Blueberry Lemon Basil Cupcakes

Hubby and I are in a cooking club. We meet once a month at someones house. The host picks a theme and we all make something from that theme and watch a movie that also fits into the theme. This month, hubby and I hosted and our theme was “Stuff It!” (and we watched The Right Stuff). I decided to make Stuffed tomatoes, Bacon wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates, Stuffed strawberries, and of course Stuffed cupcakes. I’ll be posting about the rest of those goodies soon…

So for the cupcakes, I wanted to do something summery. Hubby loves blueberries so I decided to do lemon cupcakes stuffed with blueberries and blueberry preserves. I found this recipe while I was on the hunt for a good lemon recipe and was intrigued at the idea of putting basil into the frosting. So I made half of my frosting without the basil and half with the basil.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the basil flavor in the frosting. I thought it could have used a little more basil. Maybe since I did a buttercream instead of frosting, it wasn’t as prominent as the original blogger’s was.

The cake was deliciously lemony and very moist. I really loved this cake. The Swiss meringue buttercream was a hit as always.

Lemon Cupcakes – from A Good Appetite – makes 6 (I doubled to make 12)
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
3 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/4 c plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin tins.

Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Beat the butter until light and fluffy. On high speed, gradually beat in the sugar until light & fluffy. Lower speed and add egg, beating until just blended. Then beat in lemon zest & lemon juice. On low speed beat in flour mixture & yogurt until just blended. This will be a very light fluffy batter.

Divide half the batter evenly among the 6 muffin tins. Place a scant teaspoon of blueberry basil sauce on top of the batter in each cup, try to keep to the center as much as possible. Top with the remaining batter.

Bake for 18 minutes. The edges should just be turning golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

Lemon Basil Buttercream – adapted from DB recipe
– I made a 1/2 batch and it covered my 12 cupcakes. This is the 1/2 batch of frosting:
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 large basil leaves, chopped (next time I’d use more)
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.

The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.

Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.

During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.

On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.

I divided the frosting in 1/2 so that I could make some with and some without the basil. Stir basil into frosting.
To assemble cupcakes:
Once cupcakes are completely cool, use the cone method to put about a tsp of blueberry preserves and 1 fresh blueberry into the cupcakes.

Pipe frosting onto cupcake tops. Garnish with blueberry or small basil leaf.

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13 Responses to “Pomegranate Cranberry Quinoa Salad”

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    1
    Smitten Sugar — January 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I just made Quinoa for the first time myself this week. Love the addition of pomegranate. I will have to try it out!

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    2
    Evan Thomas — January 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I love quinoa! Never tried it with these ingredients. Great recipe!

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    3
    Chelsea — January 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love quinoa, especially in breakfast form! Never had it with pomegranates, yay!

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    4
    The Small Boston Kitchen — January 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Glad you liked! It’s one of my favorites. Also packages up really nicely for a healthy take-to-work lunch!

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    5
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — January 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I adore quinoa because it is so healthy and so filling!

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    6
    ErinsFoodFiles — January 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Yum yum yum! What a yummy looking quinoa dish! I love quinoa, so if you’re looking to find more quinoa recipes, feel free to browse my blog. 🙂

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    7
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet — January 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I love the versatility of quinoa – once you start cooking with it, it’s hard to stop . . . we think it makes a great breakfast, too! Warmed with milk, fruit & a little maple syrup or agave? Energy for the day!

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    8
    Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams — January 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I love a good quinoa recipe. This one sounds worth a try.

  9. #
    9
    Shannon — January 21, 2011 at 1:47 am

    LOVE quinoa and poms 🙂 this looks like a delicious way to enjoy both ingredients!!

  10. #
    10
    Daisy — January 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    don’t worry, I am officially the last one.

  11. #
    11
    Megan — January 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I’m glad you tried it! I love quinoa. I think it’s second to Israeli couscous in my book. And pomegranates — love them. This sounds delicious!

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    12
    kitchenmisfit — January 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I am surprised by the chicken stock! It seems like it should be a sweet dish. I love quinoa and my husband does too!

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    13
    Cheryl — January 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I have been reading about quinoa the “superfood” and how good it is for us. I bought some awhile back but hadn’t used it so I decided to try your recipe. OMG! I love it! I didn’t have pomegranate seeds and instead of almonds I used toasted pecans and also added orange zest. I will be using quinoa a lot now. Thanks!

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