Yes, we know, it’s Halloween. (Boo!) But if you—like us—are too old to go trick-or-treating, there’s yet another event this week worth dressing up for. The Breeders’ Cup World Championships take place this weekend, where some of the fastest thoroughbreads alive will speed around the track at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park. Even if you can’t see the bets, hats, and hooves flying in person, you can still catch the equestrian action on TV while whipping up a batch of the Breeders’ Cup official cupcakes. That’s right, for the third year in a row, Cup organizers have commissioned a signature pastry, and 2012’s featured flavor is tangy Blueberry LemonDrop. Created by Annette Starbuck of Glendale’s Goodie Girls bake shop, the purple cake uses real blueberries and fresh lemon juice for a frosting-capped treat that tastes of victory! (Oh, and cake.)
For the Blueberry Cupcakes:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Violet purple food coloring
2 ½ cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with desired liners.
Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs. Mix well. Add vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and purple food coloring and mix to incorporate.
Note: make sure to scrape down sides of bowl and mix again.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture alternating until all is added. Mix to incorporate but do not overmix or cupcakes will become dense. From here, remove from stand mixer and fold in 1 cup of blueberries. Scoop batter into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full (we use a standard ice cream scoop to make it easy and to get exact amounts in each liner). Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.
For the LemonDrop Frosting:
1-cup large egg whites (must be from whole eggs, substitutes will not work)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 ½ cups of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lemon yellow food coloring
Add egg whites and sugar to your stand mixer bowl (make sure it is free of any grease residue). Simmer the eggs/sugar over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches
140 degrees F, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot (you can feel a drop in between your fingers to ensure no granules).
Take off of stove, and place bowl back on electric mixer with whisk attachment and begin to whip until the mixture thickens like a merengue. Continue to whisk until outside of bowl becomes neutral to room temperature when you touch it. Switch over to paddle attachment. Mix on low speed continuously, add butter one cube at a time until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (It will curdle!! KEEP MIXING! It will come together!). Add lemon juice, food coloring, vanilla and salt, mix well. If buttercream is too runny, the butter was possibly too soft–place into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then beat again. If still too runny, add a few more cubes of butter and keep beating until it reaches a soft fluffy frosting.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely and top with a generous amount of the Lemontini frosting. We use a large star tip and piping bag for our Official Cupcake. Garnish with lemontini rimming sugar crystals (found at BevMo) a fondant purple daisy as us, or get creative and top however you would like!! Most of all ENJOY!!!