Totally moreish blueberry and lemon cupcakes, filled with a delicious blueberry preserve and topped with striking two-tone blueberry and lemon buttercream and a sprinkling of French meringue.
I’ve always been a bit of purist when it comes to flavouring my bakes – using natural flavours like lemon and lime zests over extracts where possible. However, that was before I discovered the delicious range of flavoured icing sugars from Sugar and Crumbs*.
Sugar and Crumbs have a mind-boggling range of naturally flavoured icing sugars, which are perfect for pumping up the flavours in all your bakes – and even better, they’re free from alcohol, nuts and gluten and entirely vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
I’ve been playing with lots of the flavours recently and, in this week’s brand new recipe from Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog, I thought I would use one of my favourites, the Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar in Blueberry and Lemon to whip up a batch of delicious cupcakes to enjoy while we watch the latest episode of The Great British Bake Off this evening.
Often a tricky pairing to balance out flavour-wise, the ready-flavoured icing sugar features just the right amount of blueberry flavour and the right amount of lemon to take all of the hard work out of creating these delicious treats, leaving you free to focus on how you will finish them off with pretty toppings. I chose to sprinkle on some crumbled French meringue kisses, adding a delightful crunch to really round off the eating experience.
Start by preheating your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with large cupcake cases.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together your butter or margarine and sugar until thoroughly combined and pale in colour.
In a separate jug, whisk your eggs and then add these to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing on a low speed until fully combined.
TIP: If the mixture looks like it may be splitting or curdling, add a heaped tablespoon of your flour to bind it back together.
Finally add the flour and mix until just combined.
Divide the mixture between your cases and bake at the top of the oven for 24-27 minutes (until the mixture stops ‘singing’).
Remove from the tin and place on to a wire rack to cool completely.
While your cakes are cooling, make your buttercream. Begin by creaming your butter until pale and smooth. This may take a while, but the longer you leave it, the better.
Add in the icing sugars, a little at a time, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next – a tablespoon of water can be added at this point if the mixture is too stiff to work with.
When your cakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to remove the centres.
Use a spoon or a piping bag to fill the hollowed out centres with blueberry preserve and then place the removed centre back on top.
Next, streak the inside of a piping bag with gel food colouring using a cocktail stick, before filling this with your buttercream.
With a closed star tip, pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake and then decorate with a sprinkle of crumbled French meringue.
Once the buttercream has set, store your cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
The Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugars can be purchased at many leading retailers, or you can buy them directly from Sugar and Crumbs at this link.
This recipe can easily be adapted by substituting the Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar in Blueberry and Lemon for one of their other deliciously flavoured sugars. Why not try the new Lime and Raspberry flavour with a raspberry filling for a sweet-yet-zingy treat!
*Although the lovely Carol McFarland has kindly sent me some Sugar and Crumbs Natural Flavoured Icing Sugars to try out, I actually bought the one I used today myself and often do buy my own. I honestly love using them to flavour my bakes and will happily recommend them without any incentive. 🙂 #integrityiskey