Monday, July 23, 2012

Black Velvet and Blueberry Buttercream

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend planned a special getaway for my birthday. We took the train into Philly and spent a beautiful day together walking downtown, and visiting local eateries. Since he knows how passionate I am about pursuing my baking, there were two must-see places on our agenda; The Flying Monkey and Philly Cupcake. Located inside the Reading Terminal Market, The Flying Monkey features an array of homemade baked goods. Despite their medley of sweet treats, it was the cupcakes I wanted to try. As I took I bite of a Spumani cupcake, I knew I made the right choice. The frosting was unlike anything I've ever tried. We went back the next day and I discovered it's a homemade swiss buttercream that they use on their cupcakes. Perfectly delicious!

After a mid afternoon stop for some brews and Irish music, we made our way to Philly Cupcake. I had read an article about this place a few weeks back and have since been dying to try it. With countless combinations of fancy flavor concoctions, it seemed like forever trying to decide which cupcakes would fill my half dozen box. Finally, I decided to sample both traditional flavors like Red Velvet and Carrot Cake, as well as some over the top combos like Twix and The Massacre. All delicious, but it was the Black Velvet that stole my heart. To this day, I can't stop thinking about that cupcake. Light and airy, yet full of flavor and moisture. Just perfect in my book!

To put my mind at ease, I knew I had to try and re-create these flavors in my own kitchen. After sifting through countless recipes, I think I've come up with the perfect combination for a Black Velvet cupcake, topped with a Buttercream frosting. I originally had planned to use the Swiss buttercream like the cupcakes from the Flying Monkey, however, after two failed attempts, I was out of egg whites and resorted to a traditional buttercream tinged with blueberry flavor. Still good, but there will definitely be more attempts at the Swiss buttercream.

I ran into a major issue with my cupcake liners peeling a way from the cake base. Determined not to let my cupcakes go to waste, I salvaged about half a dozen and for the rest, I removed the liners, frosted them and made them into little two-bite poppers. I think they actually came out very cute!

Overall, the cupcakes did not meet the Philly Cupcake standards that I wanted to achieve, however, they were still delicious and well worth exceeding my calorie limit for the day!

Hope you like them!

Black Velvet Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream
Adapted via Gloobbi


2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder1 - 1 oz bottle of black liquid food coloring1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature1 1/2 cups sugar2 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup buttermilk1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon white wine vinegar


-Preheat oven to 350*
-In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder
-In a smaller separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder and food coloring until completely mixed
-Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
-Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one
-Add the vanilla and food coloring mixture, beating well until completely combined
-Alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk until all has been incorporated
-In a little dish, combine baking soda and vinegar, and add immediately to the batter, mix until combined
-Divide batter among cupcake liners and bake for 12-13 minutes

For the Frosting...


1 cup butter
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar1 teaspoon milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup juice from fresh blueberries


-Cream butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy
-Add milk and vanilla extract
-Place blueberries in a microwave safe dish, heat for 10-15 seconds, or until juice has bursted from the blueberries
-Add juice to the frosting mixture and beat until well combined

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