It seems like spring might finally be upon us here in the Midwest. Granted it’s still pretty cold and dreary, but the flowers are up and that’s good enough for me! I decided to make some festive, spring-inspired cupcakes to celebrate the season.
In addition to the blessing of Spring, I am also blessed to have two truly amazing grandmothers who live just a couple hours’ drive away. I took last weekend off from grading my (seemingly endless) stack of student papers and exams to go visit each of my grandmas. Needless to say, it was a much more enjoyable way to spend the weekend.
I’ve been meaning to try my hand at a cupcake bouquet for quite a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The cakes are a dense lemon cake, filled with blueberry pastry filling. Half are topped with a plain lemon frosting, and the remainder have a lemon-blueberry frosting.
I used a slightly adapted version of Martha Stewart’s recipe for Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. I used regular lemons instead, because I feared Meyer lemons would be too sweet paired with the blueberry filling and frosting.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups unsalted room temperature butter
3 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
7 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix together flour, zest, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cream butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low until each is incorporated. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla.
4. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 3-4 batches, mixing until just combined after each.
5. Pour batter in lined cupcake tins and bake about 28 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
2 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
5 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or to taste and consistency)
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
Yellow gel coloring
1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Beat on high for at least 5 minutes until mixture is very fluffy.
2. Add in food coloring, lemon juice, and zest. Beat until smooth.
Blueberry Lemon Frosting:
I don’t have an actual recipe for this one. I took 1/3 of the lemon frosting (before adding the yellow food coloring), added about 1/4 cup of blueberry pastry filling, another stick of butter, and approximately 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. I basically just eyeballed it and tossed in more sugar until I was satisfied with the consistency. I also added a strange combination of purple, red, and blue gel food coloring. I just could not get the color right, no matter how hard I tried. I’ll have to read up on the best way to get a better purpley-blue color before making another blueberry desert!
The best purple-y color I could manage… this handsome guy is not impressed.
I filled each cupcake with a dollop of blueberry pastry filling. I used a canned one to save time, but I image home-made pie filling would be amazing.
To make the flowery design of the frosting, I used a petal tip. See this really helpful video from “My Cupcake Addiction: for step-by-step instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8v2F5gOxzk. I dusted each cupcake with an iridescent shimmer dust, and topped the lemon frosted cakes with a pearl-colored sixlet candy and the blueberry frosted cakes with a lemon drop. I found little candy leaves for a finishing touch.
To make the bouquet, I bought a styrofoam ball and a small decorative bucket. I arranged each cupcake on the foam ball with toothpicks. Make sure to place the toothpicks at 45 degree angles, so the cupcakes don’t fall off. Once the cakes were arranged on the foam, I rolled small pieces of green tissue in between to cover the foam. See here for more detailed instructions: http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2012/04/29/how-to-make-a-cupcake-bouquet/.