At the beginning of the month we talked about strawberries, rhubarb and just how amazing it was to smoosh the two together into muffin form. If you missed all the strawberry fun, head on over to Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins and take a look! This week I had an excess of blueberries to contend with and I *love* me some blueberries. I throw them in yogurt, oatmeal, parfait… have you ever frozen those suckers? It’s like candy – especially if you coat them in some Jell-o powder…Um. Yum. But back to the cupcake-y goodness. I used a very fluffy vanilla cupcake base and added as many blueberries as I could cram into them. I also smashed some of the blueberries to release more flavor into the cupcakes – also good for stress relief 😉 I wanted my cakes to pop so I combined blue and purple food coloring gels in the batter. Look how vibrant they are!
The frosting took me a little longer this time to decide on. I vacillated between chocolate (for choco covered blueberry), more blueberry (which just seemed excessive), and lemon (boringggg). I’ve seen a TON of recipes online for lemon blueberry this and lemon blueberry that, which is great, but I wanted something a little creamier. Something light and silky that would balance the tart and juicy blueberry taste without masking it or taking away from its zing. While I was pacing, and thinking, and arguing with myself…
I mean really…who could snore at a time like this? 🐶 ❤ Despite my loud, woofy, running-in-her-sleep companion interrupting my train of thought, I finally decided that maybe simpler was better. After all, when I think light, creamy, and silky – Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) definitely fits the bill. It has a lighter, whipped consistency that would hold up well to tart and juicy blueberries. But…you all know me by now… and I just can’t do something I’ve done a million times before without throwing a curveball in there.
I decided to try the dreaded and tricky Cream Cheese SMBC. Many people have tried and failed to add cream cheese to SMBC, mostly because they think they can substitute the cream cheese for part of the butter. While others have claimed success, my own experimental batches were less fortunate but taught me how to succeed. The trick is to make your SMBC from start to finish – see Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the full recipe and instructions – and add it to whipped room temperature cream cheese in small batches. The order is important, don’t flip the instructions around and add your cream cheese directly to the big batch of SMBC or it may curdle and not come together. Because I wanted the frosting to remain light without any overpowering flavors, I only used 4 ounces of cream cheese to a whole batch of SMBC, but up to 8 ounces can be used. Once I had my cake and topping picked it was time to get down to business. Voila! Success 🙂
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with 24 liners.
- Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl cream butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes on medium high until light and fluffy, add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. **I typically add food coloring at this stage so that it is well incorporated. To achieve a vibrant blue use blue gel coloring and a tiny bit of purple.
- Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk on low speed until all ingredients are combined, but do not over mix.
- With a fork, lightly mash half of your blueberries.
- Gently fold in your mashed and whole blueberries into your batter with a spatula.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 14-17 minutes or until they spring back when pressed.
- Allow to cool and top with your choice of frosting 🙂 Enjoy!