There are few flavor combinations that I love more than lemon and blueberry. The sunny bright flavor from the lemon, and the subtle sweetness and gorgeous hue from the berries. I baked these lovely cupcakes for a Relay for Life radio auction here on the lower Shore, but I managed to keep a few to enjoy and take a few pictures of so I could share the recipe with you guys!
As always, I used my favorite vanilla cupcake and vanilla buttercream recipe, then glammed it up a bit. Some lemon zest and lemon extract in the cake batter gives it that lemony punch that I was looking for. For the frosting, I cooked fresh blueberries down a bit with some sugar to soften up, then pureed and added to the buttercream. It creates a gorgeous color, that just screams “spring”!
Garnish with a single, fresh blueberry – and you’ve got yourself one delicious cupcake. This makes a large batch too, usually for me it ends up being around 30 cupcakes. I never have a problem getting folks to take them off my hands though, I’m sure you won’t either! Take advantage of all the delicious berries popping up in stores right now, and make these cupcakes soon.
Lemon Cupcakes w/ Blueberry Buttercream
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 lemon, zested
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
fresh blueberries, for garnish
To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and lemon zest. Beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl and beat for 1 more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the lemon and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Fill the cupcakes liners 2/3 of the way full with batter (I like to use a large cookie scoop). Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in pan about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, place the blueberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until blueberries soften and burst. Puree in a food processor or blender. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter over medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and carefully add in the confectioners sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the vanilla extract, as well as the blueberry puree. Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and frosting is combined.
Frost cupcakes as desired and garnish with a fresh blueberry.