Today was a lovely day. I took the day off from work to spend some time with the kids. We went blueberry picking early this morning. I’m originally from Northern Ontario so blueberry picking when I was a kid meant hiking into the hills behind my house to pick wild blueberries. Nothing compares to the taste of those berries. Here in New England blueberry picking means visiting a local farm and picking berries from trees. This is the first time I’ve been blueberry picking here and while I was picking this morning I couldn’t help but think “This is so easy. I can stand up and pick and my back isn’t sore.” The kids did a great job. My son was so serious about getting the boxes filled up and my daughter was searching for the biggest ones. These blueberries were really very good even if they aren’t as good as the wild ones.
So with a fridge full of blueberries I decided to bake some blueberry cupcakes. I had bookmarked this recipe from Blondie’s Cakes & Things. My daughter and I were excited about the color of those cupcakes. But she wasn’t very happy about the smell of the blueberries cooking when I made the puree. That smell almost turned her off the cupcakes all together. She questioned me thoroughly about how it actually tasted before she would try a bite. After that she was sold on these. She was proud of herself for trying them and liking it.
Blueberry Cupcakes (Adapted from Blondie’s Cakes & Things)
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup blueberry puree (directions for puree below)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with paper liners.
To make the Blueberry Puree: Bring one pint of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 1/2 hour) and the mixture is thick, making sure to stir often. Cool the blueberries slightly and place in a food processor. Mix until smooth.
- Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time, beating until incorporated after each one.
- Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. (I rarely do this and my recipes always turn out fine.)
- Mix milk with 1/2 cup of blueberry puree and vanilla.
- Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to butter/sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions.
- Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat batter.
- The batter will puff up when baking, but then settle again once it cools, so you want to make sure that you fill each liner at least 3/4 full of batter.
- For an extra punch of flavor you can mix in a little of the extra blueberry puree into each cupcake and swirl slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. (I made a butter-cream frosting but I don’t use a recipe. It just a big blob of softened butter, vanilla, icing sugar and milk. Mix together alternating adding icing sugar and milk until you achieve your preferred consistency.)