Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream

I've been on some kind of cupcake kick lately.  I blame all the cute pictures of cupcakes on the internet!  I just can't resist! This is another delicious cupcake recipe that is perfect for summertime.  The lemon and blackberry flavors are tart and refreshing.  If you don't have blackberry jam, you could probably try substituting raspberry or strawberry and still achieve excellent (and tasty) results. The original recipe says that it makes 24 cupcakes, but you will really only have enough batter for about 14-16 cupcakes.

Adapted slightly from

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 large lemon, juice and zest (or juice and zest of two small lemons)

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin cups with paper liners. 

2. Cream sugar and 1/2 cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract into mixture with the second egg. 

3. Beat in flour and baking powder until just combined; beat in milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make a smooth batter. Do not overmix. 

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups (about 2/3 full). 

5. Bake in the preheated oven until cupcake edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely. 

6. For the buttercream, beat 1 cup butter with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, to make a creamy frosting. Beat in blackberry jam. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes for Two

This is a perfect recipe for just two cupcakes!  The cake turns out fairly moist and the chocolate chips really add a good chocolate flavor punch.  This recipe is fantastic for those times when you just need a little something sweet but don't want to end up with a bunch of leftovers.  I've made these a couple of times and they are great!  You can eat one and freeze one for later, you can eat one and share one, or you can just eat them both!
Adapted from Brett Bara

3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a quarter-teaspoon and it will be fine)
1/16 teaspoon salt (otherwise known as a pinch)
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/16 teaspoon vanilla (just a few drops)
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon milk or water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with two cupcake liners.

2. For the cake, whisk all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a second small bowl or spouted measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and stir until combined, whisking well.

3. Divide batter between two cupcake liners and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

4. For the frosting, melt the butter or margarine in a small bowl. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Whisk in the powdered sugar and enough milk or water to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency.  Top each cupcake with half of the frosting.