Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Berry Good Cupcakes

As you might have gathered from my New Year's post, I had a little cupcake photoshoot on New Year's Eve. These little gals are rockstars. The sparkles are complements of my NYE Loft clutch. 

We were invited to a party and of course I wanted to bring cupcakes. I had everything to bake Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes...except for the champagne. Oops. There was plenty of time to buy some and the excess would have been put to good use. I just didn't feel like going to the liquor store. So I searched my kitchen for a substitute. IZZE sparkling blueberry juice sounded like a close match. Bubbles...check. Berry...check. Sweetness...check.

I'm happy to report that the IZZE juice made for a "berry" good cupcake and frosting. The mini cupcakes were light and airy. And the frosting still tasted like raspberry frozen yogurt. I also baked some regular sized cupcakes, but they were a little dense. This might have had something to do with botching the measurement of one ingredient and then having to scale up the recipe near the end. I'll give you the recipe for a "normal" batch.

Or maybe it's because they sat around the kitchen a little longer than usual. Darn those New Year's resolutions.

[Update: Some commenters from "Gimme Some Oven" also found the cupcake to be dense. One person suggested using 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour. Don't have cake flour? Add two tablespoons of corn starch to each cup of regular flour and sift this mixture together twice. Measure your cups of flour from this mixture. Per Smitten Kitchen. Or just use boxed cake mix and use 3/4 c of sparkling juice instead of water.]

Berry Good Cupcakes
As inspired by Gimme Some Oven

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup IZZE sparkling blueberry juice (any sparkling juice or wine would be fine)
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with IZZE.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. About 12 minutes for mini cupcakes.

(I made 1/3 extra of the recipe which yielded about 42 mini and 17 normal cupcakes.)

Sparkle Berry Buttercream
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons IZZE sparkling juice, at room temperature
A few tablespoons of raspberry preserves (with or without seeds, I love Smucker's)

With an electric mixer on low, beat the butter until it starts to get fluffier. Then start adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Taste it every time. That way you can make it as sweet as you want and probably won't use as much sugar. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and IZZE, beating on medium for another minute. Add a couple of spoonfuls (to taste) of raspberry preserves.

The additional raspberry preserves may make the frosting a little thinner, so add a little more powdered sugar to thicken things up. If this frosting is too thick, add a little more IZZE.
(I made one batch of frosting and had extra. Though I used a "flatter" frosting style.)

You can buy the cupcake liners from Bake it Pretty
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