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Lemon and blueberry are definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations. The bright flavors of the lemon highlight the blueberries and remind me of everything I love about the warmer weather. Now I know we are not close to the hot weather yet but I am taking a little trip to spring and the warm glare of the sun to help me get through this cold that I can't seem to shake. So these lemon and blueberry cupcakes are basically therapeutic. So it's okay that I had two (and a half) of them.
After my lime and blackberry cupcakes, I thought it would be a delicious way to showcase these two flavors. Instead of doing it exactly the same, I mixed the cranberry syrup in some of the icings to create a delicate swirling effect that's so perfect for spring.
You can use whatever lemons you have available, but I loved using the Meyer lemons in these lemon and blueberry cupcakes. They add a bright, floral note to the cupcakes that really bring home the feeling of spring. (Are you realizing how desperate I am for something spring in my life now?). It's also sweeter than the regular lemons you find, which works well here on these cupcakes.
Can we take a minute to adore the eddies a little more here? I never did many swirls of colors in my buttercream and I was so nervous I wasn't going to come out. To do this, I divided about a third of the frosting before adding the thick cream. The third one I pulled out, I slowly added cranberry syrup until I got the color I wanted. Not a serious blueberry flavor… I was primarily interested in getting a really delicate color that wasn't too bold, but I used mashed blueberry chunks to add stains to show its freshness. Then I started randomly adding scoops of blueberry frosting with the regular frosting in the piping bag in hopes that it would add chunks of the blueberry shade randomly while covering them. It came out even better than I imagined.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
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Lemon sponge cakes with swirls of blueberry syrup topped with lemon frosting with a swirl of blueberries
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Time to cook: 25 minutes
Extra time 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
For the blueberry sauce
- 2/3 cups blueberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups cake flour (all-purpose unbleached flour can also be used)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of two lemons
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 12 teaspoons cranberry sauce
For the frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 – 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
- 2 – 3 tablespoons thick cream
- Make the cranberry sauce. Add the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Lightly mash and continue cooking until the liquid forms a thick syrup. Set aside to cool.
- While the sauce cools, start the cupcakes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a mixer, add the butter, sugar, and lemon zest and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Hit the eggs one at a time. Make sure to beat well after adding each egg. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Mix the buttermilk and lemon juice.
- Alternate between adding flour (in three additions) and buttermilk / lemon mixture (in two additions). Stir until combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners with the dough so that it is approximately 2/3 full. Add a teaspoon of cranberry sauce to the dough and use a toothpick to swirl.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon zest and then the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well between each addition. The mix may seem crisp, that's fine.
- Separate about 1/3 of the frosting and place it in a small bowl. Mix a little of the cranberry sauce until it forms a light purple color. Set aside.
- Add the thick cream to the remaining 2/3 of the frosting until it reaches the desired consistency; it should be approximately the same consistency as the blueberry portion.
- Place a pipe bag with the desired pipe tip. Start by adding both icings, primarily using the lemon icing with spoons of the sporadically added blueberry icing.
- Put the frosting on the cupcakes and decorate as you wish!
1 Calories: 458 Total Fat: 18 g Saturated Fat: 11 g Trans Fat: 0 g Unsaturated Fat: 6 g Cholesterol: 77 mg Sodium: 323 mg Carbohydrates: 73 g Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 57 g Protein: 4 g