Since my holidays, I can't seem to get enough eating of fresh fruit. Maybe I'm just trying to hold onto that summer feeling in a grey and drizzly Edinburgh! Being a baking addict, it wasn't long before I started thinking about baking with fruit too, and as I've been feasting on punnets of plums I had a few left over and decided to try and make something with them. I would usually associate plums with some autumn baking - like plum crumble or plum and ginger pudding. I thought these could be lightened up a bit for the spring weather with the addition of pomegranate and et voila these cupcakes were born. I used some pomegranate cordial/squash in the mix and in the frosting too which adds a fruity sweetness and fresh plum makes the cupcakes super moist. These are a perfectly pretty fresh fruity treat!
Plum and Pomegranate Cupcakes
112g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
75mL semi-skimmed milk
50mL pomegranate cordial
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
125g self raising flour
120g plain flour
4 tbsp good quality plum jam
3 plums chopped into small chunks
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin paper cases.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all of the mixture stays well combined. Don't worry if the mixture splits, it will come together again.
4. Mix the milk, pomegranate cordial and vanilla essence together in a jug. Sift the flours together in a bowl.
5. Add one third of the flour mix to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.
6. Gently fold in all of the chopped plum and plum jam until most of it is combined. It is okay to have some jam streaks running through the mix.
7. Spoon the batter evenly into the paper cases, to about two thirds full. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.
8. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in their tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Once completely cool, ice each one with pomegranate plum icing and decorate with a thin plum slice and some pomegranate seeds.
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40mL pomegranate cordial
20mL semi-skimmed milk
500g icing sugar, sifted
1. Using an electric mixer (or a lot of elbow grease), beat the butter, pomegranate cordial and milk together with half of the icing sugar. This will usually take a few minutes.
2. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar to produce a smooth and creamy consistency.
The buttercream can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Beat well again before reusing.