Moist little gems popping with fresh blueberries and bursting with lemon flavor!! Decorated with random swirls of vanilla-lemon buttercream and just a few patriotic sprinkles on top... your Fourth of July celebrations will be a hit. "Shhhhhh" no one needs to know they start off with a box cake mix, that will be "our" little secret!!
1Directions Cupcakes: Reserve 3 Tablespoons (22.5 gr) of cake mix. Prepare the remaining mix as according to directions on box and adding the lemon zest.
Toss the blueberries with the reserved cake mix. This will ensure that the blueberries do not sink to the bottom of the cupcake. Fold in and ensure all cake mix has been incorporated. Set aside.
2Preheat oven to 350 and line your cupcake pans with liners. Fill liners 2/3 full of cupcake batter and bake for 22-25 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean. Place pan on cooling rack for a few minutes, then remove cupcakes and place directly on cooling rack to cool thoroughly.
3Directions Vanilla-Lemon Buttercream:
Sift your sugar, vanilla powder and salt, set aside.
In a medium bowl add your butter and proceed to cream. Cream in your reserved lemon zest, *at this point inhale the wonderful aroma of lemon and vanilla*
Gradually add the confectioner's sugar. Mixture will be very thick. Slowly add 1 tbls (15ml) of milk at a time till you have reached the exact consistency for piping/decorating etc.
4The amazing vanilla-lemon buttercream will be the star of the show because of the special "powdered vanilla"!! Look at how beautiful the crystals are!! The aroma as soon as you open the vial will literally fill your entire kitchen!! Plus, you use literally a quarter of what you would normally use. I know!!
So, enjoy my friends as I sample another cupcake... I mean, I must, I must make sure they are perfection, yes?
5Notes: So what is *powdered vanilla*? I thought you would never ask!!
Definition: A vanilla flavored powder that is made by grinding dried vanilla beans into a fine textured powder. When heat is applied to the ingredients, Vanilla Powder holds its flavor better than a vanilla extract, making it best suited for flavorings used for foods that are heated in some manner, such as baked goods or tea and coffee. It is also a good flavoring to use with fresh fruits, with dry mixes or in any preparation that may need a light rather than a dark colored vanilla seasoning. For recipes, 1 tablespoon of pure Vanilla Powder is equal to 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Vanilla Powder may be somewhat difficult to find but can generally be located in some food stores, cake decorating supply stores, gourmet markets, and through specialty mail order services.