Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes
It had been a while since I experimented with new cupcake flavors. Over the past few months I’ve made treats for various friends’ birthdays, weddings, and other events, but for such things people tend to prefer more classics… some traditional (chocolate, red velvet, lemon) and some less classic but ever popular (cookie dough forever!) A blueberry pancake cupcake has been at the very top of my list of flavors to play around with for months. When my blogging BFFs and I visited Cupcake Camp in New Haven, CT last fall, we sample dozens of flavors of cupcakes. Some were great while some were a bit disappointing, but I remember my favorite of all being a pancake cupcake.
Ever since, I’ve been wanting to experiment with a pancake-esque cupcake but have been so busy making rounds upon rounds of the “classics”, I just haven’t had the opportunity. Finally a coworker selected them for his birthday – woohoo! These start with a maple-spiked buttermilk batter with fresh blueberries folded in. After the cupcakes come out of the oven, they are brushed lightly with maple syrup which really seals in the pancake flavor. They are topped with freshly whipped cream (as the best pancakes should be) a spoonful of blueberry sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup. I was very pleased with the balance of flavors in the finished product. Let me know what you think if you try them!
Yield: about 24-30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
2¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
14 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (8¼ oz) granulated sugar
½ cup (4 oz.) light brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup, plus more for brushing
1¾ cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
6 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
Fresh blueberry sauce
Pure maple syrup
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend, then set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and the sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and maple syrup and whisk to blend.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition only until just incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two thirds full. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool briefly in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack. Brush the still warm cupcakes lightly with additional maple syrup. Let cool completely.
To frost the cupcakes, combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used an Ateco #829). Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each cupcake. Use the back of a spoon to scoop out a small dip in the whipped cream. Fill each dip with a spoonful of blueberry sauce. Drizzle a small amount of additional maple syrup on top of the finished cupcakes.