I had to think fast after offering to bring cake to a party (ALWAYS keen to bake cake but time was not on my side and I really wanted to pick my own fresh blackberries – silly Lizzie). I really really wanted to have a go at a tricky blackberry stuffed Swiss roll monstrosity (next post I promise!) but these little muffins were a fabulous alternative, super fast to make, dotted with pomegranate, bursting with blackberries, warm with vanilla spice. After our big meal these little treats definitely rounded things off without people feeling bad about eating a whole huge slice of cake! Topped with a lightened vanilla buttercream, the pomegranate gave a vibrant, shiny pop of colour.
Pomegranate and Blackberry Jewelled Muffins
Makes 15 cupcakes/small muffins
- 220g softened butter
- 220g caster sugar
- 220g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- large handful slightly crushed blackberries
- 1/2 pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1.5 tbsp softened butter
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 3 drops vanilla extract
- 1/2 pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to about 160C fan/180C/gas mark 5 then line a 12 or 15 holed muffin tin with your prettiest muffin cases.
In a large mixing bowl, roll up your sleeves and beat the sugar and softened butter until pale and creamy, when you think you’ve mixed it enough, beat it a bit more! Add the baking powder to the flour in a separate bowl.
Next, add the first egg to the butter/sugar mixture then approx. 2 tbsp of flour and combine gently. Repeat until you’re out of eggs and then add the rest of the flour. Once fully combined (watch out for flour hiding at the bottom of the bowl) gently stir in the fruit and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Don’t over mix, just make sure the fruit is evenly distributed and a light marbling is achieved. Add the milk if you feel the mix is too stiff (this depends how big your eggs are mainly).
Fill each muffin case to around 3/4 full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden. Remove form the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream! This is easy peasy, simply take out a bowl and beat together the butter and sugar plus vanilla as before however this is smoother due to the icing sugar. Add more icing sugar depending on how thick you want it.
Once the muffins have cooled completely, smooth over a tsp of buttercream and dot with pomegranate seeds! They seemed to go down well at the party – I was too slow to get a picture of anyone eating, only the aftermath of muffin cases!