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cupcakes with smashed blueberries

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blueberry cupcakes

I crave blueberries every spring, as I make a point of not buying the ones flown across half the world or extortionately expensive ones produced by ‘kill the planet’ greenhouse methods. Blueberries are not as sensitive to sunshine and locality as strawberries are, so we get them from all over Europe when the time comes – but not any sooner. Things taste much nicer when you’ve not had them for a while – absence makes the taste buds fonder.

And here is another variation on the blueberry baking theme – I can never get enough. But are these cupcakes? I’m not so sure. Where’s the buttercream?

smashed blueberry muffins

The recipe, which I tweaked slightly, comes from NY Times Cooking where it was labelled ‘muffins’. But you can’t really call them that either.

Muffins are rough and ready, wet-into-dry and don’t overmix. Cupcakes have dainty buttercream frosting. Muffcakes? Cupkins? I don’t really like those neo-foods as much as I adore Humpty Dumpty.

If it was one large confection, it would most certainly be called cake. Cakelets?

cupcakes with smashed blueberries

Whatever you call these, and I decided in the end to rechristen them ‘cupcakes’, they are damn nice. Bake with or without paper cases; in latter case butter the tin thoroughly.

cupcakes with smashed blueberries

Servings: 12Time: about an hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 113g (½ cup) softened butter
  • 180g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 120ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 300g (2 cups) blueberries
  • 3 tbsp. demerara sugar

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Scoop about ½ cup of blueberries into a small bowl (you can pick the mushier ones) and smash them thoroughly with a fork. Spoon 1 tsp of the weighed out amount of flour into the rest of the blueberries and toss them in the flour.

blueberries for baking

Beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, and add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk.

cupcake mix

Mix the smashed blueberries into the batter, then fold the whole ones in.

folding blueberries in batter

Spoon the mix into the cupcake liners; do not overfill as they will rise substantially. Sprinkle a layer of demerara sugar over the tops of the cupcakes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Cool them in the tin for a few minutes; remove from the tin and cool on the wire rack.

Store uncovered; they’ll last for a couple of days.

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