key lime cupcakes w/ blackberry filling and blackberry frosting*

Happy Cinco de Mayo! On that note, this recipe has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. Sorry! However, I'm not going to let you down. These cupcakes are one of the most amazing things I have eaten to date. Seriously. They are AMAZING!

Before I get to the cupcakes, I have some great news! Our deck is complete, stain and all! When I got home from work today the husband was out getting all of our patio furniture out of the shed and my heart skipped a beat, I'm pretty sure! My backyard is by far my favorite part of my house, and we spend endless hours back there during the summer. When that patio furniture comes out, that brings hope that maybe we will enter Spring/Summer. So far it's been pure winter. Thank you 70 degrees for showing your lovely face today! You are more than welcome!

Now, it is time to introduce you to my new favorite kitchen gadget. Last week I entered my new favorite store for the first time. Williams Sonoma. If you have never been there, GO. Especially if you love to cook! Unless you are on a tight budget. Then don't go. Because you will not be able to stop thinking about the amazing things in that beautiful store. The things in that store make my mind go crazy thinking of all of the amazing and delicious things I can make with the help of their many gadgets! Including this one:

That's right folks. A gadget to core your cupcakes! Throw your pairing knife aside and go to Williams Sonoma right now and purchase this little guy! Or click here and purchase your next favorite gadget online. It will be the best $5.00 you ever spent - guaranteed! As you scroll down through this amazing cupcake recipe, please stop to admire the picture with the lovely cupcakes with a perfect little hole cut right out of them! That, my friends, is the result of the precise work of this little guy!

Before I get to this amazing cupcake recipe, I thought I should say something. If you are an avid blog reader of mine (thank you SO much by the way!), I promise I do not feed the students very sugary, unhealthy desserts everyday. It probably seems like it, because I post so many goodies on here. That is simply because I am obsessed with desserts and love to blog about them! I have about 20+ recipes that I have yet to put on here, but I just cannot wait to post the desserts first. The students actually get dessert once a week. Some recipes are from different activities we do around campus, or recipes I make at home. So in case you were wondering, my goal is not to make the students the size of elephants :).

Key Lime Cupcakes w/ Blackberry Filling and Blackberry Frosting
adapted from Baked Perfection

makes 30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons key lime juice
zest of two limes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or paper-line 30 baking cups.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, key lime juice and lime zest; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick).

Fill muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely and frost as desired.

Blackberry Filling
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 32oz container frozen blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt

Place blackberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with sugar, let thaw. Drain blackberries, reserving liquid. Squish the blackberries and push through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, set aside. Add enough water to the blackberry liquid to equal 1 cup. In a large saucepan, combine the blackberry liquid, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt. Heat and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir blackberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be made several days in advance and any leftovers works well on toast, on pancakes, or mixed in plain Greek Yogurt.)

*Note: I needed a little more filling for all my 180 cupcakes, so we folded in some pre-made whipped cream and it turned out DELICIOUS! I would HIGHLY recommend it!

Blackberry Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackberry filling (seedless blackberry jam or preserves can be substituted)
pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Mix in blackberry filling and salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

To assemble the cupcakes, remove the middles (using the awesome cupcake corer above or a pairing knife will work, too).

Please take a second to admire the precision of these cupcake holes :)

Pipe your blackberry filling into the hole.

Then frost your cupcakes with the blackberry filling. I frosted them with a piping bag that had no tip and then swirled it on. Top with a fresh blackberry, if desired.

These cupcakes are TO DIE for! We had some leftover filling, frosting and then the middles out of the cupcakes, and I think I ate about 1/2 the middles (from 180 cupcakes keep in mind) and tons of the filling and frosting all to myself! And then I ate a cupcake! They are so fruity, and the key lime cupcakes have just the right amount of citrus, and together they create the most amazing, refreshing, tangy cupcake! Please make these. I beg you!!! Oh, and get out there and enjoy this warm weather!



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