Delicious Bites: Passion Fruit Cupcakes
Hi everyone! It’s Jillian here with this month’s Delicious Bites recipe. Last week we held a cake stall at work and as I didn’t have much time to bake, I made cupcakes. As it’s passion fruit season in Sydney I decided to make passion fruit cupcakes with passion fruit cream cheese icing (or frosting for my North American friends).
I grew up in Queensland where everyone seemed to have a passion fruit vine growing over the back fence. It’s one of my favourite fruits and if I had the choice, I’d put it on everything. Passion fruit flowers are the prettiest things I’ve ever seen even if the fruit itself is a bit less attractive. As with many things in life, it’s what’s on the inside that counts as the intense passion fruit flavour is contained in the brightly coloured pulp. I realise not all of you can get passion fruit easily but the pulp freezes beautifully so whenever they’re on special I buy up big and store the pulp in a container in my freezer. If you can’t track down passion fruit, I’d use grated lemon rind and lemon juice as an alternative. There really isn’t a successful substitute for passion fruit so I’d choose lemon over the canned pulp as it really doesn’t taste much like the fresh product.
Now as well as my passion fruit addiction I have to confess to a cream cheese icing addiction. I swear I make twice as much as I need because I eat half the batch every time! The passion fruit icing is what elevates the cupcakes to something a little bit special. I hope you agree.
Here’s the recipe for you.
PASSION FRUIT CUPCAKES (makes 12)
125 gm (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self raising flour
¼ cup strained passion fruit juice (4-5 passion fruit)
1/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (regular oven). Place 12 cupcake liners into a 12 hole muffin tin. Sift the flour into a small bowl and set to one side.
In a medium size bowl, cream together the softened butter and the caster sugar until the mixture becomes light and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg mixture. If the mixture starts to look a bit curdled, add a tablespoon or so of the flour mixture. Gradually add the flour to the mix, alternating with the passion fruit juice and the buttermilk. The mixture should be quite soft, so you may need to add a bit more buttermilk.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners.
Bake the cupcakes on the middle rack in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden. Remove the muffin tray from the oven and cool the cupcakes on a wire rack. Allow the cakes to cool, then top with the passion fruit icing.
PASSION FRUIT ICING
30 gm (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 gm (2 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1¼ cups sifted icing sugar
The pulp of 1 passion fruit
In a small bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and the grated lemon rind until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and sufficient passion fruit pulp to make a soft icing. Ice the cakes generously with the icing and serve.
By the way, my work is thinking of holding bake sales on a semi regular basis since the last one we had was a success. I need a few ideas so if you’ve got any sure fire bake sale hits I’d love to hear from you so please comment below. See you all again next month with another Delicious Bites column. – Jillian
(images/text: jillian leiboff.)