Y’all, I have a serious problem with waiting for seasons, and these moscato cupcakes prove it.
I’ve had a lot of practice with patience. I’ve learned to be patient for new seasons of TV shows (especially when my Netflix faves only come out once a year), for new books, for grades from professors that momentarily forget that feedback is part of their job, and most recently for jobs to PLEASE GET BACK TO ME AND LET ME KNOW IF I HAVE AN INTERVIEW OR NOT.
So yes, lots of patience over here.
But oddly, my patience goes out the window when we’re on the cusp of a new season. It doesn’t matter what season it is – by the time the transition months come around, I’ve already made the switch in my mind. I eat pumpkin in September, I get out my snow boots in November, I color my life in pastels in late February or early March, and by April or May I’m beyond ready to jump in a nice refreshing pool. I guess I just have a short attention span when it comes to seasons! I’m lucky to live in an area that sees all four seasons, because as much as I love the warm weather, I think I’d be itching to wear long sleeves again after three or four months if I lived somewhere tropical.
Unfortunately, nature never wants to keep up with me when it comes to my season-hopping ways. This is especially unfortunate when it comes to having fresh produce available. Every spring, the sight of bright produce that I haven’t seen in months gets me more excited than I can explain. I especially miss all of the great fresh fruit! Berries are my favorite kind of fruit, because they’re so colorful and versatile. Yeah, sure, you can get berries in the winter, but have you seen them? Half-rotted strawberries, raspberries the size of peas, blackberries that aren’t fully ripe; it’s a tragedy. No, there’s nothing like fresh spring and summer berries!
Because winter berries are no good, I thank the Lord above for freezers. Fortunately I had the forethought (which is really, really rare for me) to freeze some berries last summer to last me through the winter. So when my fiancé requested some berry moscato cupcakes that I invented last year for a friend’s birthday, I was relieved to find that I had some left over, ready to give us a bright taste of spring right before the fresh ones come back into season.
This is the first recipe on the blog that I invented myself, which, I must say, makes me pretty dang proud. There’s still some tinkering that needs to be done with it, because the berry mixture makes the cupcake super dense and close-textured (descriptions I learned from the Great British Baking Show so I can sound fancy). However, the flavors are on point and I’ve actually eaten almost half of these myself, where usually I’m desperate to pawn my unhealthy treats off on others because I get sick of them easily. Something about the way the flavor of the berries complements the flavor of the moscato, or the way that the dense cake is offset by the light frosting, is just addictive. Can you be considered an alcoholic if you can’t stop eating wine frosting? Y’all figure it out – I’ll be off making another batch just so I can lick the bowl.
Speaking of frosting, you can see by the photos that I’ve been practicing a variety of frosting techniques. I want to be a piping pro, but so far roses and ruffles are the bane of my existence. Clearly I had the most success with the broad round tip, and the “slap a blob on with the spatula” method was kind of fun as well, but my techniques need a lot of work. If anyone knows someone who can teach me how to pipe like Mary Berry, let me know! Now, back to that bowl of wine frosting…
Mixed Berry Moscato Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup, softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the frosting
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup, softened)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp moscato wine
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (double up on the liners; trust me). Using a blender, blend the berries together to make a smoothie-like mixture (if using frozen, add a splash of milk to help get things going). Set aside.
- In the base of a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar on medium until creamed together (about 2 minutes). In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. While mixing, gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the berry mixture, alternating with adding the dry ingredients until both sets are used up. Beat for 2 more minutes, then taste for berry flavor. Stir in more mixture to get a stronger flavor, if desired.
- Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. For 12 cupcakes, bake for 18-21 minutes, checking for doneness at 18 and adding time as needed (mine were perfect at 20). Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until it is smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest setting until the powdered sugar is no longer in danger of flying out of the bowl, then increase to medium speed for 3 minutes. Add in the wine and continue beating on medium for 2 more minutes. To thicken frosting up for piping, add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time.
- The basis of the instructions for the cupcakes came from here, and the basis for creating the frosting came from here.
- I think this would be great with some strawberries or blueberries thrown in, especially for a smoother texture. Blackberries have tough pips, so if you don't like their texture raw, you won't like them in cake either. Play around and experiment with your favorite combinations!