mini blackberry-vanilla cupcakes
Though these blackberry-vanilla cupcakes come in mini form (I have a personal attachment to petite desserts), each bite yields bold blackberry flavor. From the vanilla cupcake to the honeyed blackberry filling and fresh blackberry buttercream, these beauties are a delight.
Best of all, the gorgeous buttercream hue is au naturel thanks to a quick blackberry reduction. Use the same method with your favorite berry (raspberries would work well) for brilliant buttercreams.
1 cup cake flour*
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
For the blackberry filling, combine blackberries and honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids; return strained mixture to saucepan. Whisk together water and cornstarch in a small bowl; add to fruit mixture and continue cooking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with baking cups; coat lightly with nonstick spray. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
Fill each baking cup half full of batter; add 1/2 teaspoon of blackberry filling plus enough batter to cover the filling. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until golden and tops spring back to the touch. Cool cupcakes for 2 minutes in pans on a wire rack, then carefully remove from pans and place on wire rack to cool completely.
For the blackberry buttercream, puree blackberries in a food processor and strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer until juice has concentrated and reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
Beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl as needed. Add cooled blackberry sauce; beat on medium-high speed until light and airy. Fit a pastry bag with a 2D tip and pipe a spiral onto each cupcake. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving; top with fresh blackberries.
*Make your own cake flour: place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.
Yield – 20 mini cupcakes
Calories – 170 (per cupcake)
Carbs – 27