I know this is a "cake advice" blog, but I am a baker, and once in a while I come up with a recipe that I love. This one is super simple and delicious, so I thought I'd share it with the world.
Lemon Cupcakes and Blueberry Buttercream
I realize that the watermark says "Ambrosial Affections." That is the name of my website. They're my pictures. Cool your jets.
2 cups of flour
1 1/3 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of buttermilk*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (the real stuff)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
The zest of three lemons
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (approximately 18 if filled 3/4 full, or 2 dozen if filled 1/2 full), or grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest in a medium mixing bowl.
Add butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice to dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Add eggs and mix until combined.
Fill pans/cupcake liners, then place in oven for 18-24 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly touched.
Remove from oven and let cool completely. COMPLETELY.
* If you don't have buttermilk you can put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill it the rest of the way up with regular milk. I use 1%.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
(Or you can use all butter. Whatever you prefer.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powered sugar
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 fresh blueberries
(Frozen is fine if fresh isn't available.)
Place water and blueberries in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a simmer, all the while mushing up the blueberries with a wooden spoon.
Keep mushing until volume is reduced to half.
Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Let cool completely.
While the mush is cooling, combine butter, shortening, and vanilla extract in a mixer and beat on medium speed until combined.
Turn mixer to its lowest setting, and sift powdered sugar into butter one cup at a time. Wait until all the sugar is incorporated before adding the next cup.
Scrape down the sides as needed.
When all the sugar is incorporated, and when the mush is cooled, place a mesh strainer on top of the mixing bowl and add the blueberry mush.
Squeeze every last bit of juice from the mush with a spoon.
(If you're not piping the buttercream out of a piping tip, and you want pieces of blueberry in the buttercream, feel free to skip the straining part, and just dump the mush into the buttercream. You might have to add more sugar to keep it from becoming too watery.)
Mix on medium-high speed until the blueberry is all integrated with the buttercream.
Mix for an additional 15 minutes on high for extra fluffy-ness.
Transfer buttercream to piping bags fitted with your favorite tip. I love the French tip for cupcakes, unless I'm doing a rose. I use a closed star tip for that.
Pipe onto you COMPLETELY cooled cupcakes.
These are probably my favorite cupcakes of all time.
Oh, and if you don't add the lemon zest and lemon juice, these become super easy and fast vanilla cupcakes, too.