Monday, July 9, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Mint

Fluffy, moist and bursting with bright flavours, these luscious Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes, slathered with an amazingly rich, delectably smooth and pillowy buttercream frosting, are like sunshine on a plate. Garnished with a rain of fresh blueberries and a sprig of aromatic mint, it's no small wonder why cupcakes have become such a culinary phenomenon. The secret to this delicious recipe? Freezing the berries before adding them to the batter which prevents them from sinking to the bottom and discoloring the cupcakes. Everyone loves a cupcake, and these perfect bite-size treats are sure to make every occasion a celebration.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Mint
Makes 24 cupcakes

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or low-fat yogurt
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries, frozen for 4 hours

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple sugar
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp (or more) whole milk
1 cup chilled fresh blueberries
Fresh mint sprigs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter and oil until combined. Add the eggs and whisk to blend. Then whisk in the buttermilk, milk, vanilla extract, and peel. Next, add the buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, and whisk just to blend. Stir in the frozen blueberries, then divide the batter among the muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to racks and let cool.

For the frosting, combine the first six ingredients together in medium bowl. Add 4 teaspoons of milk. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is well blended and fluffy, adding more milk by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 4 minutes. 

To decorate, spread the frosting over top of the cupcakes, and garnish with chilled berries and little sprigs of mint.