A Berry Tasty Summer Treat – Berry-Lemonade Cupcakes

It has been a week since our blueberry and blackberry adventure and we continue to work our way through the stash in the fridge.  I had hoped to bake with the berries at some point, other than the impromptu muffins I made for the new neighbors, but I haven’t had a good enough excuse to use my time baking rather than tackling one of the more pressing home projects.  Until this past Sunday.

We had plans to attend a friend’s dinner party and I wanted to contribute something that took advantage of our (still) fresh blueberries and blackberries.  I glanced through recipes online long enough to realize it was just overcomplicating the process.  Instead, I remembered seeing a delicious recipe that my friend, Kelli, had posted awhile back.  While I had not personally tried them, they looked like the perfect summer treat by combining both blueberries and blackberries with lemon!  Besides, we were pressed for time and I had just about all of the ingredients on hand, so I could get moving on the recipe while Justin ran out to pick up a lemon and cream cheese for the frosting.

You can find the recipe on her post or shown below:

BERRY-LEMONADE CUPCAKES

Lemonade-Berry Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes

  • 1 stick softened butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2  cups sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest (1 large lemon should yield enough for the cupcakes as well as the frosting)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole) or buttermilk (make buttermilk by adding 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam – (any berry jam or preserves will do.  Recipe calls for raspberry jam, but I used blackberry preserves as that was what I had on hand.)
  • 1 cup blackberries (extra for topping)
  • 2/3 cup blueberries (extra for topping)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 packages softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (this is another thing I loved about the recipe.  It did not require 4-5 cups of powdered sugar!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh lemon zest to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add one egg at a time and then your lemon zest.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  5. In another bowl, mix 3/4 cup lemon juice, the milk or buttermilk, and vanilla.
  6. Add the flour and buttermilk mixture alternating each addition, beginning and ending with the flour. Once your batter is made, gently fold in your raspberry jam (or preserves), blackberries and blueberries.  Scoop into your cupcake liners, 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.  Let cupcakes cool before icing.
  7. While cupcakes are baking, cream the butter and cream cheese.  Slowly add the powdered sugar until your desired consistency is reached.  Then add the vanilla and lemon zest.

As mentioned, we were in a bit of a rush to make it on time to the dinner party, so I turned to my trusty Ziplock bag frosting trick to finish these bad boys and get on the road.  As we watched the timer count down, my hands were shaking as I poured the frosting into the bag.  Then, when the cupcakes came out of the oven, I nearly scolded my fingers as I placed the piping hot cupcakes onto a plate in the fridge to help the cooling process.  I felt like it was a scene straight out of Cupcake Wars.  All the rushing around was worth it – we made it to the dinner with about 10 minutes to spare and the cupcakes were a hit!  A perfect treat to round out a delicious summer meal.

Here are a couple of photos that I took with my phone as I balanced the cupcakes on my lap en route to the party.

Lemonade-Berry Cupcakes

The recipe yields approximately 24 cupcakes (I ended up with 30 regular sized cupcakes).  As you can see below, I took a dozen cupcakes to the dinner party, which was more than enough, and I had over a dozen left at home.  What does this mean? Justin’s coworkers get to start the week off right come Monday morning.  Who says this can’t double as a well-balanced breakfast?  After all, the recipe includes eggs, milk, flour, berries, cream cheese – it’s practically every breakfast item combined into one!

Lemonade-Berry Cupcakes

We loved this recipe and plan to add it to our growing list of summer treats we will make again in the future.  If you are looking for something to make with blueberries or blackberries that is a little less conventional than your standard cobbler or pie, give this a whirl.  You will not be disappointed.

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