On Tuesday my dear, sweet Nan turned 80. I knew that I wanted to make something special for her. Last year I made lemon cupcakes for her birthday, but I wanted to make them extra special this year. An extra special lemon cupcake with a blackberry filling. Yum.
I love the sunlight in this picture. And I love that my rocking chair is just sitting their waiting for me. This is one of those recipes that is good for your soul. I know, I know, you're rolling your eyes at me, but I haven't felt so at peace with myself in months as I felt while making these. It just felt right.
I found the original recipe on an absolutely fabulous blog called Love and Olive Oil. I just made a few small changes from her recipe.
For 24 cupcakes, you will need:
2- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup oil
2 cups full fat coconut milk
4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons lemon juice.
For the lemon buttercream:
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of butter flavored shortening
6-ish cups confectioners’ sugar (Don't you love it when I am exact?)
5 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
3 teaspoon lemon zest
Yellow Wilton coloring (optional).
If you are looking for something less lemon-y you can cut back on the lemon juice and use milk to thin out the confectioner's sugar. I just used lemon juice.
For the fruit filling: After searching 3 local grocery stores and finding nothing but moldy and sad looking blackberries, I caved and used a fancy seedless blackberry jam. If you have better luck than I did, you can make your own preserves. (directions are on the Love and Olive Oil blog)
Alright. Grab a large mixing bowl. Go ahead. I'll wait. Oh, and you might want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you are at it. Sift the dry ingredients into your bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a whisk.
To your dry ingredients add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix with the whisk to thoroughly combine.
A side note about the abundance of lemon zest and juice. I bought one of bags of lemons at the store because that was my only option. It took approximately a dozen lemons to acquire all of the zest that I needed. (AND just in case you were wondering, lemon rinds do not keep neighborhood cats out of your garden, contrary to what the internet wants you to believe.)
In another bowl, combine your wet ingredients: oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Form a well in the center of your dry ingredients.
Gently pour the wet ingredients into the well.
Mix together until relatively smooth and there are no huge big lumps.
Pour the batter into 24 cupcake liners, filling the liners approximately 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Move these immediately onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, you can prepare your lemon buttercream.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, you will need to take a paring knife and cut a small cylinder out of the top of each cupcake.
Fill each little hole with the seedless blackberry jam, blackberry preserves or any other berry flavored concoction that you can come up with. Raspberry, strawberry or black raspberry flavored anything would be great in these.
Then replace the little piece that you cut out. This is why you absolutely need to have frosting on these, because that isn't pretty. The goal of all cupcakes should be to be pretty, don't you think?
And these are definitely pretty. Enjoy!