Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Am I the only one who not only does not want autumn to come, but would happily embrace summer (and all its fruity, sunshiney glory) the whole year round?

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If you’re following other food blogs, you’ve probably seen hints of pumpkin and warm cinnamon spices creeping slowly but steadily into recipes in recent weeks. I mean, I’m all about individual choice and stuff, but here, at least…

NO WAY. And more summer please.

Hence these prototypically summery lemon blueberry cupcakes during the last week of August. Because I’m a summer rebel and I’m trying going to convert y’all with these, too.

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I love summer berries and all of nature’s sweet fruit,and I firmly believe that they appear between the months of May and August (or even longer, if you’re lucky like me!) for a reason. Summer is the best seasons, so let’s not quibble.

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Don’t get me wrong–I love fall. But I am the kind of girl who either likes seasons and holidays when they’re supposed to come (i.e. no Christmas music in November, please), or writes a pumpkin dessert post in the middle of April because heck, nobody else is doing it. And if I want pumpkin in springy April, I’m going to make it. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet who has completely atemporal taste buds.

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But that whole summer-is-ending-and-hooray-for-fall-thing? Again, personal preference–but I’m not buying it.

So you get lemon. And blueberry. And REALLY GREAT MOIST CUPCAKES.

You will become a summer re-convert, I promise.

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Aside from the obvious perks, another reason why I love summer is because it allows me to do proper photoshoots in summer lighting

If you’ve seen my last few posts, you may have noticed less props and way, way less photo prep. As a result, I haven’t been able to submit a lot of my photos to Foodgawker and Tastespotter like I usually do, which makes me a little sad. This is because by the time I get home from work and finish my study quota for the day, the daylight has usually faded and the result is lots of crappy photos shot under our kind of anti-photo florescent kitchen lights.

So basically, sunlight rocksAlthough so would having a pair of literarily-inclined elves who could do my reading for me. That would also rock very much.

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After reading through nearly ten consecutive pumpkin posts on other blogs, I finally ran home from work on Friday and sat down to photograph these cupcakes. They look yummy, don’t they? Trust me, they taste even better.

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(On My Kitchen Table:  Assorted poems by Romantic authors such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and–most recently–Lord Byron. Don Juan is longer than my mom’s rants, period. Somebody get me a cupcake and a massive paper shredder, please.)  

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So what do you think: is it time for summer, or fall?

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Love,

Ala

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Summery Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemony Frosting
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (I used the zest from one HUGE lemon)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) lemon juice, depending on taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes with vigorous beating by hand.
    3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
    4. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated.
    5. Add lemon zest, milk, and lemon juice. Stir in slowly until well combined (note: make sure not to stir vigorously, though–doing so will toughen up the gluten and create a much tougher cupcake).

Fold in fresh blueberries.

  1. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and fill each liner 3/4 way with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, make lemon frosting (recipe below).
  2. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting; top with blueberries. Then sit back, take a bite, and enjoy your gorgeous summer!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, as needed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in sugar (you may need more or less, as desired). Gradually add vanilla and lemon juice, stirring until you reach the desired consistency. You may not need all of the lemon juice. Frost your cupcakes and delight your summer guests!

19 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

19 Responses to Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Phyllis

    I am all about summer. Must be the Florida girl in me. As in, you can take the girl out of Florida but you can’t take Florida out of the girl….so please keep those wonderful tastes of summer coming for as long as you can.

  2. I love summer! It’s my favorite season, and, like you, I love all the fruits of summer, the berries, the grapes, the melons – yum! Fall and winter can go soak their hoary old heads, as far as I’m concerned.

    This recipe looks delicious. I have a few questions. About Step 5: Dairy and citrus don’t play well together, since lemon added to milk will cause the milk to curdle, will it not? So do I beat the milk into the batter first, then add the lemon zest and lemon juice? My question is the same about the cream cheese and lemon juice in the frosting. How do you keep the lemon juice from curdling the dairy in the recipe?

    Also, could I forgo the frosting altogether, throw blueberries in the batter, and have a blueberry lemon muffin?

    Finally, how did you get the frosting on the cupcakes? Did you use a piping bag? I don’t have one of those doo-hickeys. I guess I could just do what I did with my Nutella Brownie Cupcakes a couple of weeks ago, and spread the frosting on with a spatula. It won’t look as nice, but let’s face it, no one around here cares what my food looks like, as long as it tastes good!

    Thanks in advance for answering these questions, I appreciate it, and I enjoy reading your blog!

    • Hey there hi there fellow summer-mate! Great questions. To put it simply: yes, dairy and citrus don’t usually go well together, but no, I didn’t encounter any problems with curdling while making these cupcakes per the instructions you see here. Since batter-to-bake time is so quick, the milk shouldn’t have time to curdle. I’ve also made plenty of citrus frostings before, and the small amount of lemon juice won’t affect the cream cheese at all. And you can most definitely have lemon blueberry muffins–I left three unfrosted, and they were *amazing.*

      As for frosting–yes, I used a Wilton’s disposable frosting bag with tip. I’d totally recommend buying a few basic icing tips (they’re super cheap, and you can find them at stores like Michael’s) even if you don’t want to buy icing bags–you can use regular sandwich bags for those and simply snip off a corner. If you end up spreading the icing, you can always dye 1/4 of the icing a different color, fill a sandwich bag, and pipe on decorations that way :) at least it’ll show the work and love you put into your baking!

      Good to see you around, Edie–thank you for the kind words and questions! I hope this helped.

      • It certainly did help! So the key to avoiding curdling is speed! That’s OK, I’m a pretty speedy baker, especially since my “audience” (my roommate) is usually waiting eagerly to be my taste-tester!

        Thanks for the advice about the frosting tips – I think I’d like to get a few disposable frosting bags and tips to keep on hand, for when I decide to make frosting. You say I can get them in Michael’s? That’s a great suggestion!

        My pleasure! I appreciate your advice and reading your blog is always a delight!

  3. no contest – it’s definitely time for fall. the summer heat is just too much for me. thankfully, it’s raining today in paris :) and hey! nothing is wrong with christmas music before christmas >=

    • Hehe still–hot in paris must be wonderful. I hope you watch Anastasia while in paris–for me?! Also now I want to visit europe haha. I think xmas music in august is fine but not November :)

  4. I’ve never made it all the way through Don Juan, alas. And it’s illegal to post fall recipes in August, isn’t it? ;-) I love the combo of lemon and blueberry – these look terrific. Just as long as I don’t have to read Don Juan to have them!

    • Lucky you–erm, I mean, you should! And by that I mean you should do something other than read Don Juan :) not that it’s not a great work (because it is), but because there are so many other things you could be doing…like posting those yummy end-of-summer recipes of yours that I need to catch up on…I miss those!

  5. I’m not ready for summer to end either. It has gone way too fast. Jacket weather is my favorite weather for sure, but there are lots of things I like about summer. And I love the fruit! And the sweet corn from our garden. And I’m very much in agreeance to baking what sounds good. I definitely think of pumpkin in the fall, but not quite yet. And if pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is calling my name in April, then oh yeah, let’s bake!! :)

  6. I just asked my sister for a lemon cake for my birthday!! These cupcakes look fabulous – pinned!

  7. Ha, I’m so the BRING ON FALL person. But it’s so hot here, and I’m totally over it. Otherwise I’d so be into summer still!

  8. Your Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting are gorgeous! More summer please! With the heat we’re experiencing here in L.A., I don’t think Fall would be here any time soon and I love the summer flavors to last just a little bit longer. ;)

  9. Oh man, those are mouth-watering! I’m so wanting to make these RIGHT NOW.

    • You totally should! My mouth is watering just revisiting these photos ;) Maybe we should make them at the same time and have a cupcake party? Thanks for stopping by–hope you’ll stick around for more equally fun recipes!

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