I'm officially wigging out over how quickly this summer is flying by. Living in northeastern Wisconsin means trudging through an average winter that lasts 6-7 months. The first measurable accumulation of snow is typically the week after Halloween and by mid-April, the last of the black encrusted ice/snow piles are finally melting. The non-winter loving bunch residents long for the dog days of summer, so when those days speed by before we've had ample opportunity to delight in them, I throw in the red penalty flag on Father Time. Slow down, you old man! I haven't been cherry picking yet and you're already teaming up with the farmers to push all of my favorite summer berries off of the store shelves. Seriously?! How rude!
Since I have such a short span of time to hop on the berry train, I decided to pick up some fresh blackberries on my last shopping trip. I don't eat them very often, mainly because I prefer smaller, poppable fruits like blueberries and raspberries, but the flavor of fresh blackberries convinced me to grab a couple of pints and get a two-bite fruit fix.
I had a couple of limes waiting to be used and really like the combination of tart limes with sweet berries, so I knew these two fruits needed to make an appearance together. I used my standard recipe for vanilla bean cupcakes because they're incredibly moist and have the structure to support a heavier fruit like blackberries. If you're not in the mood to make cupcakes with a scratch recipe, a boxed yellow or white cake mix will work with this recipe, too.
BAKER'S TIP: If you add half of a small box of instant pudding and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, lemon, or almond extract to your boxed cake mix batter, it'll give your cupcakes additional moisture and a nice punch of flavor.
The whipped cream frosting is something that you won't want to take shortcuts with. This is the fluffiest, creamiest frosting I've ever eaten, and because it doesn't have loads of butter and confectioner's sugar in it, it's light, flavorful, and not overly sweet. The addition of some cream cheese gives the stability to make it the PERFECT cupcake frosting as far as I'm concerned. The fact that it's incredibly easy to make scores extra points. Give this recipe a try and then come visit me on my new Facebook fan page to let me know what you think!
- 1.5 cups cake flour, plus 2 tablespoons for coating berries
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (use remaining berries to garnish cupcakes)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 16 ounces (2 liquid cups) heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon lime flavored instant gelatin (or any flavor of your choice)
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line cupcake wells with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1.5 cups flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Add butter to the bowl of an electric stand or hand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter (discard the pod, or reserve for another use). Beat at medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until creamy and light in color. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for one more minute.
- Add sugar to the butter mixture and mix for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Mix until incorporated.
- Combine milk and sour cream with vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer. Use 2 tablespoons of flour to coat the blackberries, then gently fold them into the batter.
- Divide batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Before preparing frosting, place whisk attachment and bowl of mixer into the freezer for about 5 minutes. If your bowl and beaters are too warm, the cream will not whip up properly.
- In cold bowl of a stand or hand mixer, add cream cheese and powdered sugar. Whisk on medium speed until combined and creamy.
- With mixer on medium speed, stream in heavy whipping cream. Once incorporated, add gelatin powder and turn mixer speed to high. Whip for 2-3 minutes or until frosting has achieved stiff (but not dry) peaks. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice and decorate as desired.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION DISCLAIMER
Nutritional information was calculated using the free recipe calculator tool available on the SparkPeople.com website. Please be aware that nutritional information for some ingredients is submitted by SparkPeople users, and it may not be accurate.
I shared this recipe on the Cooking with Curls "Best of the Weekend" link party!