Iron Cupcake: Summer Berries III

Here we go again…

What looks like an ordinary corn muffin...
What looks like an ordinary corn muffin...

I told you I’d be doing something fun with that sparkling, juicy blackberry jam, didn’t I?

...when filled with jam...
...when filled with jam...

Ta daaaaa!

...becomes a satisfyingly delicious cupcakey treat!
...becomes a satisfyingly delicious cupcakey treat!

When I thought about blackberries, a lot of accompanying flavors came to mind: lemon, vanilla, perhaps even violet?

Oh how I love vanilla beans.
Oh how I love vanilla beans.

I was considering lemon cakes, and remembered I had a little package of instant polenta in the cupboard that I bought a while ago on a whim. I hadn’t used polenta before so I decided to go poking around for a polenta cake recipe.

For a little extra kick of purple.
For a little extra kick of purple.

I ended up finding one here – and by Gina Depalma, no less. Sold!

Hearty, muffin-like cake, sweet blobby jam and smooth cream cheese - you could call it breakfast!
Hearty, muffin-like cake, sweet blobby jam and smooth cream cheese - you could almost call it breakfast!

I skipped the citrus glaze called for in the original recipe and made a gorgeous vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, which I swirled with some of the jam. Those are the candied violets I made a couple months ago on top. They all come together wonderfully – the cake is more like the best corn muffin ever, the frosting is gorgeous and silky, and the sparkly violet on top hints at the jewel-like jam surprise inside.


Lemon Polenta Cupcakes with Blackberry Jam and Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

First, Make the Cakes:

  1. 1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp AP flour
  2. 3/4 cup instant polenta
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp kosher salt
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. Zest of 1 large lemon
  8. 3/4 cup olive oil
  9. Up to 1 cup blackberry jam

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375. Whisk together the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high until pale yellow and tripled in volume (3 or 4 minutes). Beat in the lemon zest. Alternately add the dry mixture and olive oil by thirds, beating each addition until just incorporated. Pour into lined muffin tins and bake 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely before filling or frosting.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to cut a deep cone out of each cupcake and trim the bottom of each cone to form a flat lid. Fill each cupcake with jam and cover with the corresponding “lids.”

Then, Make the Frosting

  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  4. 4 cups powdered sugar
  5. Up to 1/4 cup blackberry jam

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla seeds until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Remove half of the frosting from the mixer bowl to a separate medium mixing bowl. With the stand mixer on low, slowly add the jam to the remaining frosting, stopping before it starts to get runny.

To frost the cupcakes, place the two different frostings alternately by thirds in a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip. Swirl onto cupcakes and top with candied violets.

Our June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, .

Iron Cupcake: Summer Berries III Comment

  1. Isn’t Gina DePalma wondeful? I would have never in a gazillion years have used polenta this way. BTW, your cupcakes are lovely. I especially like the blackberry surprise under the frosting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.