Apricot cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting… sounds amazing, does it not? These cupcakes came to be after a dear friend, Armen, encouraged me to experiment more… with baking, of course. He asked if I had ever tried apricot and as soon as he did, I knew that we could be on to a winner.
I know I probably say this about a lot of fruits, but apricots have got to be one of my all-time favourites. I love cute and small they are, how easy they are to eat, and how delicious they taste.
As with oranges, apricots are like summer on my taste buds and remind me of all the fun and exciting things to come. Like Christmas… after all, there are less than 100 days to go. Excited yet?
Apricot and chocolate is a familiar and well loved combination in my life, although I have never paired together apricot and white chocolate. I knew, however, that nothing could go wrong… apricots are great and white chocolate is great. Together that means there can only be twice the greatness, right? Not to mention that Armen loves white chocolate; these cupcakes simply could not be made any other way.
As encouraged by Armen, I experimented a little when it came to these cupcakes. I looked up recipes and saw that most had used finely chopped dried apricots to bring out the flavour. While this seemed like a good idea, I was looking for a consistent and light apricot flavour that can be tasted in every inch of the cupcake. I ended up using apricot conserve and these cupcakes are super light and moist, with a delightfully subtle hint of apricot throughout. I started with a recipe for vanilla cupcakes that I got from Glory over at Glorious Treats, then I adapted it to create these delicious cupcakes. They are perfect alongside a cup of tea for a light and refreshing summer afternoon treat. (Note: 1 cup = 1 US cup)
1¼ cups / 156g / 5.5 oz cake flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup / 170g / 6.0 oz sugar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup oil
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup / 85g / 3.0 oz apricot jam / preserves / conserve, preferably the best you can find
Makes 12-18 cupcakes
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs for approximately 10-20 seconds.
Add the sugar and continue to beat for approximately 30 seconds.
Add the oil and vanilla essence to the egg mixture and beat.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk and ending with the flour.
Stir until well combined before folding in the jam / preserves / conserve.
Divide evenly between a prepared muffin tray with paper liners.
Bake 180C / 350F for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.
1 cup / 170g / 6.0 oz white chocolate (I used Whittaker’s, it is amazing)
1 cup / 226g / 8.0 oz butter
2½ cups / 313g / 11 oz icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup / 60mL heavy cream
Using the double boiler method, melt the white chocolate over low heat and allow to cool.
Cream the butter for a few minutes until it is light.
Sift in the icing sugar and beat until entirely combined with the butter.
Add the vanilla essence and cream. Beat for three minutes.
Fold in the cooled white chocolate until incorporated.
Once frosting is combined, place into a piping bag and pipe away!
I usually frost my cupcakes with a spiral that starts from the outside and finishes in the centre, however this time I decided to try it the other way around; starting from the centre and creating a spiral towards the outside. I love the way that they look like roses. Almost too pretty to eat!