Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fresh Lime and Rasberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting!

I really need to break out my Photoshop program. My pictures need more light! Anyway, you aren't reading this for the pictures, you want the tasty goodness within this post!
One of my most popular flavors of cake at the bakery was the Fresh Lime. It's so light and fresh on your palette, and the smooth creaminess of the buttercream is the perfect balance to the tartness of the cake. Sometimes I do scratch, and sometimes I just fancy up a box mix. Today we're going to fancy up a box mix, and when I get that book published, you'll have the other. *wink*

You'll need:
One box of white cake mix, I used Duncan Hines.
One fresh lime
One frozen limeade, or Margarita mixer
Lemon extract, Vanilla extract
About a dozen fresh raspberries
The other ingredients for the cake mix, usually eggs and oil.

Prepare the cake mix as you would ordinarily except NO water. Substitute the frozen concentrate instead. Add approx. two tsp. of fresh lime zest, and a squeeze of that lime. Also add a tsp. of lemon extract, and two tsp. of vanilla. At the final mixing stage, add the fresh berries. Do not over mix or they will turn to mush and you won't get the pop of red you want to see in the cake.

Place your cupcake liners in the pan, or spay well with non-stick spray. (For cuteness, I did the mini size.) Fill your cupcakes about 2/3 up. I find that having several sizes of scoops works wonders for consistent sizes. If you think you'll enjoy baking, it may be worth picking up several sizes, I have three. One for minis, one for regular sized, and one for large. Did you know that you can make jumbo cupcakes in your average pan? Just buy the liners that are fluted narrow on the bottom, and voila! You should be able to find these scoops, and fun liners, at a specialty kitchen shop, online, or a restaurant supply store.

Place your cupcakes in a pre-heated 350* oven. For the minis, I baked them approx. 12 minutes. They need to spring back lightly when touched, but not be golden brown. They should still be fairly pale in color. My larger cupcakes, (in a mini bundt, actually, but sized the same as a cupcake) took about 20 minutes. Please if you have convection, these times are too long, adjust accordingly.

Pull from oven and let cool.

For the Buttercream:
One pound of softened butter
16 oz. bag of powdered sugar
Dash of milk (any % is fine)
Liberal amount of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of lemon extract

Place softened butter in a mixer on medium speed, until creamy. Add powdered sugar, dash of milk, (and by dash, I mean less than a 1/4 cup) vanilla, and lemon. (I add at least 2 Tbsp., sometimes more!) Mix on low at first unless you want to be covered in sugar. Slowly increase the speed until frosting is creamy with no lumps.

Fill a pastry bag with round tip, or a Ziplock bag with the tip cut off. Place a dollop of buttercream on each cupcake. Sprinkle with edible glitter, fun sprinkles, fresh raspberries and mint leaves... Just have fun with it. Baking is fun, not stressful. :0)

I added fondant pieces, little cut out butterflies, swirlies, polka dots, etc... If you liked Play Doh as a kid, you'll love fondant, and it tastes so much better! You can buy pre-made at a craft store usually, or if online, look up marshmallow fondant. Easy to do, use, and yum, tasty! I will do a fondant tutorial someday soon! Here's some additional pictures for you to ponder that resulted in the finished product above!
My mini scoop, this time being used for peanut butter cup brownies!

Love the tiny pops of red berry!

 Colored fondant, powdered sugar, mini cutters and a rolling pin are basically all you need for the fun pieces on top...
The pieces are drying here...

All my little pieces drying, butterflies, balls, pinwheels, squigglies, (that is THE proper term I'm sure) dots, and ruffly carnations.


How cute it all looks together on the dessert table!

Enjoy your day!!


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