Blueberry Surprise Lemon Cupcakes are a light lemon based cupcake, filled with fresh blueberry jam and topped with a lightly sweet buttercream frosting.
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Update: This recipe was originally posted in July 2019 as part of a Blueberry Week event. The recipe and photos have been updated and republished in July 2022.
Lemon and blueberry is such a classic flavor! I love the combination together. Earlier this year, I was talking with one of my friends about the desserts she was going to have at her reception party and she sent me a cupcake recipe very similar to this, that she was going to have a bakery make. Of course, I immediately refused to let her do that and made the cupcakes myself.
What are blueberry surprise lemon cupcakes?
These blueberry filled lemon cupcakes are a dressed-up boxed cake mix cupcake and the surprise is a blueberry filling inside of the cupcake. These tasty cupcakes are topped with a lemon buttercream and garnished with fresh blueberries.
- yellow cake mix and required ingredients (oil and eggs only)
- milk (to replace water in cake mix)
- lemon extract
- lemon zest
- blueberry jam, or homemade blueberry compote (see below)
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
- fresh blueberries, for garnish
Blueberry Compote Ingredients: frozen blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice
If using homemade blueberry compote: combine the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce to the lowest heat and allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Once thickened, remove from the heat and transfer to a container. Refrigerate for one hour, but up to three days.
First, preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
Then, prepare the cupcake batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the boxed cupcake mix, along with the required amounts of eggs and oil. Replace the water with equal parts milk. Then add in the lemon extract, lemon zest and the salt. Mix until combined.
Next, pour the cupcakes into the prepared pan. Use a ⅛ cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes then remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
After that, fill your cupcakes. Use a knife to cut a hole into the center of each cupcake. Remove the cake and fill it with ½-1 teaspoon of blueberry jam or compote. Place the cake piece back on top.
Then, prepare your frosting. Beat butter in a stand mixer until smooth. Then add in powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until incorporated. Add in the milk to thin the frosting, followed by the lemon extract and salt. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large tip.
Finally, frost and decorate your cupcakes. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes and add 1-3 fresh blueberries at the top as a garnish.
BLUEBERRY COMPOTE FILLING
It doesn't take very long to make a fresh fruit compote, like this blueberry one, but it does need to set up in the refrigerator before you can add it to the cupcakes. I'd suggest making it the night before. But if you don't have time for that, simply buy a good quality blueberry jam or preserves to fill the cupcakes with.
PRODUCTS USED FOR BLUEBERRY SURPRISE LEMON CUPCAKES
TIPS TO MAKE BOX CAKE MIX TASTE BETTER
Personally, Duncan Hines is my preferred box mix for cupcakes and cake. I think it tastes the most similar to a from scratch recipe.
- Replace the water in the recipe with whole milk
- Add a teaspoon of extract (vanilla, lemon, almond, peppermint, etc)
- Add in a ¼ teaspoon of salt
Cut out the center of a baked cupcake and use a spoon or piping bag to fill the cupcake with your desired ingredient. Place the cut piece back onto the cupcake, pressing down to secure. Then frost the cupcake as desired. Watch my Tiktok on how to fill a cupcake.
I prefer using boxed cake mix when making cupcakes because it is always consistent. I fill each paper liner with ⅛ cup of batter and consistently get 24 evenly filled cupcakes each time. Replace the water with milk and/or add in extract for a more "homemade" flavor.
I always make an American buttercream - butter, powdered sugar and a splash of milk. But I always add salt to my frosting. It helps cut the sweetness. For 2 dozen cupcakes, I use 3 sticks of unsalted butter, 5 ½ cups of powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
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Blueberry Surprise Lemon Cupcakes
- 15.25 oz. box yellow cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk to replace the water in the box mix
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract or lemon paste
- zest of ½ a lemon
For the Frosting:
- 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon milk or cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries for garnish
For the Blueberry Compote:
- 10 oz. frozen blueberries
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 10 oz blueberry jam if not using homemade compote
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Add the cake mix, milk, eggs, oil, lemon extract and zest to the bowl of a stand mixer.15.25 oz. box yellow cake mix, 3 large eggs, 1 cup milk, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon lemon extract, zest of ½ a lemon
- Mix for 2-3 minutes on low speed or until no lumps remain.
- Divide batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each about ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake for 18-21 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut a hole out of the top of each cupcake. Spoon the cooled blueberry compote or blueberry jam into the center of each, about a teaspoon in each one.10 oz blueberry jam
For the Frosting:
- Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.3 sticks unsalted butter
- Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, waiting until each cup is fully incorporated before adding the next.5 cups powdered sugar
- Add in 1 tablespoon of milk, the salt and the lemon extract and mix until combined. If the frosting is still thick, add the additional tablespoon of milk and more as needed until it reaches your desired consistency.1-2 tablespoon milk, ½ teaspoon salt
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and garnish the top of each with a fresh blueberry if desired.1 cup blueberries
For the Blueberry Compote:
- Combine all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium low heat.10 oz. frozen blueberries, ⅓ cup sugar, 2 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Bring to a simmer, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Once simmering, turn it down to the lowest setting your stove goes and allow it to thicken, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
- Once thickened, transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to 3 days.