Oh man, these lemon blackberry cupcakes turned out so much better than I imagined. This vanilla cupcake is doused with lemon simple syrup and fresh blackberry syrup then topped with lemony whipped cream topping that I’m dubbing whipped cream fluff.
To start, I whipped up some vanilla cupcakes using my Awesome Cake from a Mix recipe with 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder added to it to help the batter make nice pretty domed cuppycakes. My vanilla cake recipe from scratch would work well too. I was making other food for a barbecue too so I needed some shortcuts.
Tip: When making cupcakes that call for baking powder, make it a heaping teaspoon. That means don’t level the teaspoon after scooping the powder. That little extra oomph of leavening will help make those desirable domes that you see in bakery cupcakes.
While the cupcakes are baking, start on the syrups. Dousing these cupcakes with syrups adds an extra element of flavor and moistness.
For the lemon simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar, 1cup water, and the juice of half a lemon in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Turn off the heat and stir in about a teaspoon of lemon zest. Set aside to cool.
For the blackberry syrup, first set aside a few blackberries to decorate the tops. Combine 12 oz blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and the juice of half a lemon in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk to muddle or squish the blackberries to release their juices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve over a clean bowl. Use a spatula to really push all that juice out of those berries. Set aside to cool.
After the cupcakes and syrups are cooled, use a skewer or toothpick to poke a few holes in the cupcakes. Then carefully drizzle with the lemon simple syrup. Then poke a few more holes and carefully drizzle with the blackberry syrup. Pop those bad boys in the fridge until ready to top with the whipped cream fluff.
Time for the frosting or what I’m calling whipped cream fluff. Having made a lot of cake and cupcakes lately with buttercream, I wanted to make something much lighter but without the work that goes into a stabilized whipped cream. There’s this fruit dip I made for a birthday party and it was so good everyone just ate it up. My brain had filed it away just waiting for another use for it. Why not put it on a cupcake? It’s made with cool whip, yogurt, and pudding mix. I didn’t want the artificialness (Is that a word?!?) of cool whip for this recipe so I replaced it with fresh sweetened whipped cream. With the blackberries and lemon, I wanted to keep things as light and fresh as possible. The pudding mix can’t be eliminated because that’s what makes it stable so the cool whip had to go.
Make the fresh sweetened whipped cream by whisking together a cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, then use an electric mixer to whip that cream into shape. Stiff peaks that is. Set aside.
For the pudding element, whisk together until smooth 1 box of lemon pudding mix and 2 and 1/4 cups of vanilla yogurt. I know your like “yogurt?” but trust me it’s yummy. You can swap out the pudding flavor to make this fluff go with any cupcake flavor.
Now carefully fold the whipped cream into the pudding/yogurt mix until all mixed together. It combines to make this lemony fluffy concoction that is just divine.
Put the lemony whipped cream fluff into a piping bag and pipe beautiful little swirls on top of the cupcakes then top with a blackberry or a sprinkle of lemon zest. And just because we can, drizzle a little more blackberry syrup over the top. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
I topped some of them with sugared blackberries. To make the sugared blackberries , whisk 1 teaspoon of meringue powder with 1 tablespoon water, dip the berries then sprinkle with syrup. Set aside to dry. Now this is an optional step but it just adds an exciting element to the cupcakes. The sugar makes a sweet crust around the berry. When you bite into that crust it pops and you get the sweetness of the sugar and followed by the tartness of the berry.
These lemon blackberry cupcakes are perfectly light for a summertime barbecue. Pick up some blackberries and get your cake on!