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Have a cupcake.

I’ve baked many cupcakes before but funny enough, this is the first time I blog about making cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong, I do love cupcakes, but I simply don’t bake them often enough. Every time I pick up my kitchen mixer or dessert cookbooks, I always end up choosing something a little bit more challenging and also something more lethal to the waistline, a full on rich chocolate ganache cake for instant.

I picked up a jar of the blackberry shiraz jam from the Taste of Sydney 2011 recently, not sure why, just out of habit, I like to buy jam but never really eat them. I always end up using jam for making desserts like cakes, ice cream, and this instant, as filling for the cupcakes. It works great though I must say.

I personally think cupcakes are the perfect antidote for a moody day. When the sky decides to rain on your suede shoes, when you just burnt a big pot of stew, when you know your best friend just broke up, try the cupcakes. Pink colour in particular, what not to love?

Blackberry Shiraz Cupcakes (Make 12)
Adapted from Planet Cake cookbook

Vanilla Cupcake
175g (3/4cup) unsalted butter, softened
160g (3/4cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs
260g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
200ml milk
Blackberry Shiraz jam (or any flavour preferred)

Buttercream Icing
160g butter (softened)
100g icing sugar
2tbsp full cream milk
few drops of red food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.

2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and a pinch of salt with mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined. It will look curdle, but is fine.

3. Using a spatula, fold the flour and milk alternately into the creamed mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture into paper cases about 3/4 full, bake for 20-25mins.

5. Leave in tray for 5mins until cool down before turning out to wire rack.

6. For buttercream icing, beat the butter in a food mixer until light and fluffy, gradually add icing sugar while the mixer still running and beat until combined. Finally add the milk and food colouring and mix until combined.

7. Once cupcakes are cooled down, insert a knife at 45degree into the cupcake from the top and cut around it to make a hole, keep the top. Fill the hole with a teaspoon of jam then put the top back on. Pipe the buttercream over the cupcake to seal the top and repeat with the rest of the cupcakes.