I let out a high pitch scream, the kind that leaves your ears ringing, when the Frenchie told me he found us a great deal on flights to Maui. It’ll be our first time visiting, so whenever there’s a drop of downtime, I tap all the keywords I can think of into Google, read Maui article after Maui article, and work on our vacation itinerary like it’s my day job. I’ve milked so much joy from planning this trip that going on the actual vacation feels like a fringe benefit at this point.
When I’m at work and waiting for a query to run at my computer, my thoughts drift and end up at a popular daydream — I’m curled up next to Frenchie, legs tangled up together, on a comfy towel heated up by the warm Hawaiian sand. In close proximity to me is a large bowl of shaved ice and a healthy stack of spam masubi. We’re not in the water because I’ve read way too many articles about shark attacks and have completely psyched myself out about swimming in the ocean. I’m learning firsthand that sometimes ignorance is bliss.
When I’m in the office and not analyzing data or daydreaming about Hawaii, I sneak downstairs to the warehouse and scour the up-for-grabs section. This is one of my favorite perks at Good Eggs. Usually there’s ample breads, salad dressings, and produce. Recently there’s been an abundance of blueberries, and I was more than happy to find a home for them in my fridge.
My original intent was to make buttermilk blueberry pancakes, but because I was celebrating a dear friend’s birthday over the weekend, I decided to use the blueberries for cupcakes. I also thought it was important that these cupcakes had buttermilk in them because buttermilk has a special property, something like a Midas touch — everything buttermilk touches comes out incredibly moist, fluffy, and delicious. I also think it’s important to work on my beach body for Hawaii. I want my stomach to be ready to consume all the yummy things Maui has to offer, and I really think these cupcakes will help with that.
Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces blueberries
- 3 egg whites
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 ounces unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcakes liners.
- Beat eggs, then add sugar, vanilla extract, canola oil, and buttermilk. Mix in the salt, baking soda, and baking power. Slowly mix in the all-purpose flour until it’s just incorporated. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter with a spatula until they’re well distributed.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- With an electric hand mixer on medium speed, mix the egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract in a glass or steel bowl over simmering water until the egg white mixture reaches 150 degrees F.
- Take the bowl off the heat. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the egg whites until they become fluffy and double in volume. Allow the egg mixture to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer again, whisk the egg mixture over medium speed and slowly add the cubes of butter, a few at a time. Whip until the buttercream is stiff and very thick. If the mixture is too runny and/or won’t thicken up after 8 minutes, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then re-whip until it comes together (do not over chill in the refrigerator as the frosting will solidify and become difficult to spread).
- Pipe frosting over the cooled cupcakes.