Went to a potluck/bbq and was asked to bring something for dessert. I wanted to bake and decided to steal my colleague’s idea and make lemon cupcakes & Raspberry Buttercream. It seemed like something that was light AND decadent, one of my two favorite things.
So. I found the recipe below from a great baking blog – Baking with Basil.
I made a few modifications, I added more lemon zest and added a little zest from a pomelo I had lying around. I thought about adding pomelo rind simple syrup or orange extract, but I was afraid of going to far off course flavor wise. I also added one of my favorite bakers secret — butter cream extract. (More to come up on that.)
The cupcakes turned out wonderfully– the batter was the fluffiest batter imaginable– it looked mouse. NB: despite the large amount of baking powder- mind didn’t rise too much. With the first batch, they were a little small, I’d fill it more than 3/4.
Light, delish, & zing-y.
and the Beast.
Then came the butter cream. The recipe seemed so simple. I put my last two sticks of butter in the stand mixer, things are cruising along– and I added a pint of fresh rasberries. It turned a beautiful pink color and then– tragedy struck. My butter cream BROKE! Suddenly, there’s white dots all over my butter cream. Gross, white, fat spots ruining the whole thing. Has this every happened to you?
I had less than an hour to try to salvage the situation and frantically searched online. Fortunately, I found some message boards and pieced together what to do.
While it still tasted great, it looked very unappetizing. I put the butter cream in a glass pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water (a double boiler?) and kept wisking it. The spotty fat in the butter in the frosting melted back, and turned the whole batch of frosting super silky with a lovely sheen.
Unfortunately, after this emergency rescue intervention– the frosting was still not thick enough! I put it in the fridge for a few hours (during the bbq) and I couldn’t get it set up. So, I managed to salvage the look- but not the texture. My dream of swirly piles of creamy raspberry frosting, dashed.
Anyone know what I did wrong?
Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Grated zest of 3 lemons
- 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup blueberry puree
- 2-3 tbsp blueberry juice (from puree)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- 5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar
1. With a mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.
2. Add blueberry puree, blueberry juice, vanilla, lemon zest and salt, and mix on medium-low until well-combined.
3. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until combined. Then beat for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Cupcakes are best served the day they are made.
- Store cupcakes in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- For more of a lemon flavor in the frosting, simply add more lemon zest.