Aside from the set back from Storm Doris last week, the sun seems to be finally making an appearance, it is actually light when I wake up and get home from work and the temperature seems to be warming up slightly. Does this mean spring is finally creeping upon us?! I've been stocking up on daffodils to brighten the home (although it still seems to early) and starting to get into the spring mood, including the things I'm cooking. Although hearty, stodgy bakes are great comfort foods for those cold weekends when you're stuck indoors, I think you can't go wrong with citrus-flavoured cakes when we edge into the brighter seasons. I tried this twist on an old, zingy lemon recipe (found here) recently by chucking in some blueberries- I think this is my way of trying to trick myself into thinking it could be slightly healthy. Obviously, lemon and blueberries are a well-known match made in heaven, so this is a fool-proof recipe that will work every time.
Ingredients (makes 12):
100g baking spread
100g caster sugar
130g self-raising flour
A pinch of baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
A drop of vanilla essence
2 teaspoons lemon juice
60g baking spread
200-250g icing sugar (I go for around 200g then keep adding more if I feel like it needs extra)
Juice of half a lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ and pop some cupcake cases into a cupcake baking tray.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, then crack in the eggs and mix together. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir it all in again. Grate the lemon zest into the mixture, chuck the lemon juice and vanilla and combine. Lastly, pour the blueberries (ensuring you have some spare for decoration) into the mixture and fold in gently, making sure they are dispersed but undamaged.
3. Spoon the lemon and blueberry mixture into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. When done, they should be golden brown and a skewer should come out clean when poked into the cupcakes. Place the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
4. In the meantime, make the icing by beating the baking spread just to soften it. Then gently add the icing sugar- I usually add it bit by bit so that it doesn't go everywhere! Pour in the lemon juice and just keep beating the mixture until it's quite thick, adding more icing sugar if necessary. This should be enough to cover all 12 cupcakes.
5. Once the cupcakes are cool to touch, spoon the icing on to each cupcake. You can use a piping bag for this (I find that if I pipe it I need to make more icing than this recipe will produce), however, I am usually too lazy/ don't own a good piping kit so I just smooth the icing down using the back of a spoon. To finish, pop a few blueberries on top.
These are so easy to make but are a gorgeously light, refreshing bake to make as we slowly move out of winter! You can substitute the blueberries for raspberries if you so prefer, as the original recipe suggests. Adding this fruit gives the cake such a moist texture. A top tip- swap the baking spread for some coconut oil for a healthier twist. Butter and coconut oil should be equal in measurements, so still stick with 100g. Enjoy!
Let me know if you try this recipe! What kind of thing do you love baking in spring?