Total Solar Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Total Solar Eclipse lemon cupcake with a blackberry cream cheese filling and blackberry buttercream frosting.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

 

Happy Thursday Loves!

I know I usually don’t post my cupcake recipes until Friday but I wanted you to have enough time this weekend to get these whipped up before the big event Monday.

Total Solar Eclipse

If you are in the US, a very special event is happening this Monday and is the inspiration for this cupcake.

This Monday, August 21, the United States will be experiencing a total solar eclipse spanning from coast to coast. The last time the United States experienced a solar eclipse crossing the Atlantic to the Pacific like this was June 8, 1918.

Band of Totality

The band of totality (the region where the total eclipse will be most visible) will be a seventy-mile wide band that stretches from South Carolina to Oregon. The states the band will cross through are as follows: South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon (1).

Of course, the band of totality will be sweeping right through North Carolina (my old home state) while I’m sitting down here in Florida viewing only a partial eclipse.

Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

NASA

My family thoroughly enjoys space wonders just like this. I mean, my husband and I did get married in a planetarium after all.

Just a few weeks ago we visited the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and were able to have first-hand experience with NASA and their explorations.  That is a post for a different day though.

However, if you are interested in learning more about the solar eclipse, NASA is an awesome resource and you can learn all about what to expect during the eclipse. They also advise how to view the eclipse safely.

*WARNING: For your safety, please know that looking directly at the sun is extremely dangerous. Even sunglasses and tanning goggles are not adequate protection for viewing the eclipse. Please make sure to only use approved viewing glasses or make your own NASA approved viewing box here.*

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Inspiration

Whether you are planning a fun eclipse party or you just want to have a fun treat for the family, I created an eclipse inspired cupcake just for you. These tasty treats can be enjoyed for outside viewing or inside viewing online.

Blame it on living in Florida but while the rest of the US is gearing up for pumpkin spice season, I am still in the dead heat of ninety-five-degree summer. I am still in the mood for those light and refreshing summer fruit flavors. What about you? Are you still enjoying the warm rays of summer or are you ready to get your pumpkin season on?

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Lemons and Blackberries

Thinking about fresh fruits and sunshine, I immediately decided to make the base of the cupcake a tart yellow lemon cake.

The lemon zest and additional lemon juice really bump up the tart citrus flavor of these cupcakes.

All in the Filling

To soothe out the tartness and also add more to our eclipse theme I thought it would be neat to fill the center with a blackberry cream cheese filling.

The idea here was to make the base of the cupcake be like the sun. I knew I would be demonstrating the eclipse with the icing but I wanted another way to turn these lemon cupcakes into distinctly Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes.

After filling the cupcake tin half full of lemon cake batter, use a piping bag to squirt just a little nickel sized dot of blackberry filling in the middle. With any luck, it will create a circular or even a crescent shape inside the cupcake. When it is cut open, you will get a nice viewable cupcake eclipse.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Over the Moon

Now, for the Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes, I wanted to alter the color of the icing so as to make it more resemble the moon passing in front of our lemon cupcake sun. But, unaltered, our icing would be a gorgeous pink color and would be very desirable when making these cupcakes for any other occasion.

This moon like effect is also why I chose to use a  Wilton 402-2001 No. 2A Round Decorating Tip, Multicolor to create a round puffed look rather than my usual swirl. I used the same tip for a similar effect on my Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes.

If you find the plain moon icing a bit boring or unattractive, you can always dress it up with a little lemon zest sprinkled over or even a blackberry perched on top.

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Why is this not a thing?

As excited as I am for this unique phenomenon, I am surprised I have not seen many advertisers jump at the opportunity to bank on this event.  I did see some very humorous and clever advertising by Chiquita though and their “banana sun”.

My friend Brooks, over at OurParentPlace, and I were just discussing this the other day. Why hasn’t Eclipse gum jumped on this opportunity? I mean, it is in their name!

Brooks is an awesome momma that writes about the unique intersectionality of mental health and parenting. She has first-hand experience with both and helps support other moms dealing with similar issues.  She also resides right in the middle of the band of totality! (I’m so jealous!)

Total Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes

Let me hear from you in the comments. Are you in the band of totality? Will you be hosting your own eclipse soiree? What do you think of these Total Solar Eclipse cupcakes and what other thematic goodies could you put with them? Let me know down below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Cofield, Calla and Tariq Malik. “Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)”. https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html.Space.com, 15 08 2017.
Full Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Full Eclipse tart lemon cupcake with a soothing blackberry cream cheese filling and sweet blackberry buttercream frosting.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Full Eclipse Lemon and Blackberry Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Celebrating the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, I have created for you a Full Eclipse tart lemon cupcake with a soothing blackberry cream cheese filling and sweet blackberry buttercream frosting.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Lemon Cupcake
Blackberry Cream Cheese Filling
Blackberry Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Lemon Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugar together.
  2. Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time mixing on medium speed until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour baking soda and salt.
  4. Add a third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Then add half of the Greek yogurt. Alternate between the flour mixture and Greek yogurt until all ingredients are used. Mix thoroughly on medium speed.
  5. With a spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure batter is well mixed. Fold in lemon zest and lemon juice.
  6. Fill lined cupcake tin half full. Squeeze dolup of blackberry filling into the center of each cupcake. Spoon lemon batter over the blackberry filling.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on baking rack.
Blackberry Filling
  1. In a blender, blend together the creamcheese, egg and sugar.
  2. Add a cup of blackberries and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add food coloring a drop at a time to reach desired color.
  4. Spoon filling into piping bag to easily fill centers of cupcakes.
Blackberry Butter Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening on medium speed for about two minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice and blackberry puree to butter mixture. Beat on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mixing thoroughly between additions.
  4. Fold in lemon extract.
  5. Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting.
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Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing

A super sweet collaboration with Vera from Voice of Vera inspired a whole new world of connections and custom cupcake creations. This Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing was created just for her.

The Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is to go gift shopping for someone special. I like the feeling of thinking about them and thinking about what they would enjoy while searching the aisles. Many times, a type of candy , a specific animal or a figurine will remind me of a memory we shared together.

Baking isn’t much different. I was making Little Cakeasaurus Rex his Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and I was thinking about him the entire time. Thoughts of his monkey toes curling around my finger when he was a baby and how he would even hold his bottle with his feet spun around my mind like the batter around the beater.

I decided it might be fun to start connecting my recipes to people. How neat would it be to connect with other inspiring and adventurous people and create a custom cupcake flavor representative of who they are and what they do?

Who is Vera?

I was discussing this idea with Vera from Voice of Vera and she was excited to start swapping recipes and have me make a custom cupcake recipe for her.

Vera is a creative mom of four and blogs about her adventures including fashion and DIY.  One of my favorite things about her blog is that it is full of inspiration and her uplifting motto says it all:  “The best is yet to come!”

When she described her favorite flavors as being sweet, tart and fruity, the recipe practically wrote itself. I knew I needed something fun and flavorful for this awesome woman.

Custom Cupcake Creation

When the warm weather comes around, I can’t help but get a taste for fresh tropical fruit. Pineapples, kiwis, raspberries,you name it, I love them!

Growing up in North Carolina, our summer vacation was always a four hour trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along the way, the family tradition was always to stop at a fruit stand and grab a basket full of big juicy South Carolina peaches. One bite of that peach and you would have sweet syrupy juice dripping down your chin. That sweet nostalgic flavor equates to summer for me. Now that we are knee deep into summer vacation, I am having an intense hankering for that sweet peach deliciousness.

This Peach Spice Cupcake recipe satisfies all of those tropical fruit cravings and has the added bonus of reminding me of a cocktail.

Peaches check off the sweet and fruity requirements for Vera’s custom cupcake. Now, I needed that tart flavor to bring it all together.

 

Peach and Kiwi

Peaches and kiwis? I know, right?! Who knew? The fact is, peaches have such a sugary taste to them that I felt a peach cupcake in the middle of summer desperately needed a complementary tart icing.

Kiwis provided the tartness to balance this recipe and make it the perfect sweet, tart and fruity flavor we were looking for.

 

A Kiwi Sparkler is a summer cocktail that includes kiwi and peach scnapps. How perfect?! The peach schnapps is what I would use to tie the kiwi icing to its peachy cupcake counterpart.

Now, I used Florida peaches for the Peach Spice Cupcake. Florida peaches are much smaller and less juicy than their Georgia and South Carolina relatives. They still provided that popping peach flavor though which is all I needed.

However, the difference is important. Pay attention!

Important!

If you are using a juicier peach for your baking endeavors, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe. If your ingredients are too wet, your cupcakes will shrink or sink in the middle. To offset this, you can either bump up your dry ingredients accordingly or you can just reduce the amount of peaches you use.
Personally, I would just do the latter. Adding in less peaches is way easier than adjusting the rest of the recipe and if they are that juicy, you won’t be losing any of the flavor.

Let’s get started!

Go ahead and set your oven to our favorite temperature of 350 degrees. Now is a good time to go ahead and put cute cupcake liners in your tin. You can get colorful and thematic ones here.

In a large mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar on medium speed until nice and smooth. Then, add in your egg, vanilla and rum. The rum is going to make your batter look pretty wet and runny. It may also make it look like it is separating. It is okay and it won’t be ugly for long.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. This is your flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. It doesn’t matter how many cupcakes I make, every time I add in the baking soda, salt and baking powder, I always feel like I am about to create a science experiment. I mean, I am a culinary chemist to some extent.

 

Usually a recipe like this will use buttermilk to mix alternately with the dry ingredients. I decided to try something a little different by using Greek yogurt instead. The step works out about the same.

Pour about a third of your dry ingredients into your wet batter mix. Mix on low speed until well blended. Then add in half of the Greek yogurt and blend again. Keep alternating until you finish with the last third of the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended but do not over mix.

Fold in the peaches with a spatula and spoon batter into cupcake liners. You want to fill the cups three-fourths of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-four to twenty-eight minutes. Mine were done at about twenty-six minutes. Just keep an eye out on them and check with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean when the cupcakes are ready.

Now for the Icing!

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth. This is easily accomplished with a whisk attachment for a stand mixer, but I’ve been successful using my old hand-me-down GE hand mixer too.  To make sure the icing stays smooth and silky, sift the powdered sugar in to the bowl one cup at a time, beating between each cup.

In a blender, blend about three kiwis into a puree. Peel the kiwis first with a potato peeler, leaving just the fleshy green fruit. I used the Ninja Blender to make the puree. Two presses of the pulse button and the kiwis are liquefied into a tart puree.

The kiwi puree definitely resembles baby food at this point. I thought it might make the icing a strange pea green color but the  white powdered sugar lightens the color tremendously. Add the kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. You will want to mix that on medium speed until well blended.

Sift the last cup of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed. Your icing will be smooth and almost silky feeling. There will be some specks from the kiwi seeds mixed throughout the icing.

 

Now it is time to enjoy.

Top those juicy sweet Peach Spice cupcakes with the Kiwi Sparkler icing and you have the perfect summer treat. I hope you love the sweet, tart and fruity flavors of this unique cupcake.

Make sure to head over to Voice of Vera and let her know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor.

If you are interested in developing your own custom flavor or having me develop one for you, please leave a comment below. I’d love to connect to with you!

This is how we make life taste sweeter together!

 

Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Print Recipe
Juicy sweet peach spice cupcake with chunks of real peaches topped with a tart Kiwi Sparkler icing.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Peach Spice Cupcakes
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Peach Spice Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and rum to butter mixture. Mix on medium until blended. The rum will make the batter separate. It will not look pretty but it will be okay in the end.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt. Start and end with the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chopped peaches and spoon into a lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from tins and cool on rack.
Kiwi Sparkler Icing
  1. Beat butter and shortening with a whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add two cups of powdered sugar sifted, one cup at a time. Mix well between additions.
  3. In a blender, puree three kiwis to make 1/2 a cup of puree.
  4. Add kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add last cup of powdered sugar to the mixture and beat on medium to high speed until icing is smooth and silky.
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