Dear readers, can I tell you something awful? Though you wouldn’t know it from the likes of this blog, I think I’m becoming a healthier person. Not just because my pants are much looser around my waist (#purebarreproblems), but because I can’t eat sugar in the same massive quantities as before. Here is what I know for sure.
1. I started going to Pure Barre in September, thanks to Ali. I went about 2 or 3 times a week. Now I go 4 or 5 times a week, and I love it. It’s a challenge, it makes me stronger, and I am crazy more flexible now than every before.
2. Since my mother in law has assumed responsibility for 2/3 of my daily meals, I eat healthier. But it’s healthier in the foodie-way in that it still involves plenty of fat and calories. They’re just sourced from better food than, say, Doritos, and other neon-orange, artificially flavored cheddar foods.
3. I drink a ton of water every day. Lemons, please.
So somewhere in the six months between starting to act like this, and now, I became healthy. Whatever things people say about exercising and eating well and drinking plenty of water must actually be true. I can now tell when I am starving and need to inhale everything in sight, and when I can’t. I can say no to baked goods (but not M&Ms). I don’t even know myself. I swear, we are going to move into our house and all will go to hell and a hand basket because all of a sudden, I’ll be the one controlling what we eat again. But for now, I’m enjoying these couple months of living like the other, healthier half lives.
This is all a really long-winded way of saying thank goodness for my sister-in-law. Whilst drowning in a sea of chocolate oreo peanut butter nutella drizzle caramel girly and super sticky sweet and sugary cupcakes, she requested a bright, fruity mix for her birthday. The funny thing about the birthday cupcakes I make for people is that I could take or leave most of them. Rarely do I get too worked up over a flavor someone has chosen. But these were instant faves. Not too sweet, super bright-tasting, and almost sort of muffin-like and healthy. Introducing, lemon blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
To make 16, you will need:
For the cupcakes:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
¾ cup cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
1 cup fresh blueberries
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 large lemon
Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Blend in the milk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.) Garnish with fresh blueberries.