Lavender Cupcakes with Blueberry Jam and Lemon Buttercream

Last week one of my cousins had a baby shower, and for this event I was asked if I would be willing to make cupcakes as one of the desserts. Always one of my favorite things to make, of course I said yes! I was so excited to have a reason to make cake, and also excited when I found out that creative liberties were being handed to me. The mother-to-be's sister, another one of my cousins, said that she didn't care what kind of cupcakes they were. All she wanted to be able to do was finish them off with some mustache cupcake toppers to match the shower theme, easy enough!

After brainstorming some ideas with Lara we came up with a game plan. I wanted to do lavender cupcakes because the lavender just popped out the last few weeks and I'm loving it! Delicious and seasonal. We thought lemon sounded like a nice combination with the lavender so lemon buttercream was decided for the frosting, and to finish them off with something a little extra special we decided to fill them with a little blackberry jam. Lavender, lemon and blackberry, how could it be bad? 

To answer the above question; it couldn't be bad, and it wasn't! If fact, this may be my favorite cupcake flavor combination yet. They turned out fabulously, the lavender flavor came through very mildly which is what I wanted - I didn't want a cupcake that smelled or tasted like perfume or potpourri. The buttercream was perfectly tart and sweet from the lemon, and the blueberry filling really put it all over the top. Could you skip it, sure, but I don't think they'll be as good!! :) 

 
 

Lavender Cupcakes with Blueberry Jam
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
  • 2 1/4 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (9 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 7/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened, cut into small cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Blueberry jam, for filling

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line cupcake pan(s) with liners.

Place the milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until simmering. Remove from microwave and add the lavender flowers to the milk, stirring to combine. Let milk sit and cool for about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined. 

Once the milk has cooled to around room temperature, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the flowers. Add half of the strained milk and beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the remaining milk, and beat for another 30 seconds.

Fill prepared muffin pans ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans for a couple of minutes, than transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, take a sharp knife and cut out a cone shaped wedge of cake from the top of each cupcake forming a little well. Place a spoonful of blueberry jam into each well. Frost with lemon buttercream (recipe below). 

Yields: 18 cupcakes

Lemon Buttercream
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups (20 ounces) powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt and lemon zest to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes. 

* Note: I wanted a little more stable frosting since it was hot out. After a quick internet search, seemed like a lot of people use a 1:2 ratio of fat to sugar so that's what we did. Worked great, a nice stiff frosting that held up well. The final frosting is very sweet this way, so if it's not as hot I would probably not use this high of a ratio of sugar to butter, but it definitely worked great for this situation!

Festive Lemon Berry Bars

Happy Fourth a few days late! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was incredibly relaxing and lazy, exactly what I was hoping for! One of the few things I did accomplish during this wonderful weekend was baking up a batch of these festive and delicious lemon berry bars. I wanted an easy and quick dessert that was summery and fitting for the 4th of July. These bars fit the bill perfectly, filled with colorful red and blue berries and topped with a simple white glaze. The hint of lemon from some fresh lemon juice and zest was the perfect way to brighten them up for the middle of summer. Light and refreshing, these bars will be wonderful all season long!

The original recipe for these bars called for just blueberries, but I wanted to make them more festive for the holiday so I threw in the strawberries too because I had them on hand. Raspberries would have also been really good. I think pretty much any berry would do very nicely in these bars, so don't feel constrained to just blueberries and/or strawberries. 

When I first pulled the bars out of the oven they looked kind of funny. Since there is no leavening in them, they didn't really rise much, and the top was covered in bubbles which you can kind of see in the pictures. I wasn't sure what they would look like in the end, but once I cut them, and especially after adding the glaze they looked really nice, and quite delicious. So if they turn out a little funny looking at first, have no fear! Just cut them up once cool and add a nice hefty dose of glaze and all should be well!

Festive Lemon Berry Bars

Adapted from 

Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Ingredients

For the Bars:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated zest 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, cut into small pieces

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water or fresh lemon juice 

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8” x 8” pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds. Add lemon juice and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour and salt, mixing until incorporated. Fold in blueberries and strawberries.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until skewer inserted into brownies comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack to room temperature.

To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and water or lemon juice. Spread over bars and let firm up, about 10 minutes.

Blueberry Cobbler Bars

October is here, fall has officially begun, the weather is getting colder by the day, the trees are finally changing color, and I even pulled out my winter jacket to go to the farmers market yesterday morning! Fall recipes are everywhere, and pumpkin is the main topic on seemingly every food blog. Before I jump on the band wagon with some more fall-ish recipes, I have one more more summery bar that I just had to share. I saw these blueberry cobbler bars a few months ago, and knew I had to get them made while blueberries were still around. A sweet, buttery crust covered in a sour cream custard and tons of fresh blueberries, finished off with more buttery crumbles. It's a quick and easy recipe, full of freshness and reminiscent of summer. If you have any summer blueberries floating around your freezer that just want to be used, this is the perfect opportunity. 

With the butter crust and topping, and sour cream in the custard filling, these bars are quite rich so you don't need to cut them very big at all. But cut into cute little bite size squares these bars are a fun and delicious snack to bring you back to those mid July days full of fresh berries and fresh flavors. 

Blueberry Cobbler Bars

From 

Tidy Mom

Ingredients

Crust & Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8-oz fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

Directions

For crust/topping:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment & give a light spritz with cooking spray. Set aside. 

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add to the flour mixture. Using a fork for pastry cutter, cut the butter in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture to use as the topping & set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of prepared pan, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes.

For filling:

Whisk the eggs in another medium bowl. Add the granulated and brown sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla extracts. Whisk well. Gently fold in the berries and pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling. Bake 45-55 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting & serving

Blueberry Orange Muffins

Blueberry season is still going strong around here, and I am so happy that I have finally jumped on the blueberry bandwagon, they are just so good. It wasn't really until last summer that I truly began to love blueberries, but now there is no doubt that they are one of my favorite fruit. They are so sweet, and juicy, and so much fun to bake with. There is so much you can do with a blueberry. 

Today I'm sharing a classic, the blueberry muffin, but it's a blueberry muffin with a twist. To add some pizzaz and an extra punch of flavor to these muffins, grab an orange and add the zest and juice straight to the batter. Then whip up a nice chunky streusel and sprinkle on top. The sweet citrus notes from the orange and the buttery goodness of the streusel compliment the juicy blueberries and tender muffin. It's the perfect match, and one of the best blueberry muffins I've ever had. 

This is a quick and easy recipe. Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients and then just mix them together and fold in the blueberries. A quick streusel for the top and you're done. I have made this recipe a couple times now, and it's always good. However, one time I decided to try and cut back a little on the oil, make it a little healthier if I could, so I replaced half of the oil with yogurt. They turned out pretty well, baked up just fine, the texture was pretty normal, but I have to admit, the flavor just wasn't there. Still a nice muffin, but without that wow factor. Fat just tastes good! So if you want to cut back a bit on the oil, go right ahead, but be warned, they won't be quite as good. But still worth making for sure. 

Blueberry Orange Muffins

From

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

by Sarabeth Levine 

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 1 large seedless orange
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the streusel topping:

  • 6 tbsp unbleached white flour
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2½ tbsp butter, melted

Directions

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin liners or brush the insides of the cups with butter.

Grate the zest of the orange and set it aside. Slice the orange in half and juice both sides. You should have about ⅓ cup of juice.

Whisk the oil, milk, orange juice, orange zest, and eggs together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquids and stir with a spoon, just until combined. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

Portion the batter out into the muffin cups, filling almost to the top.

To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl, using your fingers, until well combined and crumbly.

Sprinkle the muffin tops with the streusel.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375F degrees and continue to bake until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 10-15 minutes more. (If you are using frozen berries, allow for a few extra minutes.)

Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins to a baking rack and cool completely.