For July 4th, I decided to skip baking a traditional flag cake and the non-traditional hidden flag cake, even though Pinterest was flooded with them (as Deb from smitten kitchen duly noted). Besides my housemate ended up baking one and our kitchen is definitely not big enough for two flag cakes. So instead, I decided to bake berry cupcakes since I had a tub of expiring sour cream and a bag of frozen berries sitting in the freezer.
Creaming the butter and sugar
Now, I’m not sure if these exactly classify as cupcakes since they looked like muffins. I like to think they were cupcakes since I creamed the butter and sugar and added each egg one at a time. Usually, I think of muffins as the “mix the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients, and then add the dry to the wet” kind of recipe whereas cupcakes are more of the “cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, then alternately add the flour and milk” type. It makes sense since creaming the butter and sugar lightens the batter and makes the final product more fluffy. This is probably why muffins are much denser than cupcakes. But don’t quote me, I’m no expert on cupcakes or muffins. I usually just do what the recipe tells me.
Mixing in the frozen berries
The original recipe was for lemon cream cupcakes, but I modified it by adding in frozen mixed berries at the end. No need to thaw the berries, in fact that’ll result in berry juice instead of actual berries. Also, try not to mix the berries too much since that’ll break them up.
All ready for the oven
I noticed that while baking in the oven, the cupcakes rose quite a bit and then deflated after I took them out. Not sure how to prevent deflation yet. I remember seeing a tip on Pinterest about baking them at a lower temperature, but I have yet to try that.
Since I hate to waste leftovers, I frosted the cupcakes with leftover lime buttercream frosting (the one from the margarita cupcakes). These cupcakes are pretty sweet already and didn’t really need the frosting. So I’d recommend just sifting some powdered sugar on top instead of frosting them (especially with old frosting). Plus, without the frosting, you’ll be able to see the bright colors of the cupcakes!
Unfrosted cupcake vs. Frosted cupcake
(And you can paint your nails red to match them… not like I intentionally did that… Or you can just patriotically paint your nails!)
I brought these cupcake/muffins to a Fourth of July BBQ and they were devoured pretty quickly. What’s nice about this recipe is that it’s not just strictly for a special holiday, like those flag cakes. You can make these muffin/cupcakes for any kind of party/BBQ or even for breakfast or dessert!
Mixed Berry Cupcakes/Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
1 bag of frozen mixed berries (or whatever berries you want)
1. Cream the butter and sugar.
2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
3. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla.
4. Combine the dry ingredients.
5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the creamed butter mixture.
6. Fold in the frozen berries.
7. Fill a paper-lined muffin tin with batter (each one 1/2 or 3/4 full of batter).
8. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
9. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
10. Sift powdered sugar on top or frost with your favorite frosting (a lemon buttercream or cream cheese frosting would go well with these cupcakes).
11. Paint your nails to match the berries in the cupcakes and enjoy!