However, inside the cupcake is where the glory is – a mixed berry curd. Think lemon curd in it’s tartness, but packed with the flavours of cherry, raspberry and other summer fruits. I used a bag of frozen mixed berries from my local supermarket, but you could use any fresh or frozen summer fruits you have around. To top the cupcakes I piped a vanilla buttercream, but if you’re a lemon fiend, you could make this lemon-y as well with the replacement of lemon juice for milk in the recipe.
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and you’ll end up with some berry curd leftover (which is brill on toast)
For the cupcakes:
- 125g soft margarine (Stork) or butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the lemon syrup:
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 100g icing sugar
For the Berry Curd:
- 250g frozen mixed berries
- 110g granulated sugar
- 30g butter
- 1 egg
For the buttercream:
- 150g softened butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 tsp lemon juice
- Splash of milk
- Gold shimmer spray (optional)
1. Place 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tray. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
2. Make the cupcakes. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture becomes lighter in colour and there are no sugar crystals in the creamed mixture.
3. Add the egg, self-raising flour, lemon zest, juice and milk, and fold in with a wooden spoon, just until no big lumps of flour can be seen.
4. Pour the mixture into a mixing jug to enable easier distribution, then pour into the cupcake cases until they are about half filled.
5. Bake the cupcakes for 10-15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden, spring back when lightly pressed, and a skewer entered into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Whilst baking, make the lemon syrup. Pour the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan, and heat, stirring regularly, until the icing has become clear.
7. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, remove the cupcakes from the tray and place on a wire rack. Poke the top of the cupcakes lightly with a fork, and pour about a teaspoon of lemon syrup onto each cupcake. Leave the cupcakes to cool.
8. Make the berry curd. Add the frozen fruits to a saucepan with about a tablespoon of water . Heat gently until the fruits have softened. Keep an eye on the pan – if it becomes very dry add a little more water (but add as little water as possible to ensure a thick curd).
9. When the fruits have softened (about 5 minutes), press well through a sieve over a bowl to catch all of the juice.
10. Pour the berry juice back into the pan. Add the egg, butter and granulated sugar, and start whisking. Place over a low heat, and whisk until the butter has melted.
11. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula. Keep stirring the curd until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let the curd boil, or the egg may scramble! Pour the curd into a bowl and leave to cool (it will thicken even more as it cools down).
12. Make the buttercream. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until very soft. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl, then add the vanilla/lemon juice.
13. Beat the butter and icing sugar together – it will be very stiff at this stage. Add small splashes of milk until the buttercream is smooth and does not require a lot of force to mix.
When the spoon is lifted, a peak of buttercream should form – making the buttercream the correct consistency requires a bit of trial and error, so I’d recommend having extra butter/icing sugar in, in case you need to make another batch. Also, when you think the consistency is correct, pour some into a piping bag and try piping it – it should hold it’s shape and not require a lot of pressure to be forced out of the hole.
15. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a small circle in the middle of the top of the cupcake, then use a spoon to remove about a teaspoon of cupcake. In this hole add a teaspoon of the cooled and thickened berry curd.
16. Place the cupcake top back into the cupcake (don’t worry if some curd spills out).
17. Place a 2D nozzle (a large flower nozzle) into a piping bag, and add your buttercream. Cut the end of the piping bag so that the nozzle pokes through half way.
18. Pipe roses of buttercream onto the cupcakes (like in my other cupcake recipe) – hold the piping nozzle vertically over the centre of the cupcake. Pipe down, and then swirl the buttercream around the centre dot. Spray with the gold shimmer spray (optional).