Lemon and blueberry cupcakes

These lemon and blueberry cupcakes are such a treat. Beautiful, stylish but most importantly delicious. A gorgeous lemon sponge covered in a smooth and vanilla buttercream spiked with a dash of lemon curd and topped with tart and sweet blueberry jam. A gorgeous treat for citrus lovers and particularly a springtime treat as we emerge from the frost and the warm and comforting flavours of winter. 

Ingredients

170g self rising flour 

170g caster sugar

170g softened unsalted butter 

3 eggs

¼ tsp salt

1 ½  tsp vanilla extract

Zest of 2 lemons

For the vanilla, lemon curd buttercream icing:

400g sifted icing sugar

220g softened unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp lemon curd

¼ tsp salt

Approx. 1tsp blueberry jam on each cupcake

Decorate with blueberries and lemon slices

Makes 12 cupcakes

Method for lemon and blueberry cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 12 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour and salt.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have all been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and fold into the cake mixture. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Half fill each case with batter. 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take between 18-20 minutes. 

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar. Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) then add the vanilla extract, lemon curd and salt and mix for a final time. 

Then using a piping bag, swirl the buttercream onto each cupcake (or if you don’t have a piping bag you can use a palette knife and smooth it over the cupcakes).  In the middle of each cake add a spoonful of jam and then top with the blueberry jam and blueberry or lemon slices. You can either use lemon zest, fresh lemon slices or dehydrated lemon for decoration.

The cakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It is best to decorate the cakes with the fruit toppings on the day that you are planning to serve them, otherwise they could go a little soggy. 

Tips

For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running. 

The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to open the bag into a tall glass and bend the top over the sides of the glass, then fill with the icing. 

Looking for more cake recipes? Why not try my Chocolate nutella muffins – with a crunchie topping – these are so simple, no mixer required and with the nutella topping and crunchie sweets on top, a real crowd pleaser.

Love citrus? Give my Lemon ginger carrot cake cupcakes a go – they are gorgeous. Sweet, rich with spice and the ginger and lemon are super together.

Want more lemon inspiration? Check out BBC food for more lemon recipe ideas. So much to choose from.