This past week my good friend, who is now also an awesome neighbor, A., invited me to a fellow neighbor’s birthday party. They had taste-tested a recipe for me a few days prior and so I figured I’d tweak it a bit more and bring a new batch to the party. Plus it’d be a great way to pimp out my site. Clearly I didn’t do this for purely selfish reasons. Or maybe I did. So judge me, whatever.
Anyway, I show up with cupcake carrier in tow filled to the brim with blueberry cupcakes. Blueberry cupcakes made with booze. ‘Cuz that’s like, my thing. Totally stoked on meeting new people. Except, I was easily the oldest individual at the party – not by much, but by enough to feel pretty awkward. I guess this is how The BF feels when he hangs out with me. Taste of my own medicine it seems. All these earnest, young 20-somethings bubbling on about their new jobs, and I felt old, and awkward, and jaded. Oh, so jaded. I mean, I’m a pretty cheery person, cynical at times yes, but ultimately cheery. I practically shit rainbows. It’s true. But damn, these kids had me beat.
Not to mention I had not been informed that they had the nicest apartment in the whole neighborhood, with a backyard that rivals my own. Oh and my new neighbor,T. (who has a snarky little Tumblr site that you should totally check out), is basically Martha Stewart in a pint-sized container (except way nicer). Yeah, the nerve of this girl to actually put together a table scape with fresh grapes from her grape arbor, and candles, and mood lighting. Do you see the earnestness? It’s practically nauseating. Impressive, too.
Part of me wishes I had it together enough to do that when I was her age. Probably would have helped if I had her backyard, and apartment, and entire Ikea collection of furniture. I’m sensing a bit of envy. All I had was a crappy fifth-floor walk up in Inwood. Oh, you’ve never heard of that neighborhood in Manhattan? That’s because it might as well be in Yonkers it’s so far north. It’s still “technically” on the island of Manhattan, so I had a snooty Manhattan zip code, cuz that’s what matters, right? But, I lived in the not nice section of Inwood, on the East side of Broadway where the catcalls were in Spanish. I got to brush up on my Spanish though, not sure I could use it anywhere since I’m pretty certain everything I learned was offensive. I mean, I guess you could say it had “flavor,” but it wasn’t a flavor I liked. Oh, those fond memories of my first six months in New York. Moving on.
As luck would have it, T. has me beat in the cheer department, and you couldn’t help but feel excited for her on her birthday. Oh and the bubbling enthusiasm was (relatively) contagious. Plus my good friend A. is just as freakin’ cheery and outgoing. I was practically forced to enjoy myself. But seriously, she threw an amazing party and her roommates were delightful. And despite feeling like a dinosaur and woefully out of touch, I had an amazing time.
Sadly, during all this excitement I forgot to take photos. Therefore, you have no documentation of the pretty table-scape, or the finished cupcakes. But I do have a picture of the three of us. Can you tell who’s feeling super awkward? It’s the girl on the left, with the Donald Trump hairdo. Yeah, that’d be me. Captain Awkward to the rescue. But whatever, my boozy blueberry cupcakes should make up for it.
I made these with cake flavored vodka (a gift from my sister), but you could substitute whipped vodka or regular vodka, or if you don’t want booze (freak) you can just up the amount of milk/cream you use. I found the original recipe through Baking Bites, but she tweaked it off the Ciroc website. I tweaked it even more. You don’t need to add food coloring to get that pretty purply-blue color, the blueberry puree does it all on its own. I used some of the leftover limoncello Campari buttercream from Wednesday’s recipe, and when I ran out I made an alternate easy version, which is posted at the bottom. These are super moist cupcakes, so don’t use cheap cupcake liners like I did because they’ll peel right off when you’re not looking. Also if you want to get a nice domed top, fill the tin a little more than ¾ full.
- ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup cake vodka
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 cups blueberries, divided
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- about 1 lb of powdered sugar
- ½ cup limoncello (or ¼ cup limoncello and ¼ cup milk)
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F, place cupcake liners in tins
- Puree about 1 ¼ cup of blueberries in a blender or with an immersion blender, should yield about 1 cup of puree, maybe a little less. Add enough vodka to make it 1 ¼ cups of liquid. Add the heavy cream.
- Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and lemon extract, mixing just to incorporate.
- Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mix in three additions to the butter and sugar, alternating with the blueberry puree mix, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just to ensure there are no streaks of flour. If it looks a little dry, add more vodka or heavy cream by the tablespoonful. It’s a thick batter, similar to the one from the Limoncello Lemon Cake so don’t worry. Fold in the blueberries by hand.
- Fill the tins to just over ¾ full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
- Cream the butter briefly until smooth. Add about 2-3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low to incorporate, the result might be crumbly.
- Add ¼ cup of limoncello and mix til smooth. Add another 2-3 cups of powdered sugar and mix. When it gets too crumbly add the remaining limoncello or milk. Continue alternating the dry with the wet ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. Add lemon extract at the end by the ¼ tsp until you get the lemon flavor you want.