This week I’m stepping it back a few years. Throughout high school and middle school, I was ALWAYS baking cupcakes. Any and every birthday and event got cupcakes. I rarely made anything else. My room was overflowing with cupcake themed things. It may have started to become a problem, but my friends were happy and so was I; a win-win. For a little more info check out the backstory about my grandma and Martha Stewart (different people… but if she was my grandma I probably would have started this blog the day I could write) in my Chocolate Strawberry Bundt Cake post.
So I figured it was finally time to post one of my cupcake recipes. Out of all the cupcakes I was baking back in the day, lemon & berry was always my go-to. It still is today, but I’ve tried to tame it down a bit. I would use this combo for everything if I could. Out of them all, blackberry is my absolute favorite. I may have purposely saved the blackberries for last. If you’ve been following along, I’ve used all of the other berries in baked goods so far. So if cupcakes aren’t your thing, take a look at the others. But of course, you can substitute the blackberry with any berry, or other flavor for that matter.
I usually put some extra lemon zest and juice into my batter because I love it so much. A lot of cakes will call for lemon extract, but I never was a fan of the flavor. It makes the cakes taste a little too much like candy to me. If you taste some side by side, you’ll see the difference. But, it is all personal preference, so if that’s the taste you want, go for it. I found I am Baker’s lemon cake recipe a while back and I haven’t used anything since. I’ve tested a few others and none compare. It’s perfect and fluffy and good for any and every meal. Well… maybe not, but who’s watching??
I’ve said it before I’ll say it again: I love jams. They’re super convenient and easy to flavor anything with. Spoon some into your icing or cake batter for some extra flavor. I used some pureed blackberries in my frosting, but if you’re in a pinch (or don’t feel like buying fresh fruit, which is usually my case) jam will work just fine.
These two recipes are pretty straightforward, but I’ll give you a few tips and tricks. If you choose to add lemon zest, zest over a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. This way you can eliminate dirtying a bowl and if you have too much, you can wrap it up and store it in the fridge for up to a week. When making your icing, feel free to substitute half of the shortening with butter. I prefer the taste of all shortening, but most homemade buttercreams are all butter, so test it out.
These cupcakes will last a few days in the refrigerator or you can freeze them for a month (without icing). So bake your heart away and enjoy!
Remember – Stay Hungry
Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake tins with liners.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer now on low, beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla and lemon juice.
- (With mixer still on low) Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
- Fill each cupcake about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup blackberry puree or jam, amount may be altered to taste
- In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the shortening and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute. Pour in the milk.
- Whip the buttercream on high for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the desired amount of puree or jam and beat on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Can be refrigerated for up to one week.