Lemon Cupcakes with Pomegranate, Blackberry Buttercream

I wouldn’t call this last weekend a good weekend. Man, was I in a bad mood. Saturday was the anniversary of my friend’s death, I’m sure that’s what really caused it. Then Sunday I didn’t have my “mommy alone time” which always ruins my mood. It just seemed like some collective crap that just ruined it! But, I managed to make some pretty good cupcakes anyway. Lemon cupcakes with either Pomegranate or Blackberry Buttercream. I didn’t have a huge amount of luck with my pomegranate buttercream, because, without thinking, I had kept my pomegranate juice in the freezer after reducing it (it needed to cool, I kind of forgot about it). So, obviously it was quite cold when I went to add it to my buttercream. But, I was impatient and just wanted this to be over this weekend! (See, bad mood.)

The cupcakes were pretty easy!

Lemon Cupcakes:
Yields 24 cupcakes. Prep time: 25 minutes Bake time: 18 minutes. Total time: 43 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
Zest from 2 lemons
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. (You could also use vanilla if you don’t have lemon!)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add ½ of milk, mix. 1/3 of flour mixture, and so on in that fashion until all is combined!
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting!

The frostings took a bit more, as I said before! The recipes are for 24 cupcakes, so, if you want to do half and half as I did, be sure to cut the recipes in half!

Blackberry Buttercream:

Ingredients:
2 cups of blackberries
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) of butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon of salt
8 cups of powdered sugar

  1. In a small saucepan, add the blackberries and lemon juice and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until blackberries are soft enough to mash up. This can take 5-7 minutes. Cool completely. (but not too cold, since our buttercream hates temperature changes!)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with your hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the cooled blackberries (I added in seeds and all, it added a little more texture, you can strain through a fine-mesh strainer if you prefer)
  4. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating slowly.
  5. Add in the salt (don’t skip this step!) and beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
  6. Frost! I added a fresh blackberry to the top for a little showmanship.

 

 

Pomegranate Buttercream:

Ingredients:
½ cups pomegranate juice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar

  1. In a small saucepan place the pomegranate juice and boil until reduced by half. Cool completely. (And don’t forget it in the freezer forever if you’re cooling it that way…)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with your hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating slowly.
  4. Add in the cooled, reduced pomegranate juice and beat until smooth, around 3 minutes.
  5. Frost! I added some fresh seeds to the top, because I absolutely love pomegranate. If you aren’t the type for that crap (I really do hate de-seeding them) just skip and eat your cupcakes!

 

 

The blackberry was DEFINITELY my favorite buttercream, but I’m unsure if it’s because it just worked out better, or if it was just more delicious!

I did manage to get in a good lesson about buttercream/not quitting. This last week my step-daughter had a chance to try out for the dance team again, and she went to the first clinic and then GAVE UP! Because one part was too hard. Well, she also is 11 and doesn’t want to practice!! While I was making this silly pomegranate buttercream, she told me “You must really like buttercream,” I told her it’s one of the hardest things in the world to make, and I hate making it. She said, “Then why do you keep making it?” I said, “I’ll tell you why, because when something is hard, we don’t just quit. We try and try and try, and then we try harder. Because, we are talented people, and sometimes we just need to practice every single day (or week) until we get it right.” And she just kind of looked away, because no one likes being told something like that, especially at 11!

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