Blueberry Compote and Almond Cupcakes

I picked up these fab paper cupcake cases in Sainsburys the other day, I love the Beefeaters marching round them! They screamed out blueberries so I had a little think. These jolly buns have a moist, light almond sponge, a secret filling of freshly made blueberry compote and are topped with cream-cheese frosting. If I do say so myself, they are utterly delicious, the combination of blueberries and almonds is a match made in heaven.

We finally got our van, our home, back this week. He has a replacement engine. I’ve already given my kitchen a Pinterest makeover, painted the cupboard door with blackboard paint so I can scribble menus and shopping lists, or maybe even doodle pictures. This was our last weekend in Dundee for a while so we made the most of the sunshine and went hunting for one of my favourite flowers, bluebells. Darroch wood, near Blairgowrie, was our destination, famed for its May time bluebells. It was a lovely day out, the delicate bluebells carpeted the small wood, which was alive with the busy twittering of little birds coming and going from hidden nests. We went with friends, took the dog along and had a picnic in a sunny glade. Bluebell-time always excites me, they appear for such a short, but spectacular time. I grew up near a beautiful old woodland in central England and we would always go to wander through the bluebells in May, the wood always looked so different and pretty.

oven 180 C / gas 4 / 350 F

12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases

  • 125 g {1 stick  + 1tbsp} unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 g {half cup} golden caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 55 g {half cup} ground almonds
  • 90 g {3/4 cup} self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk {or live yoghurt}

First of all take the cream cheese for the frosting out of the fridge, it needs to be at room temperature.

Cream the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, or a wooden spoon if you are feeling energetic. Add the beaten eggs a bit at a time with a spoon full of the ground almonds, beat into the mixture at a low speed. Add the almond extract with the last bit of egg.

Fold the rest of the ground almonds into the batter with a metal spoon then sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and fold that in. The batter will be quite stiff, loosen it by gently stirring in the buttermilk.

Divide the mixture between the twelve paper cases, they should be fairly full. Bake for 16-20 mins until a cake tester/skewer inserted comes out clean. These are quite ‘flat’ cakes, not a problem as we are going to remove the middle anyhow. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Once cool, use a knife to cut a hole out of the centre of the cakes, to create a cavity for filling with the blueberry compote.

for the Blueberry Compote

  • 150 g {1 cup} blueberries
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tsp water

While the cakes are cooling, put the blueberries in a small pan along with the sugar and the 1/2 tablespoon of water. Bring it to a gentle simmer over a fairly low heat. Keep it simmering for a few minutes until the blueberries break down and become jam-like. Add the cornflour/water mix, stirring it in and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for a couple more minutes to thicken.

Let it cool a bit then put a teaspoon full into the cavity of each of the cakes. Now they are ready to be iced.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 100 g {just shy of 1 stick} unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g {7 ounces} full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 400 – 450 g {4 to 5 cups} icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • toasted slivered almonds and fresh blueberries to decorate

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter for a couple of minutes, once it looks pale add the cream cheese and beat it together on a high speed for a minute or so.

Sift in a quarter of the icing sugar, beat it on a low speed to start then up the power once the icing sugar has been combined. Repeat until you have added most of the icing sugar, add a bit more it you feel it needs thickening. Then beat in the vanilla. Put the frosting into a large icing bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice, pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill it down a bit then you are ready to decorate your cupcakes.

The slivered almonds can be toasted in a dry frying pan, stirring, for a minute or so until they start to colour, or spread them onto a baking sheet and pop them into the hot oven after the cakes come out. Watch them, they only take a very short time {a minute or so} to go from pale raw slices of almond to burnt and unusable.

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12 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post, thanks for sharing.
    AND the cupcakes look, and sound, delicious.
    I have a similair recipe for blueberry bakewell mini tarts that I can’t wait to try 🙂
    Leah x x

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  3. Jorie says:

    These almost look too good to eat! Almost… 😉 Love the pic of the bluebells too. There’s just something about those springtime wildflowers that I can’t get enough of.

  4. brookenado says:

    Beautiful pictures and these cupcakes look amazing! And they are perfect for the summery weather we’ve been having 🙂

  5. I’m not sure which I enjoy more, the food or the amazing accompanying photos!

  6. Christine says:

    Wow — these look amazing! In fact, all of your photos and treats are totally drool-inducing… I’m definitely envious of your food styling and photography skills. 😀

  7. What a great posting! I want to go bluebell-hunting with you sometime, you make it sound lovely!