Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Berry Cupcakes

So, I must say, I don't have a tweaked to perfection basic cake recipe. Googling won't even really find you what you're looking for. Most cookbooks don't have basic cake recipes, either. But, for now I will refer you to the one I have used in the past. If you are lazy like me, consider using a box mix - they make it very cheap and very simple (you'll need water, eggs and vegetable oil). I go for white or yellow and always add in the whole egg, the cake being yellow is fine, since they are lemon flavored. The key to these cupcakes is the added ingredients and the filling. I love cupcakes with a surprise in the middle.

Lemon Berry Cupcakes

You Will Need:
  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Small Mixing Bowl
  • Hand Mixer
  • 1 Cup Measuring Cup
  • 1/4 Cup Measuring Cup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Fine Grater
  • Spoon
  • Muffin Pan
  • Cupcake Papers

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder (3 1/2 Teaspoons for you lazy ones like me)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • 1 1/4 Cups White Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla (2 1/2 Teaspoons if you've kept them out :)
  • Zest From 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Jar of Berry (I like blackberry) Jam, Jelly or Preserves (the more fruit content, the better - if you're going to the grocery store and not just using left overs, get preserves)
  • Handful of Berries (fresh or frozen, doesn't have to be the same fruit as the jam, it's all good - make it lemon triple berry cupcakes if you feel like going crazy with it)
  • 1/2 Package of Cream Cheese

Secret Ingredients:
  • Lemon Juice (you can squeeze fresh from the lemon you grated, but I tend to need even more lemony flavor... I usually have lemon juice on hand and can use more than 6 tablespoons)
  • Lemon or Vanilla Pudding Dry Mix (add to make a denser cake - don't add as much lemon juice or substitute for vanilla extract)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream or Vanilla Yogurt (this will make it more moist, but fluffier than the pudding mix)
  • 2 Tablespoons - 1/4 Cup White Sugar to Filling Mixture (I like mine more tart, but a little more sugar never hurt, right??)

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake papers
  2. In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar
  3. Add milk
  4. Beat in eggs
  5. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice
  6. Grate in lemon zest
  7. Sift (yes, sifting again - trust me, consistency makes such a difference) flour, baking soda and baking powder
  8. Fill cupcake papers to cover bottom, one spoonful
  9. In small mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth
  10. Add egg and beat 
  11. Mix in preserves, fruit and optional sugar
  12. Add small spoonful of filling to muffin pan
  13. Cover the top of each cupcake with another spoonful of cake mix, filling 3/4 of the way
  14. Bake 20-25 minutes (poke a middle cupcake with a toothpick, if it comes out without any crumbs or goo - you're golden)
  15. Top with your favorite vanilla or cream cheese frosting (I am not the frosting queen... Try out Food Network Site's Cream Cheese Frosting)
These cupcakes are definitely my favorite. I love sunshiny tastes - these literally burst in your mouth - and no, not like a gusher fruit snack, hehe. The lemon zest makes for a more complex texture and adds another level of flavor - it's not as bursty as the tart berries and lemon juice, so if you're looking for a subtle flavor, you can't go wrong with just the zest. Lemon and berry flavors are a great combination when you're looking for something not too sweet or rich. Perfect to brighten any dreary day!


  1. These sound prefect! I'm not a huge fan of super sweet cupcakes and this looks like a nice balance of tart, fruit sweet and sugar sweet.

  2. I don't like super sweet, either. I used to not even like chocolate, although that now seems blasphemous to admit. Fruit has always been my staple sweet tooth craving. I can hear my mom saying, "fruit is nature's candy!"