There is a (very popular) local bakery that has a buy one, get one free offer on cupcakes on Mondays. A few friends of mine brought it to my attention a few months ago, so I had no choice but to head on over to the bakery one week to give their cupcakes a try. Of course, since my jeans are tight enough as it is, I took my hubby with me so I would not be tempted to eat two cupcakes.
I chose a chocolate bacon cupcake and he chose a strawberry lemonade cupcake (at the suggestion of the aforementioned friends). We each enjoyed a taste of each other’s cupcake and compared notes. You will never hear me critique food made for me by friends and family (geez, I’m thrilled when someone actually offers to cook or bake for me!)… But, pricey bakery cupcakes are fair game in my book. And, in the case of these particular cupcakes, I was quite underwhelmed. My hubby, who has done quite a bit of cupcake testing over the years, was also rather unimpressed by the cupcakes.
I liked the concept of the strawberry lemonade cupcake, a strawberry cupcake with lemonade flavored frosting, but it was sickeningly sweet. I was convinced that I could do better (which is something I claim a lot at bakeries, I confess… Whether or not it is really true remains to be seen). I made a mental note to give my own version a try in the near future.
Last weekend I finally had a chance to bake some cupcakes of my own (for the person who recommended the strawberry lemonade cupcake, strangely enough)… I didn’t really plan ahead, so I had to make a few flavor substitutions. I was running low on strawberries, so I made blueberry cupcakes instead. And, since I had a stockpile of limes sitting on my kitchen counter, I opted to go with a lime flavored frosting instead of lemon. I happen to like lime better anyway. So, these blueberry limeade cupcakes were born.
Personally, I was thrilled with how they turned out… I tasted the frosting quite a few times, making sure it was the right balance of tart (if you’re going to make a limeade cupcake, it needs to be tart!) and sweet. Then, I tried them out on quite a few people… My hubby, my dad, and the friends who enjoyed the cupcakes at a cookout were all happy with the recipe.
From now on, I’ll be skipping the bakery and making my own… Now I just have to tackle the bacon cupcakes!
Blueberry Limeade Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
For the frosting:
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 limes
- 4 – 5 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
To bake the cupcakes, preheat hte oven to 350°F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper cups and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg whites, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract and lime zest.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and yogurt. While mixing on the lowest speed (or stirring by hand), add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Be sure to start and end with the dry ingredients, mixing (or stirring) just enough to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake the cupcakes for 18-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare the frosting, place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Zest and juice the two limes and add both the zest and juice to the whipped butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating the mixture until smooth after each addition. Add enough sugar to achieve a spreadable consistency. Once the icing is the right consistency, season with the sea salt (to taste).
Frost the cooled cupcakes generously with the icing and decorate with additional blueberries and paper straws, if desired.