Living in the Caribbean is wonderful but also can become pretty hot especially July-September. Even though it is perfect weather for the beach, sometimes the search for something refreshing can be frustrating.
So what alternatives do we have to drinking lots of water or lemonade? Tea and food, in my case desserts. How can a dessert be refreshing you may ask, citrusy and fruity desserts are super refreshing. So Berry and Lemon cupcakes were a definitive option to consider.
Since this was some time ago, I will tell the story behind these amazingly yummy cupcakes.
It was August and classes had just begun. We were just moved into our new apartment and I was excited to put the new open concept kitchen with an island to the test. Ever since we moved in together my now husband was excited about baking. Well on a warm Sunday morning I decided I wanted to venture into the world of baking and try to do cupcakes. I had searched for numerous recipes on Pinterest and had started a sweets board.
We had bought the baking ingredients the previous week, we always have them in stock for homemade pancakes, and some lemons for the lemon juice. I had not liked the strawberries at the supermarket so I decided to use some frozen ones we already had.
Doing the dishes and prepping everything was so exciting I was practically jumping around the kitchen. I propped up the recipe and began measuring ingredients. My husband was my sou chef and he was working the mixer. Everything was looking good but just as I added the lemon juice to the cake batter the whole apartment was infused with sweet lemon scent.
We propped them in the oven an began cleaning up to work on the frosting. Oh the frosting.
Now I am going to explain a little bit. I am/was a completely novice baker. I was also very naive. So I will tell you about my HUGE mess up doing the frosting so that you won’t make the same mistake I did, which is funny but completely naive as well. So here it goes: the recipe called for powdered sugar, me being naive and a novice was not 100% sure what that meant and I thought it was normal granulated sugar. For this reason I had not bought confectioner’s sugar. So when the recipe called for 2 cups of powdered sugar, I put granulated sugar. Yes, I know what you are thinking.
Thinking back I have no idea why I did not go to the internet and research which one it was before adding it but it was too late by then. So when the frosting was coming out very very granulated we were like “we are screwed” and googled it and found out what a huge mistake I had done.
Now here is where my wonderful sou chef of a husband came in to save the day. Coming from a baker’s home (not professional, but my Mother in law bakes like a professional baker) he began thinking on the spot. We began upping the amount of frozen fruit and liquid the recipe called for in order to be able to dilute the granulated sugar. We also began to add more lemon juice.
Lo and behold we finally like the consistency and flavor and put it in the fridge to let it sit a little. Cupcakes were already out and cooling and a little later we began piping the frosting on the cupcakes.
The result: THEY WERE DELICIOUS
I was so proud of myself and so thankful that my husband was there to help me out because in those situations I tend to get stressed out, upset, and worried I will ruin everything.
I definitely recommend this recipe if you are looking for a yummy, sweet and tangy, refreshing dessert that can make for a fun Sunday afternoon.
We made some modifications to the frosting additional to the sugar dilution situation. These were because we did not have fresh fruit and were using frozen ones. The frozen fruit came in a mixed package with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The mixture that we actually used was raspberries and strawberries in order to get the proper amount.
If you are like me and baking is a yummy and fun distraction that you can use to relax I urge you to not be afraid to screw up and go for it. For me baking has become a passion and it is something that I do to unwind and relax during my study breaks because it requires all my attention to be on the recipe and not on school or things that need to be done.
Everyone of my friends LOVED these cupcakes and I can’t wait to do them again.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 egg at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon strawberry puree (about 1/2 cup diced strawberries blended or processed)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside. In the bowl of stand mixer fit with a paddle, on medium, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time until well mixed. Beat in the vanilla extract, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice until combined.
Add the reserved flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low for 1-2 minutes, until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. *Batter will be thicker than normal.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, distributing the batter evenly. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then take the cupcakes out of the pan and continue cooling on a cooling rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a bowl, whisk the butter until smooth. Then slowly whisk the powdered sugar in until combined and fluffy. Whisk the lemon juice and strawberry puree into the frosting until just combined.
Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes when they are completely cool.