Monday, February 29, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting (and some Big Real Life News!!)

Good morning and Happy Leap Day! :) There's been so much going on over the past few months, guys, and I may need to take a break from blogging...keep reading to find out why!
Okay. Here goes. *Deep Breath * Dramatic pause for effect*

I AM LAUNCHING MY CUPCAKE BUSINESS!  AHHHHHH!! I'm excited and anxious and freaking out a little...but I believe that wonderful things are coming. The first thing coming, though, is a lengthy blog post, so hang with me if you can (or skip to the end for the cupcakes!)

This all started several months ago, when I decided that I was tired of having only enough money to pay my bills and nothing more. As I've mentioned several times before, I absolutely love my job, but I definitely didn't get into it for the money. I have been promoted as far as I can go without pursuing a position in administration (in which I have no interest), so in order to get some supplemental income, I knew I would need to find another job.
I've worked in retail before and knew that it would be an easy option to return to, but the idea of leaving work from 8-5 to go to work from 6-10 was as unappealing as they come. Plus, for the hours that I'd be working, I didn't know if I could mentally justify the amount of time and effort I'd be putting in to get $8.00 - $10.00 an hour a few nights a week. Worth it? Not for me--at least not at this time.
 So...I went back to the drawing board and started thinking of skills I have that I could monetize. I mentally scrolled through my list of gifts--fashion and personal styling? Perhaps. Guitar or voice lessons? Maybe! What else, though?
For years now, friends and family have suggested (and sometimes demanded, ha), that I sell my desserts for profit. Especially back when I was a beginning baker, I balked at the idea due to lack of experience, time constraints, and feeling guilty and uncomfortable about making money off of the desserts I made for fun. Plus, I've never dreamed of baking or cooking professionally and have been content to keep those things as hobbies. However, revisiting the idea this time around felt better and a lot less farfetched than it had at its initial presentation.
Though I've never really considered becoming my own boss, I like the idea that I can set my own hours and be as flexible with myself as I need to. I'm not the type to make big moves or bold plans (at least, I haven't been until now), but really, I've decided that I have more to lose if I DON'T try than if I do! I don't need anyone's permission to change my life, and if I want to experience life outside of my comfort zone, then I have to be brave enough to step out on faith and believe that God hasn't brought me this far just to leave me hanging.
There are lots more details to the story, but it's been such an exhilarating experience to see my dreams manifest in tangible ways, like seeing my gorgeous LOGO come to life, filing my tax license, receiving business cards and stickers and labels in the mail, creating invoices for customers... it gets more real by the day, and I couldn't be happier for this time in my life. God has given me favor in everything related to this business thus far, so I will continue to trust Him and His perfect timing-- and trust that I am enough to do this with success.
OKAY. CUPCAKES! I made these for a fun spa party that I hosted back at the beginning of February, and they're so sunshine-y and beautiful! The bright lemon and tart blueberry flavors of these little beauties look and taste like spring, so I hope you enjoy. *Note--I only needed a dozen, so I started from a mix and halved it to get what I needed.
I'll be honest: the frosting was a challenge for me because I wanted it to be beautiful and purple/blue, but working with fresh fruit can be tricky because of the water content, and the frosting became a little loose and runny. In the future, I'll see if I can find freeze-dried blueberries and use those instead.

  • 1/2 bag of yellow cake mix (I weighed mine out to get the right proportions).
  • Half of all remaining box mix ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup water, half the amount of oil
  • 1/2 packet of instant pudding mix (I used vanilla; you can use lemon if you want to)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of 2 - 3 medium lemons (I love a really strong, fresh, bright, authentic lemon flavor; so feel free to adjust the amount of lemon to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried
For the frosting: 
  • 1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 or 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1-3 cups powdered sugar (I didn't measure)
  • A handful of fresh blueberries, pureed and strained, plus a few finely chopped berries (about 1/4 cup of puree)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 (it's 350 for a light pan; 325 for dark or coated pan) and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners; set aside.

Combine cake mix according to box directions; add pudding mix and lemon zest. Beat until just combined, then add the lemon juice and vanilla extract; beat on low speed for 30 seconds or so. Gently fold in the blueberries with a spatula. Divide evenly among the cupcake liners and bake as directed; let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth; add the vanilla extract and blueberry puree, being sure to scrape the bowl and get any "naked" cream cheese at the bottom. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with fresh blueberries and a mint leaf.


  1. Omg CONGRATS on your new business. That's kind of a big deal! Wishing you the very best!

  2. Kola, THANK YOU! You are so kind. It's been a wonderful adventure so far, and has been much more successful than I could have expected! I'm so glad I took the plunge!

  3. Kola, THANK YOU! You are so kind. It's been a wonderful adventure so far, and has been much more successful than I could have expected! I'm so glad I took the plunge!