Every year, from late January to late February, I get a case of the winter blahs. Sunny days are sparse. Everything is covered in snow and ice.
It's too cold to do just about anything. I turn into a real homebody.
I start to seek out little pick-me-ups that help me make it through until March.
A little fresh color here and there, a bouquet of cheery tulips, a few new spring tops, a long-gone TV series consistently arriving in my mailbox via Netflix, and food infused with bright colors.
I have been for a dessert with a fruit and with a burst of pink. These raspberry swirl cupcakes fit the bill. The raspberry puree is brilliant - so bold and fresh.
And the swirls are fun to make. I think they are so pretty.
You can swirl just about anything that can be pureed or melted (hello chocolate) into a muffin or cupcake.
Make extra fruit puree; it can be stirred into yogurt.
Livvy helped me make these.
We are a great baking team - she eats a couple cupcake bottoms, I eat a few cupcake muffin tops. The rest is put away for dessert for the males in the house.
Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Puree raspberries and strain seeds with a fine mesh sieve. Use the back of a spoon to push raspberry puree through. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract and milk. Gradually add sugar and beat to blend. Add eggs one at a time. Blend well. Mixture will be very moist at this point.
At low speed, add the flour mixture in thirds to the wet ingredients. Increase speed to thoroughly blend.
Fill a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. Fill cups 2/3 full.
Drizzle one teaspoon of raspberry puree over cupcake batter. Use a toothpick to make raspberry puree swirls in the batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool completely.