Very Berry Shortcupcakes

Let’s kick off the blog with something sweet, shall we?

My birthday recently passed, and I thought I would share the cupcakes that have become my latest favorite. They take a little work, but they’re definitely worth it.

For the Cake:
1-1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 c granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/3 c milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 deg F. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers (you’ll be discarding the paper later, so don’t use your pretty or fancy papers!) or grease and flour a 10-inch cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Using a mixer on high, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each one into the batter before adding the next.
Add the flour mixture and the milk in alternating thirds, fully incorporating each batch into the batter before adding the next and scraping down the bowl between batches.
Stir in vanilla. Spoon into pan, filling each space 2/3 full. Refrigerate unused batter to bake later; use it as soon as possible. Bake 17-20 minutes (25-30 minutes for a cake) or until a toothpick in the center comes out dry or with a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely.

For the Fillings:
3 oz each fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
1/2 cup white sugar

Chop berries, but do not puree them! Combine chopped berries with sugar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

1 cup cream cheese (or, if you can find it, mascarpone cheese)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Using a mixer, whip ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting:
*Tip: use a metal bowl and a metal whisk, and put them, along with the cream, in the freezer for 15 minutes before making the frosting. This will ensure a nice fluffy result.*
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few fresh berries for garnish

Using a metal bowl and a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip ingredients together until still peaks form. Do not over-mix, or you’ll end up with very sweet butter! Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembly:
Use a cake slicer or a serrated knife to cut the tops of the cupcakes off at the paper line. (Save them for snacking later!) Carefully remove the papers from the cupcakes. Cut the cakes in half horizontally. Set aside the top halves for now. Lightly press a small dent into the bottom half. Fill the dent with the cream cheese filling and make a small dent in the center of that. Place berry filling in this dent; don’t let it drip down the sides. Add the top half of the cupcake. Frost the top and sides of cupcake with whipped cream frosting and garnish with fresh berries.

Keep them in the fridge, especially if you live somewhere hot. Be sure to eat these within a week. Remember to use your leftover batter as soon as possible!

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