Buying boxes of white or yellow cake mix is tempting, especially when they’re on sale.
It’s convenient and then you can dress up your cupcakes as you want. However, a basic vanilla cupcake batter can be whipped up fairly quickly, especially with a bit of planning. And, those boxes make enough batter for a two layer cake or two dozen medium cupcakes.
With this recipe, you only make enough batter for a single layer cake or, a dozen cupcakes. A lot less to find room for in your refrigerator freezer. And you’re not tempted to eat them all before they go bad when you’re on your own.
Blueberry cupcakes with lemon curd
Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes – makes 1 dozen medium cupcakes
< 1/2 cup (100 g) butter, at room temperature, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour (or 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed (or blueberries, strawberries**, blackberries)
** If using strawberries, wash, hull and cut into 4 to 6 pieces depending on size.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F/ 170 deg C line 12 medium muffin tins with paper cases.
Using electric beaters, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold in half the flour, then all the milk, then the remaining flour, until just combined. Gently fold through the raspberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 mins, or until the cakes are springy to a light touch. (A toothpick inserted in the center will come out cleanly. ) Leave the cupcakes in the muffin tin for 5 mins, then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
When it came time to add the fruit, because I had bought both blueberries and raspberries, I decided to split my batter in half and add half the amount of fruit to each part. Now I have cupcakes with two different kinds of fruit.
The fruit was part of a sale of three 6 ounce packages for $5. The choices were blueberries, raspberries and strawberries but I passed on the latter and grabbed two packages of the raspberries so that I could make raspberry curd with one and still have some to eat straight or bake with.
Citrus curds are common, but you can use berries to make curds, as well, as long as you add some lemon juice.
Raspberry Curd Pavlova
Raspberry Curd – makes ~ 1 1/2 cup
6 oz/170 gm raspberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
In a food processor or blender, whirl raspberries with lemon juice until pureed. Pour into a fine strainer set over a measuring cup. Stir with a spoon to force pulp through strainer; discard seeds. You should end up with a total of about 3/4 cups of lemon/raspberry juice.
In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine juice, sugar and egg yolks.
Whisk the mixture and cook until thickened. (If you dip a wooden spoon into the mixture, you’ll be able to run a finger through the middle leaving a clean track on the back.) Strain to remove any cooked pieces of egg or missed seeds.
Whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. Pour into a clean glass jar and lay a sheet of plastic food wrap on the surface so it doesn’t develop a skin.
Put the lid on and refrigerate until cold and thick.