Berry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Sunshine was lingering on the horizon when I left the office last night. Couldn't help but smile. Come on spring! Fight for your right to party! Love winter for the coziness, warm drinks, and snow days but I am a t-shirts and flip flops kind of girl. I like rocking guys basketball shorts, those cute long and lean tanks from Target, and a cozy hoodie. Ready for those warm breezes, afternoon walks, and adventures.

The warm weather may not to be here just yet, but you can have a taste of it with these Berry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Was that a cheesy segue? Little bit.

Baked goods that incorporate fresh fruit are a weakness. Anything fresh automatically wins bonus points! The recipes recommends using blueberries- but I used black berries. I'm sure this would be just fine with raspberries as well, it's a very simple cake.

This is a very easy recipe that leans towards the healthy end of the spectrum with reduced fat buttermilk. It's a very light taste. You do not need to slather it in lemon-cream cheese frosting... but you probably will because it's such a perfect addition.

The frosting has a little zest to it because of the lemon. The smoothness of the cream cheese tames the beast. Make sure you sift the confectioners sugar- I know that's an extra 5 minutes but it's worth the lemony, fluffiness.

Note: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make some in a pinch with butter and regular milk. Place 4 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a glass-measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes (the mixture will begin to curdle). Done- you got yourself a cup of buttermilk!

PS. Oh don't worry, I promised to share a lil surprise back in my Coffeecake post. That will be revealed this Friday. Call me a tease- you likes it.

Berry Cupcakes
from Cooking Light Magazine

6.75 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup non fat buttermilk
1/2 cup reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/4 cup fresh berries, thawed

Preheat oven to 350. Line a dozen cupcake tins.

In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In another bowl, combine the melted butter and egg. Stir with whisk. Add buttermilk, milk and 1 teaspoon lemon rind to the butter mixture. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Toss berries with remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. The recommended berries are blueberries but I wanted to utilize the blackberries laying around the house. Yes, we have blackberries lounging around the house.

Fold berries into batter and spoon into prepared muffins tins. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes on wire rack then remove from pan.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
from Cooking Light Magazine

1/4 cup (2 ounces) low fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Place cream cheese, 2 tablespoon s of butter, 1 teaspoon of lemon rind, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until just blended. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar- don't over mix. Stir in lemon juice. Frost as you see fit!