Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Double Vanilla Cupcakes and Real Raspberry Buttercream!

Uh oh!  It's Tuesday and I'm only just getting round to writing this weekend's blog post.  But, although it was all the busy this weekend I did get some time to do some baking for a friend's birthday :-) 
 
After making a lot of cake recently, all seeming to be lemon flavoured, I wanted to try something new this time.  But what?!  ...  I toyed with the idea of incorporating some kind of chocolates or candy into the cupcakes, but I REALLY wanted to use these super pretty Spring cupcake wrappers I was given!  I love the pastel colours, and the small pretty flowers... so I felt the chocolatey colours wouldn't work with them.  Instead I needed to think of a pretty colour to go with them!
 
 
And so, the idea of a real raspberry buttercream came to me!  I baked a basic vanilla cupcake, but upped the ante with my usual buttercream by adding raspberries!  I'm so happy that the beautiful Spring pink colour was made without food colouring and was a totally fresh feel to my usual buttercream!

So here's how it went! ... The recipe below will make 9 cupcakes (there were 9 of us bowling for my friend's birthday and they fit SO well in a cake box for her!!) and we have a TONNE of baking at home leftover from the youth group's 2nd annual Fun(d) Fair that we didn't need any more for just us!  But do double up the recipe to make more, especially if you're treating your Mum this Sunday!

Ingredients:

4oz unsalted butter
4oz vanilla sugar (or regular sugar for slightly less vanilla flavour)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 self-raising flour

Method:

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375°F/190°C and line cupcake tray with cupcake cases. 

2.  Cream together the butter and the vanilla sugar.  A long while ago, after baking with vanilla pods, I thought about using the leftover pod and adding it to a mason jar full of sugar.  Since then I hadn't used the vanilla sugar, but when I opened up the jar on Sunday the smell was perfect!  An extra hit of vanilla to make these a double vanilla cupcake :-) 

 
3.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, and then add in the vanilla extract.

 
4.  Sift the flour and beat well until combined.

 
5.  Scoop the batter into prepared cupcake cases.  I used a small OXO cookie scoop and needed 2.5 scoops per cupcake for it to rise to the perfect level.
 
 
6.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top, springy to the touch and when a cake tester comes out clean.

 
7.  Leave to cool on a wire rack and in the meantime, prepare your buttercream!
 
Ingredients:
 
4oz butter, softened
8oz icing sugar
1 cup raspberries - fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
 
Method:
 
1.  Measure out your raspberries (this time I used frozen as obviously, as usual was on a time crunch in the baking!  But next time for sure I will try fresh and see if it changes the taste... But fresh or frozen, whichever you choose - it's still a delicious real raspberry fresh flavour for the buttercream!)

 
2.  Add the lemon juice and puree the raspberries with a hand blender, and then strain through a sieve to eliminate the thousands of seeds.  From this I got about 2 and a half tablespoons of raspberry puree which all went into the buttercream.
 
 
3.  Cream together the soft butter, icing sugar and milk until light and fluffy.

 
4.  Add the raspberry puree and watch the colour go a beautiful shade of pink!  The more puree, the deeper the colour.  For me, I could have kept adding raspberries - not for the colour but for the tart taste... However my love for lemon and other tart fruit flavours isn't shared as much as everybody and my number one taste-tester husband said he could definitely taste the raspberry flavour in the buttercream so I stayed put and didn't go too crazy!
 
5.  Pipe your buttercream and enjoy your pretty in pink real raspberry cupcakes!
 
I used a Wilton tip 1M to pipe the buttercream onto my cupcakes.  With the liners already looking like they had flower petals, I wanted to pipe a low flower like swirl on top of the cupcakes.  Here's how they turned out!
 
 
Some quick photos before we headed downtown to The Ballroom in Toronto to have a delicious dinner and some fun bowling ~ even if I did lose!
 

 
The buttercream was a really great texture to pipe - I think the raspberry puree contributed to this and can't wait to try some other natural flavours and colours in future cupcakes!




 
Did you see this Sneak Peek on my Facebook or Instagram?  If you love baking, then please do follow me!  Those are the two places I update to most of all... and even if the blog post was a little late, I was glad to still have had time to post a little preview last night!!

 
I hope you get to try doing some baking with fresh or frozen fruit! ... It made a great change for me than just using lemon juice and lemon zest (although real fruit as well), or extracts and I can't wait for something to try next... Maybe strawberry...mango...blueberry... Mmm Summer is coming and so are the great fruit flavours that come with it :-)
 
Do send a picture of these if you make them for Mother's Day this weekend ♥

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