There's no better food on earth, IMHO, than the beautiful blueberry. In season -- NOW!! -- the little sweet things are part of my everyday diet. They always appear at breakfast, either in a bowl with pieces of cantaloupe and other berries, or in cold cereal or oatmeal. On special days, they make it into pancakes or muffins, and we like the blueberry cornbread you can find sometimes at Whole Foods.
Here's a recipe I found for blueberry cupcakes that has a secret ingredient for the cake -- mashed potatoes! The potatoes make the cake incredibly moist, and the frosting is so guilt-free that you can pile a lot on each one. Note that the frosting stiffens quickly, so frost the cupcakes right away.
This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite healthy-foodie sources, Eating Well magazine.
RECIPE: Blueberry Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained), plus fresh blueberries for garnish
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Note), reconstituted according to package directions (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 tablespoons blueberry preserves or jam
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract or vanilla extract
- To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.
- Place potato in a saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and mash until very smooth. Measure out 3/4 cup and let cool slightly. (You may have some potato left over.)
- Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
- Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg, 1/2 teaspoon extract and the 3/4 cup mashed potatoes until combined. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Fold in 1 cup blueberries. Divide the batter among the prepared cups (they will be full).
- Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- To prepare frosting: Once the cupcakes are cool, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler (see Tip). Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water in the top of the double boiler. Place over the simmering water and heat, stirring, until the sugar is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Start beating the mixture with an electric mixer on high speed; add reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Continue beating until the mixture looks like a glossy, thick frosting, 5 to 7 minutes. Off the heat, beat for 1 minute more to cool. Add 2 tablespoons (or more, depending on desired color) blueberry preserves (or jam) and 1/4 teaspoon extract and beat on low just to combine. Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with fresh blueberries on top, if desired.