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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16 Responses to “Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad”

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    Kelsey — January 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m with you–every ingredient in this salad is a winner on it’s own. Together? Forgetaboutit! The colors are beautiful and I can imagine how great it tastes with the balance of bitter, sweet, and tart.

    Love the new layout, also. Way to go!

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    Wicked Goodies — January 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Yum! I am also addicted to kale since doing a CSA here in Boston 🙂

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    Jill McOwen — January 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    It’s so funny, because as I was scrolling through Tastespotting tonight and saw this post, I had to click because it looked so familiar to my winter couscous bowl… and then, I couldn’t believe it when I saw my blog credited at the bottom! This is a first for me 🙂 Thanks so much for the credit!

    So you’ve recently moved back to Cincinnati? Which part? My family and I live in Anderson Township.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Thanks so much for the recipe!!

      We work in West Chester and are living in Oakley right now. Trying to find a house at some point…

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    Megan — January 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think this sounds amazing, Jen! And I love how colorful it is. I am always looking for new winter salads that are colorful, flavorful, and interesting.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

      This is definitely colorful, flavorful, and interesting. I have seriously been OBSESSED with pomegranates this winter, and this salad totally feeds into that obsession.

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    Sues — January 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I’m on a major quinoa AND kale kick so this salad is right up my alley. So colorful and pretty, too!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

      Pretty food is definitely always tastier than ugly food 🙂

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    Shannon — January 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    looks a lot like the one i posted last week 🙂 obviously, i’m all over it!!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      Very similar indeed!

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    Michelle — January 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is perfect for that kale and pomegranate I have in the fridge! I’m always excited to find new things to put together ahead of time for lunches and dinners, thanks! Hope you are settling in nicely 🙂

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Making food ahead of time saves the day during the week! I can’t imagine not eating leftovers… Things are going pretty well for us in Ohio so far. Hope things are going well for you and your little bundle on the way!

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    Cara — January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Sounds great to me! I love the ingredients. And the colors 🙂

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    ErinsFoodFiles — January 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    This sounds right up my alley! YUM!!

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    Sarah — November 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I was thinking about an easy and colorful, flavorful, and power-packed healthy side dish to bring for a potluck lunch after a trail work party this coming weekend. I had these amazing cute pumpkins to harvest from my garden and love both kale and quinoa. I thought to myself, mmmm, what if I made some kind of pumpkin kale quinoa and goat cheese salad to share? One quick internet search and I came across this gem! I modified and concocted a tad, which is normal for me. Thanks so much for the recipe and ingredient confirmations! The honey, olive oil, and smokey / spicy combo was the secret ingredient for me! Happy fooding!

    • beantownbaker — November 3rd, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! I am always tweaking recipes to make them fit what I have on hand and what we like too.

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