Berry Cupcakes and Bucket Lists

I had a mini-crisis as I was putting together this cupcake recipe.  The berries were just too good on their own.  It almost felt like it was disrespecting the berries to mix them up into cupcakes.

It’s that time of the year when even the berries at your shadiest local bodega are gorgeous angels.  I infused this buttercream frosting with a natural raspberry jam and simply garnished the cupcakes with the beautiful berries in order to maintain their vital integrity.

How do you inject summer adventure in your life when professional goals and routines are running rampant?  Just like infusing a buttercream frosting, you have to choose ingredients wisely and blend well.  I recently concocted a summer bucket list of sweet distractions that will see me through until September.

  1. First of all, I want to visit this boat graveyard on Staten Island.  The haunting and moody images captured by South Korean artist Miru Kim have me wanting to plan a visit, the drearier the day, the better.
  2. A week ago I passed by some colorful walls in SoHo and saw a sign for a mural art class… has anyone done this?  I need to find out more!  In the meantime, I’ll be thinking of some insightful and provocative imagery to scrawl onto buildings and freight cars.
  3. In honor of my birthday, I want to make a pavlova, a meringue cake usually topped off with whipped cream and berries.  Fun fact, the pavlova is apparently named after a Russian ballerina.  I’m most likely going to try out this recipe!
  4. I need to finally get that tattoo I’ve been talking about since last year!  Looking into my crystal ball, 80-year-old Hadley of the future finally approves.  That is all.

Add these strawberry raspberry chocolate cupcakes to your June pastry repertoire, and you won’t regret it.  Each bite is a little burst of summery inspiration.  Snack on them while you’re writing your own summer bucket list!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Strawberry Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

For the cupcakes (makes about 24 mini cupcakes):

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

Instructions:

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together the butter and the sugar.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the coconut milk.  Stop mixing once well incorporated.
  6. Fill lined cupcake containers 2/3 full with the batter.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1 drop red food coloring, if desired

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy
  2. Gradually add the confectioners sugar
  3. Add jam and food coloring.  Beat until well incorporated.

Wait until the cupcakes cool to add frosting.  Garnish with raspberries and strawberry cutouts, as desired.

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