With spring finally gracing us with its presence, all things fresh and fun are on the mind. And with that comes the excitement for fresh produce, whether from your local farmer’s market, a roadside stand or simply from the aisles of your supermarket. Regardless, it is always fun to enjoy fresh produce in unique ways, like when it’s incorporated into your favorite craft beverage.
Tieton Cider Works, located in Washington’s Yakima Valley, released their new blueberry cider at the beginning of March to celebrate just how fruitful the Northwest is. But it was definitely a long time coming. According to Tieton Cider Works general manager and head cider maker Marcus Robert, plenty of trial-and-error went into developing a blueberry cider that utilized Washington-grown blueberries. But that hard work and patience paid off. They landed on a recipe that produces a blueberry cider with a hint of sweetness, balanced acidity and a beautiful hue.
These cupcakes embrace the beauty of Tieton Cider Works’ new blueberry cider. Just like the cider, these cupcakes aren’t too sweet, with a hint of acidity, making them the ideal treat to celebrate spring.
Lemon-Blueberry Cider Cupcakes
Makes 15 cupcakes
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour (plus ¼ cup to toss blueberries)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup oil
¼ cup milk
¾ cup Tieton Cider Works Blueberry Cider
¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix. Then, mix in the oil, and then the milk and blueberry cider. Don’t worry if your batter seems too thin. In a separate bowl, toss fresh or frozen blueberries in ¼ cup of flour to coat them – this will prevent them from sinking while baking. Once coated, gently add the blueberries to the batter and mix to ensure they are evenly distributed. Grease or line a cupcake pan. Fill each cupcake well halfway-full with batter. Bake cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely before topping with lemon-blueberry buttercream.
½ cup butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Tieton Cider Works Blueberry Cider
Zest of 1 lemon
Add the softened stick of butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the butter until smooth and gradually add one cup of powdered sugar while the mixer is running. Gradually add the cider. Continue to gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar while the mixer is running, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Once all ingredients are incorporated and your frosting begins to form, mix in the lemon zest, and then increase the speed of the mixer to whip the frosting. Top your cooled cupcakes with the frosting, and add additional lemon zest and a sugared blueberry, if desired.
Molly Allen is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on food and beverage, travel and entertaining. In addition to Sip Magazine & Cidercraft, her work has been published in a number of national and regional publications including Taste of Home, Brides and Washington Tasting Room.