I could eat cupcakes until I'm blue in the face

When it comes to cupcakes, you'll usually find me humming and hawing over anything vanilla, chocolate, caramel, nutty or some combination thereof. Generally speaking, I'm not much for funny flavours and bright colours.

But as our host Fanny at Foodbeam so wisely pointed out, sometimes you have to step outside your cake box and see what you've been missing. With that in mind, I went bold and blue for Sugar High Friday 45.

I wanted blueberry cupcakes like you've never seen them before. None of this blueberry muffin disguised as cupcake with a bit of tinted frosting. I wanted blue through and through, people. There's just one teeny tiny problem. Blueberries don't pack the same flavour punch as their brash raspberry and blackberry contemporaries. So although my cupcakes look berry blue, their taste is berry subtle.

On to the photos.

Cupcakes, pre-frosting. Someone couldn't help herself, apparently.

A berry blue sumo wrestler preparing to duel.
Alternatively, Mount Berry Blue.

A berry blue bouquet.

Cupcake prison.

Berry Blue Cupcakes

Blueberry Puree:
Bring 1 pound of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil over low-medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick (about 1/2 hour). Cool the mixture slightly before blending in a food processor until smooth. For an extra smooth puree, pass the mixture through a fine sieve before using.

Yields about 1 1/4 cups.

Blueberry Cupcakes:
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup blueberry puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tin with paper cups.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating just until incorporated.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, mix the milk, blueberry puree and vanilla.

Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat!

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 paper cups. Spoon 1 teaspoon of blueberry puree into the center and mix in slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire
rack and cool completely before frosting.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup blueberry puree
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
drop or two of almond extract

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the blueberry puree and almond extract just until combined. Add the icing sugar gradually and beat until smooth and spreadable.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as you wish. Store in the fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving.

Yields 12 cupcakes.

Notes: I didn't bother straining my blueberry puree because I quite enjoy the little purple flecks. As the recipe suggested, I added a blueberry puree swirl on top of the cupcakes before baking. Next time, I'd fill the paper liners partway, add the puree, then top them with the rest of the batter for a hidden surprise! Finally, for reasons unknown, my cupcakes took about 25-28 minutes to bake all the way through.

Source: The cupcake recipe is one used by Trophy Cupcakes, which I found on Cakespy Seattle. I wasn't feeling the swiss meringue buttercream they suggest, so I whipped up a simple blueberry cream cheese frosting instead.