Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

I love this cupcake.

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This is the same cupcake, just with a bit of food coloring for a baby shower. It’s a versatile and popular cupcake!

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This is my favorite in so many ways. In fact, when I found this recipe, this was actually what started me on baking. I first made these cupcakes about three years ago for my sister’s birthday. I had just graduated from grad school, and had for the first time in two years more than three free hours a week. So I wanted to start baking and making “pretty” cupcakes, and this recipe was the first that I went with. A friend directed me to what is now my favorite baking blog, Baked Perfection, and it was from this site that I learned how to start playing with recipes…and to be honest, how to start baking! The first time I made these cupcakes, they were a huge success…I also mixed it up and made vanilla cupcakes with blackberry filling and a lime cream cheese frosting (that recipe later!), and made so many new friends (of course!) when I brought cupcakes to my sister’s party and to work.

I’ve since made this recipe for baby showers (hence the blue-frosted cupcake picture) and other parties, and just last night I made it for friends here in Liberia. We ended up with extra cupcakes and brought them to a local bar/restaurant, and I walked out with an offer to start selling my cupcakes there. Still many discussions to be had if that will happen, but, if you ever happen to be in Liberia, you might be able to buy cupcakes such as this. 🙂

So, I’ve included photos from a few of the different times that I made these. They start with the same cupcake base from my previous post on lime cupcakes with mint mojito frosting, and add an absolutely delicious blackberry buttercream. In using the preserves, depending on what brand you use, they will give your cupcakes a pale pink or purple hue. The ones you see below with a pinkish/purple frosting are from using the Bonnie Maman brand of blackberry preserves, and I didn’t add any food coloring to that to get that beautiful color! If you are not happy with the color, add a few drops of food coloring to get the color you want. I’ve done blue before for baby showers, and otherwise have added a few drops of red and blue to enhance the natural color of the blackberry frosting if they are too pale. So be creative, and enjoy!

Also, just a note that I just served one of these cupcakes to a Liberian colleague. He is in his 50s, and this was his first ever cupcake! A huge burden to be the first cupcake ever tasted, but this one did well, so I’m proud of it. 🙂

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Lime Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Baked Perfection

makes 30 cupcakes

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons lime juice – I like to use fresh squeezed with a bit of pulp, but you can also use bottled juice
Zest of three limes – if you’re in a country where the limes are much smaller (like Liberia!), then you should double this number
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream – another Liberia caveat…we don’t have Greek yogurt here, so I use two cups of sour cream instead

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit/176 degrees celsius. Prepare about 30 cupcake liners in a muffin tin.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and the sour cream. In a separate large bowl, cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer the butter and sugar until the texture is light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In the same bowl then add the vanilla, the lime juice, and lime zest.

Now that you have three bowls full of ingredients, take the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture and add a bit of each at a time to the butter mixture. Meaning first a bit of the flour, mix. Some of the sour cream mixture, mix. Fair warning, the batter will be thick and filled with lime goodness!

Using a spoon, fill each muffin liner about 2/3 full of batter. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake and it comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

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Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

recipe adapted from Baked Perfection

2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup seedless blackberry jam or preserves – I love the Bonnie Maman brand. Also make sure to avoid any jam or preserve that has high fructose corn syrup, as it will make these taste more artificial and not as good!
pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz are my preferred)
2 tablespoons milk (as needed)*

In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the blackberry filling, wine and salt, and beat well. Then, begin adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating the mixture after every cup until combined.

*Only add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if you would like the frosting to be less stiff. If you add too much milk, you can add a bit more powdered sugar until you’re happy with the frosting consistency.

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