When our good friend Beth Lacey told us she wanted to have cupcakes filled with her homemade jams at her upcoming birthday party, I jumped at the chance to offer my baking services. Beth Lacey makes amazing homemade jams, jellies, and preserves – you can even buy them at her Etsy shop: Sweetness Follows. I’ve had the pleasure of helping her make some of them and the best part is trying all of her new and interesting recipes. (I highly recommend the Salted Caramel Pear Butter – YUM!) While we all know I am not an accomplished or professional baker in any way, I saw this as an opportunity to spread my baking wings and help my very good friend make her birthday wish come true.
After talking to Beth Lacey about what kind of jams we would be using to fill her birthday cupcakes we pow-wowed about what flavor of cake and frosting would work best. Below is what we decided upon and the delicious results.
Using a recently successful Basil Cake recipe, and my own buttercream frosting recipe, I created a savory cake with sweetness locked inside.
I used one of my mini spoons – a gift from a friend – to help fill these cupcakes. WOW, did they look good, and I had trouble not eating the jam right off the spoon.
To finish them off, I used some red sugar sprinkles to add a little color and decoration. Simple, but classic, and I loved the star piping tip – it’s quickly becoming my favorite.
This recipe made me nervous because it was my first experience with it, but following my “always follow the recipe” rule, I prayed it would turn out – luckily it did! The cake didn’t have as much “GM” flavor as I was hoping for, but it was moist, light, had a fantastic bit of crunch to the top, and tasted delicious.
The Wild Blueberry and Mint jam worked perfectly with the more subdued cake. Success! For the frosting, I added some Grand Marnier to my buttercream recipe and added a bit more confectioners sugar to help keep it from being runny. Then, to add a bit of decoration, I used food coloring to create a mint green frosting and I used a piping tip to create a little “mint” leaf on top.
Even though I had eaten all the components and thought the cake, frosting, and jam worked well together, I was still nervous to have Beth Lacey and her party goers eat them.
When I got to Beth Lacey’s house we immediately cut into one of the Raspberry Chambord Jam and Basil cupcakes to try. Her reaction could not have been better even if it had been scripted by an Academy Award winning writer, “Wow that is really good, I knew they would be good, but wow, that is really good.” Everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, but most importantly Beth Lacey enjoyed her birthday and celebrated in style, homemade jam filled cupcakes and all! (A special thanks to her for trusting me with this very important task and for believing in my humble baking abilities.)
– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)