|Blackberry Buttercream Icing and Vanilla Cupcake Recipe (see bottom of post for recipe)|
We have quite a lot of blackberry bushes near our house; so the other day we decided to go for a walk to collect some blackberries! There aren't usually enough to take home to actually make a blackberry pie or crumble; they are either usually all eaten up by the time we get home, or there just aren't enough ripe berries.
Well, we ended up with a plethora of blackberries; thanks to my husband's long arms (thanks again, hon)! LOL! We had so much that we didn't have enough room left in the container and had to head back home!! (Plus I was getting eaten alive by the bugs! Yuck!! Definitely not my favorite thing about summer!!)
Blackberries are one of my favorite berries, and seeing as how we had collected so many, I just had to think of a way to bake them into a nice, fresh dessert!! So we ended up turning it into an impromptu end-of-summer celebration BBQ and had some family over! (Always a good excuse to have a BBQ!)
I debated about making a pie vs a crumble, and the crumble won out!! But not before I made some last minute vanilla cupcakes topped with yummy, creamy blackberry buttercream icing!! I really couldn't resist, and I have always wanted to try experimenting with different icing - today was the perfect excuse!
Blackberry Buttercream Icing
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 Tbsp +/- pureed blackberry juice *
3 cups +/- icing sugar
pinch of salt
* This is how I pureed the blackberries: Place a strainer over a small bowl. Put approximately 1/2 cup +/- of blackberries into the strainer and, using a fork, mash up the berries until you have the amount of juice you need.
Whip butter with mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. This will make the butter nice and creamy!
Add remaining ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute until mixed, then medium for 3-5 minutes.
Use icing immediately. I find when this icing is refrigerated, it gets very hard. The icing is okay left out for a couple of days. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature and mix until fluffy and creamy.
This will provide you with enough icing for approximately 1 dozen or more cupcakes, depending on how much icing you want on your cupcakes. To make the icing look like a rose, I used a 1M Wilton open star tip and started the swirl from the centre.
I used to add heavy cream to my icings, but I found that since I have started to whip my butter and icing for a longer period of time, it really is nice and creamy as is.
Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Believe me when I say that I have experimented with many vanilla cake recipes, and have yet to find the perfect one; so I always fall back on the boxed cake mixes. However, I have altered it a bit and find the cake is a tad more dense.
1 French Vanilla cake mix
Add all of the ingredients called for on the back of the box, but substitute milk for the water
Add 1 extra egg (eggs should be room temperature - soak in warm water for 15 minutes)
Mix & bake as per directions.
Do you have a favorite vanilla cake recipe or a favorite icing? I'd love it if you shared, so I can try experimenting with some new ones!!