Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guest Post: Plum Cupcakes with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting


You may have noticed that things have really slowed down over here.  Well, I have a good reason, and a fabulous post to offer you as an apology.  You may recall my past rants about the evilness of my landlord.  Well no more, R and I finally packed up and moved.  We're just down the street from where we were before, but now we're renting from someone not quite so associated with the devil.  We're in the middle of unpacking the apartment, so one of my good friends was kind enough to help keep this place going.  Take it away Todd!!

Plum Cupcakes with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting 

I met Andrea during freshman year of college, but it wasn’t until we became roommates in New York City, 6 years later, that I caught wind of Andrea’s foodie brilliance. When we first met she was eating tuna from a can.  Ok, fine, college students can’t exactly seer up tuna steaks in the dorm, but still I get fuzzy tingles of pride seeing her culinary passions take life in the form of the fabulous Cooking Books!  In fact, it’s had a VIP parking spot in my browser’s toolbar since 2008 

As a child, I lived for cookies and cupcakes.  I may as well be honest here: I only really learned to bake for my own piggish gourmandizing.  Yup!  And I baked often.  Perhaps I needn’t mention my mother eventually had to shop for my outfits in the “husky” section at JC Penny.  We can’t all love cooking AND Triathlons! Ahem, Andrea, cough, grumble, grumble.

Fortuitously, I have found something called a gym, where I can conveniently peddle and step while watching Ina Garten.  I travel right to the Land of Yum and handily forget that I am whittling my waist.   What this really means is that I can bake cupcakes once more!   If these weren’t so amazingly delicious then I’d have used this opportunity to actually share my creations.  Maybe next time…

I came up with the idea for plum cupcakes while browsing this site.  I decided to try plums instead of peaches, but I didn’t want to use just any plums.  I wanted stunning plums.  I visited the Harvard Square Farmer’s Market and found the dearest wee plums I’ve ever laid eyes on.  They actually had two varieties: a European Green Gage (very sweet and moist), and classic Blue (more firm and tart).   I bought them and mixed both kinds into the recipe.  For the frosting, I decided to get sassy and match the sweet plum with a fresh lemon and ginger cream cheese frosting. 

“Fruit in a cupcake??” you might be fretting.  Rest assured that it’s nothing less than wonderful.  And these aren’t at all like a muffin, like I had feared.  They actually have the fluffy constitution of a cupcake, and the plum pieces add a refreshing, summery hint of the orchard.

Plum Cupcakes:

Makes 24 cupcakes

 

3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of nutmeg

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) whole milk yogurt

5 or 6 plums, cored and chopped to small cubes (may leave on skins)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy. Add the beaten eggs in two turns, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla and almond extracts. Gently mix in the yogurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the cubed plums.


Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners.  Fill to just below the paper’s rim, as they rise slightly but not overwhelmingly.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for a couple minutes in the tin, then turn them place them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and beat until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 additional minutes. Add sugar, lemon zest, ginger, lemon juice and salt, then beat for 3 or 4 minutes.  If you’d like it to thicken some, you can place the frosting in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before spreading it onto the cupcakes. 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Plums and lemons and ginger, oh, my...I cannot wait to try this recipe..you're a lucky girl, Andrea, with friends like this!

Patty said...

Great combo! I really enjoyed the plum with lemon icing. Plus, it was really moist.
Thanks :-)

Eliana said...

What an amazing looking treat. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

When we first moved into our family home, we planted a plum tree - Stanley Plum. It had a beautiful silver grey bark and lots of gorgeous purple plums that we harvested in September. When we left for the weekend we would wonder who stripped the tree - the foxes or the men who mowed our lawn? I will try this recipe!

farida said...

I have never incorporated ginger in my cupcakes, but sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the recipe.

Elizabeth said...

I just tried this recipe but with orange-vanilla cream cheese frosting. It was heavenly! The plums and yogurt make the cupcakes so moist, and the fruit made everything so delicately sweet, frosting wasn't even necessary. Thank you for sharing these summertime treats!

Juniper said...

These look fantastic and I was just wondering what shall I do next with plums- thank you!!

Talita said...

Wow! This sounds so tasty! The dough looks moist and tender.

Rachel Kay said...

Well, they are delicious, but not as cake-like as I had hoped. Mine came out more like muffins. The icing more than makes up for this, though!

Rachel Kay said...

I rescind my last comment about the consistency. They are quite cake-like, and delightfully fluffy. I just had to let them cool a bit before devouring it. :)

Andrea said...

Rachel, ha ha, I'm glad. I'll pass that along to Todd!

sprinkles said...

These cupcakes look gorgeous! I have included them in a feature on 5 perfect plum cupcakes on Party Cupcake Ideas. You can see it here http://partycupcakeideas.com/5-perfect-plum-cupcake-recipes/