Lemon-blueberry cupcakes

A platter of cupcakes with a smaller plate with a single cupcake. The platter has three lemon-blueberry cupcakes on it - one is fully in frame, and the other two are slightly out of frame. Each cupcake has a round of candied lemon stuck into a swirl of piped frosting at a jaunty angle. Crushed freeze-dried blueberries top each cupcake like sprinkles.

Spring in New York is an adjustment – we’re midway through April, and the trees behind my house are just starting to bud. In the last week or so the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths started blooming – a welcome spot of life and color in a city that’s still mostly winter-brown. I’m finding myself quite homesick for spring in Georgia – I miss the blooming azaleas and forsythia, the green-gold cast of sunlight through new leaves, strawberry picking with Mom early in the day, evening thunderstorms, and the early-season March heat that catches you in the sun and slowly warms you from the inside until everything feels hazy and slow and perfect.  

Maybe that’s why all I want to make right now is bright, punchy desserts that remind me of sunshine. And these lemon-curd-filled, blueberry-studded cupcakes are the sunshiniest of all. 

A cooling rack full of decorated cupcakes. We can see 6 in-frame. Each cupcake is topped with a swirl of white frosting, a sprinkle of crushed freeze-dried blueberry, and a round of candied lemon. A used piping bag sits in front of the rack - the french tip still has frosting clinging to it.

They are based on my go-to yellow cake recipe, punched up with lemon zest, frozen blueberries, and buttermilk. Plain, they make a fabulous breakfast on mornings when I’m feeling a bit indulgent (after all, what is a muffin but an unfrosted cupcake?)


Jessi Spell

A culinary degree and two years of professional experience has not stopped Jessi from making stupid mistakes – she just makes them more efficiently. She habitually reads cookbooks before bed, loses track of time on Wikipedia, and yells at cooking shows like dads watching football. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jackson, five plants, and more cookbooks than a 600 square foot studio should hold.


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