Friday, May 4, 2012

Blueberry Cupcakes

No food coloring, just beautiful vibrant blueberries produced this lovely purple speckled frosting. Its a cream cheese based frosting with blueberry puree mixed in, very quick and super simple to whip up. It tastes sweet and creamy with a signature blueberry flavor that doesn't overpower. The cupcake itself is my absolute favorite buttermilk cake with blueberries folded in. This cake has a deliciously tender crumb that is magically light and dense at the same time, the flavor is unbeatable. It really needs no adornment but my boyfriend wanted this pretty colored frosting he saw when my laptop was opened on tastespotting so I happily tried it out. The sweet tart flavor from the bursting blueberries inside the cupcake was a perfect match for this delicious and eye-appealing frosting. A perfect cupcake treat for Summer.

Blueberry Cupcakes

For the cupcakes
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups blueberries (thawed if frozen)

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together over a medium sized bowl and set aside. Lighlty whisk the eggs together in small bowl to ensure even distribution in the batter, set aside. Combine the buttermilk and extracts in a measuring cup and set aside.

Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until its lighter in color and satiny, 30-45 seconds. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Cream for 4-5 minutes until its light in color and fluffy in appearance, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Slowly add the eggs 1 at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. If the mixture appears watery or broken, stop adding the eggs and mix until the mixture appears smooth and silky again then resume adding the eggs.

Do the next part by hand. Add the flour in 4 additions alternately with the milk in 3 additions. To be clear, Add a fourth of the flour, to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, stir just until combined. Then add a third of the milk mixture and stir just until combined. Repeat, making sure to start and end with the flour. Fold in the blueberries.

Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Blueberry Frosting
adapted from casual baker

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup blueberry puree*
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the blueberry puree and almond extract just until combined. Add the icing sugar gradually and beat until smooth and spreadable.
Frost the cooled cupcakes as you desired. The frosting is somewhat sticky.

For the blueberry puree, simmer 1 cup of blueberries in a small saucepan for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before making the frosting.

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