delicious. They were light, fresh, and the lemon flavoring wasn't too powerful, just enough of a sour kick to them. I think my favorite part of these cupcakes had to be when you got a bite with a blueberry (not the ones on top, the ones in the batter) and you get a rush of juiciness in your mouth. It was a refreshing flavor combo that's for sure, and I have a few other lemon-blueberry recipes that will definitely be made in the next couple months!

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