LEMON + BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES

Stop what you're doing and make these lemon blueberry cupcakes. We promise you won't be disappointed. After all of the rain we had last night and this morning, one of these bright and light treats is the perfect way to welcome the sunshine back. 

These cupcakes are the perfect celebration of both blueberry and lemon seasons. Both fruits are in their peak ripeness, so it is the best time of the year to enjoy them to reap the many benefits they have to offer. Let's take a look at blueberries' benefits! 

Protects Against Memory Loss - Studies show that eating at least one serving of blueberries can help to slow cognitive decline by several years. This could be because it has been found that blueberries help clear toxic proteins that accumulate in the brain. 

Antioxidant Powerhouse - Blueberries boast one the HIGHEST levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight to neutralize and remove free radicals from our bodies, which have endless positive effects on our body, inside and out. They can strengthen our immune system, fight inflammation and help us achieve healthier looking skin.

Promote Heart Health - If you're looking to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, consider snacking on blueberries regularly! They naturally have properties to promote a healthy heart and prevent against heart disease. 

The benefits of blueberries go on and on. But what about lemons? 

Alkalizing - Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline-forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.

Cancer Fighting - Including naturally occurring limonene, lemons contain 22 cancer fighting compounds. Studies have found these compounds can slow or halt the growth of cancer tumors. They also contain flavonol glycosides, which stop cell division in cancer cells.

Cold Prevention - It is no wonder many people live by warm lemon water to fight off colds. Lemons contain a great source of Vitamin C which help to keep a strong immune system - a key in making sure you don't get sick year round. 

So, now that we have a better idea of the benefits both blueberries and lemons have, now we can dive into the delicious goodness of this cupcake recipe! We made things super simple by using Simple Mills's cake mix and icing. This means you can cook and enjoy these in under an house, and can have some fun making it with friends or the little ones! They are the best sweet treat for summer. 

Ingredients

1 box of vanilla cake mix 

1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

For Blueberry Icing - 

1 jar vanilla icing 

1 1/2 cups blueberries

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries, for decorating

 

Instructions

  1. Mix cake mix according to packaging, minus the vanilla extract. Add lemon zest, juice and extract and mix well. 
  2. Toss a few blueberries in the bottom of lined cupcake tins. Fill each tin 2/3 of the way with cupcake batter and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until a toothpick is smooth when you poke it. 
  3. While cupcakes are cooling (you'll want them fully cooled before you ice them), whip up the frosting. 
  4. In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and blueberries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly and gently smashing the blueberries smooth, until thickened into a deep, dark reduction (about 10 minutes). Allow mixture to cool completely before using.
  5. Once cooled, mix with vanilla icing. Mix until well combined, using a hand mixer. Using either a piping star or cutting a slice into a plastic bag, ice each cupcake. Top with a few fresh blueberries and DIG IN.

Recipe via Balanced Beet