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The Grace Kelly of Cupcakes

Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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If I had any other job, I might hate birthdays, promotions, retirements, any of those work celebrations that include the dreaded office cake. You all know the cake I’m talking about. It’s dry, tasteless, sometimes marbled (as though there were a flavor differentiation), the one with the gritty, way-too-sweet frosting. The office cake is a horrible way to acknowledge someone’s well-earned anything. It should be the thing your co-worker gets when she makes a huge mistake that costs the company money. “Oh, no! She got the office cake. Dibs on her electric pencil sharpener!”

But I work here. So when there’s something to celebrate, we do it right. We do it with what Chocolate and Chard blogger, Fine Cooking’s own Evan Barbour, calls the “Grace Kelly of cupcakes.” Indeed, her Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes are a classic, summery flavor combination presented elegantly. When you make these for your co-worker’s birthday or retirement (because you know better than to buy that cake!), do as Evan suggests and “top each with the prettiest blueberries you can find.” That won’t be hard to do right now, and your co-workers will appreciate the effort.


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  • mmmaguire | 06/01/2021

    Delicious especially the icing. Everyone has loved them.

  • lvngwell | 05/17/2012

    Here is the original recipe at another link:http://chocolateandchard.com/2011/06/01/386/

    Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Honey-Cream Cheese Icing
    makes 20

    for the cupcakes (recipe slightly adapted from this one)

    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    2 cups bleached flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    Zest of 3 lemons
    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
    1 tbsp. flour

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put paper cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin pan. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp. flour. Beat the butter, lemon zest, and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy (be sure to do the entire 5 minutes – this makes a big difference!). Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and beaters between each to incorporate.

    Sift flour with the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add a quarter of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Then add vanilla and a third of the buttermilk. Repeat, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping well after each addition. Gently fold in the blueberries.

    Pour batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn cakes out and cool completely.

    for the icing

    8 oz. softened cream cheese
    1 stick softened butter
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    1/3 cup honey
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    Large pinch of salt

    In a mixer or a large bowl, combine the ingredients until completely smooth. It will be a bit runny, but that’s how it’s supposed to look (I prefer my icing creamy and on the runny side; add more confectioner’s sugar or less honey/lemon juice if you beg to differ).

    Ice the cooled cupcakes and top each with the prettiest blueberries you can find.

  • bittersweet | 01/27/2012

    I'd love to try this recipe, but it's no longer available. Can someone please direct me to a source.

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