As easy and delicious as it is to drive to your nearest cupcakery and sample their alluring flavors, there is something so immensely satisfying, so delightfully exhilarating about creating your own blissfully perfect cupcake. The kind that so perfectly sweet, light, creamy and decadent that you start checking your cell phone, waiting for Candace Nelson to call.
This recipe for lemon blueberry cupcakes is an adaptation of my usual vanilla cupcake recipe, which itself is based on Candace's own Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes. The cake is the perfect combination of sweet and tart, rich and buttery, that is further accented with fresh summer blueberries. Topped with a light lemon buttercream, these cakes are elevated to cupcake perfection.
One last note before the recipe: when it comes to cupcake ingredients, I don't settle. I use the freshest butter from a local creamy, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, in season blueberries (no frozen!) and real lemons (no Real Lemon juice, please). This really does make a huge difference in the outcome of your flavors.
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes (makes 1 dozen)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for blueberries
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Combine the vanilla and buttermilk in a separate bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer on high, cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is well incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
4. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs and egg whites. Beat until incorporated.
5. With the mixture on slow, alternate adding dry mixture, buttermilk/vanilla mixture and lemon juice.
6. Gently toss blueberries in a few tablespoons of flour. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your cupcakes. Gently fold coated blueberries into batter taking care not to break the blueberries.
7. Portion batter into cupcake liners (I use a #16 disher).
8. Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are dry to the touch. Gently remove from the pan and allow to cool on wire racks.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting:
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and salt until light and fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar in batches until fully incorporated.
3. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat until combined. If you think your frosting is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar.
Allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Top with fresh blueberries. Eat. Smile. Enjoy.