Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Taste of the Season: Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I know I've said before that one of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. In fact, I feel unmotivated to bake during the summer both because of the heat and also because it's kind of unnecessary when I have so many naturally sweet treats sitting in my kitchen. However, I had no choice but to bake for our book club meeting. I fear there would be an uprising if they were to show up and find I'd neglected to make something yummy. After sending them waddling out the door last month, stuffed to the brim with Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes, I figured I should give them a bit of a break this time around. Plus I'd just stocked up on fresh blueberries and always love the combination of lemon and blueberries. 

The cupcakes I settled on are perfect for the season. Buttery cake studded with blueberries and lots of lemon flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice. The lemon cream cheese frosting is tangy and refreshing. Honestly, you can't go wrong with this combination and this recipe is a simple way to make those flavors shine.

My only complaint is that some of my cupcakes were a little puny. It's been so long since I last made these that I can't recall if that happened before. Next time I might make the same amount of batter but make just 10 cupcakes. Several of mine only hit the top of the paper liners once they'd domed.

I've had this recipe in my baking arsenal for years and somewhere along the line lost the source. If you recognize it please let me know as I feel incredibly guilty not having anyone to cite.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Recipe from ??? (Please let me know if you recognize this recipe)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon oil or lemon extract
2/3 cup fresh blueberries

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners. If you would like bigger cupcakes try 9-10 liners instead.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3) In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and egg until smooth. Add yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and lemon oil/extract, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Gently fold blueberries into the batter.
4) Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) In a bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together cream cheese, butter, and salt until creamy.  
2) With mixer on low speed, beat in two cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Increase speed to medium-high, beating until light and fluffy. 
3) Add lemon zest and juice, beating until mixed. Add extra powdered sugar if necessary. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes before spreading/piping onto cupcakes.