As a child, I loved the apple pies from McDonald’s. Admittedly, they are far from healthy, but even now, I will occasionally have one (like once a year). The last time I went to have one, they had a delicious blueberry and vanilla cream pie on offer. While I only tried it once, it was this taste that I sought to recreate – successfully – with these simple blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream.
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It’s my birthday
Well, it was. While it is now over a month since the occasion, these blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream were what I chose to make for my birthday. I know, why was I baking for MY birthday?
- Peter is not a baker and Miss M is not yet old enough to bake by herself.
- Unless we are making something specifically designed for kids, baking is a little alone time for me – a little self-care in these difficult times.
- Baking is rather therapeutic for me (just like blogging). There is something about measuring and pouring and the smells that permeate through the house when there is something in the oven.
Baking is also an opportunity for me to be creative, where I am trying a new recipe. Sometimes I even have to make it up as I go along, like my raspberry Raffaello ice cream or my maple parsnip cupcakes, where I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.
So in a way, I was giving myself a present by baking.
About this recipe
While I have a preferred blueberry muffin recipe – which I may share at some stage – I do not have a go-to blueberry cupcake recipe. Instead, I did a little searching and found this lemon blueberry cupcake recipe that I could tweak for the base. To get the vanilla cream, I decided to top it with vanilla custard buttercream, a frosting that I have not used for ages.
The resulting simple blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream were pretty perfect.
Tips for the perfect blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream
I don’t know what the buttercream would do if you used store-bought vanilla custard for the recipe. Has anyone tried it before?
I love the Demerara sugar on the cupcakes. It add a little bit of crunch which is missing from the McD pies. And coating the blueberries in flour does actually make them float – well about 50% of them. Some will still sink and that’s ok.
Still, if I was to make them again, there are some things I would change.
In general, these blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream were sweeter than I wanted. Don’t get me wrong – they were still delicious – but the McDonald’s version was not as sweet. I know, who would have thought? (To be fair, the McDonald’s version was much oilier and I don’t think it would have still been nice to eat more than an hour after purchasing).
When I try these next – because I will be trying them again – I will replace the buttermilk in the cupcakes with yoghurt or even sour cream, I think. This should give them just a little more tang, though I might need to add a dash of milk as well for the consistency. It is already quite a dense cupcake batter and will get even thicker if I add yoghurt.
I would also like to try and bring a little ‘sour’ to the frosting. The easiest way to do this is to replace the butter with something sourer. I think I would use 50 grams of softened butter together with 200 grams of softened cream cheese. I would also replace the double cream with Schmand (like creme fraîche), which hopefully won’t affect the consistency too much.
If you try the recipe, please let us know how it went. If you get to try it before I do with the changes I plan to make, definitely let us know how it went and how they tasted!
Make some simple blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream for your birthday
Ok, maybe not. Not everyone loves the McDonald pie that served as inspiration and there are numerous other delicious cupcakes on Tea with Mum that you might want to try first, like our Elvis or Oreo cupcakes.
Still, these blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream are definitely simple and delicious. The cupcakes and the buttercream are both very versatile as well and lend themselves to other recipes. Blueberry cupcakes with white chocolate frosting? Banana cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream?
Enjoy the mixing and matching!
Simple blueberry cupcakes with vanilla custard buttercream
- Plastic wrap
For the blueberry cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bi-carb soda (baking soda)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 125 g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs large
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 4-5 tablespoons of demerara sugar
For the vanilla custard buttercream
- ¼ cup custard powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons double cream
- ½ cup icing sugar
For the blueberry cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 180°c. Line 2 standard muffin pans with 18 patty pans and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla paste.
- Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk making sure to mix well after each addition. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to turn the batter and make sure everything is well combined.
- Toss the blueberries with the teaspoon of flour and gently fold them into the batter.
- Fill the patty pans about ¾ of the way full. For a little crunch, sprinkle each cupcake with demerara sugar then bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the vanilla custard buttercream
- In a small saucepan, stir together the custard powder and a little milk to form a paste. Add the sugar and the rest of the milk and whisk well until smooth.
- Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and sticking until the mixture thickens so that it drops off the spoon in dollops. It should take around 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming. Allow to cool completely: you can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
- Once the custard is cool, place the butter and the icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat well until very light and creamy. Add the cream and mix to combine.
- Add the cold custard and beat until the buttercream is smooth and has a good consistency.
- Pipe the vanilla custard buttercream onto the cupcakes and enjoy!