I have the tendency, it seems, to buy fruit, eat some of it, and then utterly forget about it, which is how I ended up with two pounds of blood oranges sitting lonely in the fridge.
I also have a lot of frozen blackberries, and figured they couldn’t possibly be terrible together, and would likely be pretty, so…yeah.
Anyhow, these cupcakes are good–really nice, mild orange flavor for the cupcakes, and a slightly tart but mostly sweet blackberry flavor for the frosting, accented by the drizzle of blackberry juice over the top.
I guess this is a pretty normal citrus-flavored yellow cake, but it’s still delicious, and blood oranges look WEIRD AS HELL after you zest them.
Anyways, here’s the standard yellow cake recipe (cut down to make 12 cupcakes):
3/8 cup butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup All-Purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup blood orange or just orange juice
Zest from 4 blood oranges
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line the cupcake tins, and break out some bowls, a sifter, a whisk, a spoon and measuring thingies. And a Microplane.
Zest the oranges with the microplane. You can use the fine graters on a cheese grater, but make sure not to zest into the white part of the peel, because that is the pith and it is very bitter and doesn’t have the orange flavor oils that the peel does. I’m apparently feeling very rambly today, so please forgive my sentence structure.
Annnnnnyways, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla, and then the milk and orange juice, fold in the orange zest, and whisk together until well-combined. Then mix in the flour.
Fill each tin about 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 18-22 minutes. I overbaked these at 22 minutes, so keep a close eye on them, because the texture gets weird, and bits of cake stick to the side of the liners and it is a cupcake tragedy. Cupedy? That is a portmanteau that does not work.
For the frosting, take fresh or thawed frozen blackberries and juice. The way I did this was to put them in a strainer and push with the back of a spoon. I probably ended up with about a third-cup of blackberry juice, which is plenty.
Cream together 4 ounces of cream cheese with a few tablespoons of softened butter, and beat in about a cup and a half of powdered sugar. At this point, add a few tablespoons of blackberry juice, beat together until smooth, and add more powdered sugar to get your desired consistency.
The frosting won’t have a pronounced blackberry flavor, though it will be really pink. After frosting each cupcake, I used some of the leftover juice to add a little blackberry punch by drizzling it over the top. Adds some interesting visuals and really emphasizes the blackberry flavor.
Like I said, really light and almost refreshing fruity flavors. With a little practice and some recipe-refining, I’m sure these would be the most amazing cupcakes in existence.