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Verses from my Kitchen: Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes

March 31, 2011

Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes

The breath of spring's arrival brushes my skin in the afternoon these days, reminding me of her impending visit. The signs are there, albeit hidden most days. The lighter evenings and longer days remind me of a story I've read a few times before. Although the usual tell tale signs are hibernating, it's obvious to me that she stands among us. And it's a beautiful sight.

I see people smiling longer than usual. Smiling at all. The grass is stretching in my backyard and fighting for the rays of sun that touch down for hours upon hours. I'm noticing neighbours who have all but disappeared for four to five months leaving their houses and walking their dogs. Cute little dogs. And I feel that breath. Warm breath.

The produce at the market is starting to cycle again. And it's coming from farms nearby, not trucked in from distances too far to ever think of visiting. Greenhouse tomatoes and peppers and rhubarb. Lovely, vibrant rhubarb. And we're on the edge of an onslaught of seasonal varieties. Produce that I haven't cooked with or played with in seasons.

We need not look far to see the changes happening on the menus at restaurants everywhere. Stews and thick soups are being replaced by fresh salads with fruit and herbs and we're seeing lighter fare everywhere we turn. That includes my own kitchen where I'm gearing up for recipes and menus that illustrate the bounties around me.

One such light and fresh dessert I like involves lemons and zest, berries and coconut. Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting paints a picture of a spring day with the sun shining, flowers blowing in the breeze and kids playing in their yards. That's my type of picture. And my kind of cupcake.

Even if spring stays on a hiatus for a while longer, I'll have these cupcakes and similar recipes to remind me of all that love in store. And that feeling that comes with the rebirth of cool.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes

The Goods:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil (highest quality)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice and zest
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • cup of blueberries
  • 1 stick of butter, room temp.
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and give a light spray of non-cooking spray.
  2. Using a large bowl, add in the eggs and sugar and whisk for a minute. Add in the olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice and zest and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add in the cake flour, coconut, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the blueberries and mix gently until combined.
  3. Divide batter among liners and fill only 2/3 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely and add icing.
  5. To make the frosting: using a large bowl and electric mixer over low speed, beat the butter together with the cream cheese, grated peel and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth, another minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute to lighten it further.
  6. Use a spatula to spread about 3 tbsp. of frosting over each cupcake.

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At March 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM , Blogger Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Mmmm! Those cupcakes looks delightful! I am so happy that new and fresh Spring produce is starting to arrive in our markets here too. Looking forward to less heavy and more flavor.

At March 31, 2011 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous RavieNomNoms said...

WOW, look at those! They look so light and fluffy and delicious! So pretty

At March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Those are simply gorgeous, Mike!

At March 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Wilde in the Kitchen said...

I am so ready for spring! Yet, we're expecting a Nor'easter tonight, with snow... Great flavors in your cupcakes, I would love to have one!

At March 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM , Blogger Maggie @ Vittles and Bits said...

Great combination! These look delish ... And I'm definitely ready for spring myself!

At March 31, 2011 at 5:53 PM , Anonymous Christina said...

Beautiful! What a great flavor combo!

At March 31, 2011 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Springy and lemony and with berries! LOvely!

At April 1, 2011 at 1:58 AM , Blogger All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

I love the flavor combination and they look delicious!

At April 1, 2011 at 7:14 AM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

I go bonkers over anything with coconut, so these are just for me! Beautifully done!

At April 1, 2011 at 7:24 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thanks Lisa! Me too. Less is more, right?

Thanks Ravie!

Carolyn, thank you. I'm not the biggest baker but I know you are so I appreciate it.

Vicky, think of all the good things we can do in Spring and that's beside food. Actually enjoying the outdoors again. Yes!

Thank you Christina!

Mardi, thanks. Just what I was after.

I appreciate that Felice!

Brian, me too!! Love coconut and I don't get to use it as often as I'd like. THanks!

At April 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there.
I just ran into this site at stumbleupon.com and I have one
In the frosting you say one stick of butter, how much is that? I'm from Iceland and I don't think that measurments are the same here. :)


At April 1, 2011 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was supposed to be -I have one question-

and b.t.w. great site


At April 1, 2011 at 10:45 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Hi Anna. Thank you. 1 stick of butter is about 1/2 cup. Hope that helps you.

At April 1, 2011 at 11:21 AM , Blogger ABowlOfMush said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Blogger ABowlOfMush said...

These cakes look stunning and beautifully moist!

At April 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM , Blogger Diethood.com said...

Oh my goodness .. hello gorgeousness!! These cupcakes are, WOW! Everything about them is WOW... the looks, the flavors, the photos... great job, Mike!

At April 3, 2011 at 1:27 AM , Blogger Jenn said...

These look so light and fluffy and not to mention, they sound delicious! Your frosting looks so creamy.

At April 3, 2011 at 11:08 AM , Blogger Peggy said...

These cupcakes definitely scream summer and spring! Can't wait to make them soon!

At April 3, 2011 at 6:31 PM , Blogger Christina said...

Just whipped up a batch of these to combat a snowy, cold April day here in Colorado (after 83oF yesterday) - super easy and delicious. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe :-)

At April 3, 2011 at 6:32 PM , Blogger Lizzy said...

What beautiful, pillowy toppings...these cupcakes sound (and look!) fabulous!

At April 3, 2011 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

A.B.O.M., thanks!

Thanks so much Kate! Very kind.

Thank you, Jenn. They're super light and airy. And as moist a cake as I've made.

Let me know how they turn out for you Peggy. Hopefully it'll spur on Spring soon.

Thank you Christina! I'm so glad you tried them and liked them. We had warm temperatures yesterday and even today, but the snow has appeared very recently.

Lizzy, thanks! Pillowy for sure.

At April 4, 2011 at 11:52 AM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

I love lemon and blueberry! Coconut just takes this up a notch!!!

At April 4, 2011 at 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

this couldn't get any more perfect. saving right away to my online cookbook (http://cookmarked.com)!


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