The breath of spring’s arrival brushes my skin in the afternoon these days, reminding me of her impending visit. The signs are there, albeit hidden most days. The lighter evenings and longer days remind me of a story I’ve read a few times before. Although the usual tell tale signs are hibernating, it’s obvious to me that she stands among us. And it’s a beautiful sight.
I see people smiling longer than usual. Smiling at all. The grass is stretching in my backyard and fighting for the rays of sun that touch down for hours upon hours. I’m noticing neighbours who have all but disappeared for four to five months leaving their houses and walking their dogs. Cute little dogs. And I feel that breath. Warm breath.
The produce at the market is starting to cycle again. And it’s coming from farms nearby, not trucked in from distances too far to ever think of visiting. Greenhouse tomatoes and peppers and rhubarb. Lovely, vibrant rhubarb. And we’re on the edge of an onslaught of seasonal varieties. Produce that I haven’t cooked with or played with in seasons.
We need not look far to see the changes happening on the menus at restaurants everywhere. Stews and thick soups are being replaced by fresh salads with fruit and herbs and we’re seeing lighter fare everywhere we turn. That includes my own kitchen where I’m gearing up for recipes and menus that illustrate the bounties around me.
One such light and fresh dessert I like involves lemons and zest, berries and coconut. Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting paints a picture of a spring day with the sun shining, flowers blowing in the breeze and kids playing in their yards. That’s my type of picture. And my kind of cupcake.
Even if spring stays on a hiatus for a while longer, I’ll have these cupcakes and similar recipes to remind me of all that love in store. And that feeling that comes with the rebirth of cool.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Lemon, Blueberry & Coconut Cupcakes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil (highest quality)
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice and zest
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- cup of blueberries
- 1 stick of butter, room temp.
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
- 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and give a light spray of non-cooking spray.
- Using a large bowl, add in the eggs and sugar and whisk for a minute. Add in the olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice and zest and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add in the cake flour, coconut, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the blueberries and mix gently until combined.
- Divide batter among liners and fill only 2/3 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool completely and add icing.
- To make the frosting: using a large bowl and electric mixer over low speed, beat the butter together with the cream cheese, grated peel and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth, another minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute to lighten it further.
- Use a spatula to spread about 3 tbsp. of frosting over each cupcake.