As a kid, I proclaimed blue raspberry to be my favorite-flavored anything. Something about blue raspberries was just so much better and cooler than regular old raspberries.
I stockpiled Blue Raspberry Frooties that were tossed at local parades, I begged my mom to buy me Blue Raspberry Icees from the machines in the Target food court, and the first-ever Warhead I dared to punish my taste buds with was, of course, the blue raspberry kind.
Remember Warheads? Those babies were not for the faint of heart. It took a special kind of person (read: naive middle-schooler, AKA me) to let one of those grimace-inducing sour candies into her mouth and keep it there until it dissolved completely.
I totally managed that feat circa 1998 (after about seven failed attempts). Impressive, I know. ;)
Back in the day, I honestly believed that “blue raspberry” was different from and far superior to “raspberry.”
In my defense, look at that pretty color! Definitely more attention-grabbing than plain white or raspberry-tinged pink frosting.
This cupcake originated a few months ago when I helped host a baby shower for my cousin and her cute new baby boy. I wanted to create a dessert that was blue, a play on the guest of honor’s last name, and an acknowledgment of her love of berries and fruit in general. These unique cupcakes fit the bill for all three! We called them “Blue Ras-Baby Cupcakes.”
I struggled over how to include a “blue raspberry” (or any raspberry) flavor without using some store-bought, artificial-tasting mix. Do I bite the bullet and add Jell-O to some Betty Crocker batter? Use fresh red raspberries, pretend they’re blue, and settle for a tougher, denser cake? I didn’t exactly have access to real blue raspberries (Yes, they do exist!) – but then, they don’t quite look like the vibrant childhood flavor I was going for.
In the end, I decided that nothing about blue raspberry was all that natural, anyway. I made my favorite vanilla cupcakes (adapted from the best cookbook ever) the old-fashioned way, but then I incorporated the blue raspberry flavor in just the frosting. I loved it! The cupcakes didn’t taste like they came from a box (because they didn’t!), and the frosting was sweet and full of raspberry tang, with just a little zing to them.
The secret blue raspberry ingredient? Kool-Aid!
I didn’t have any trouble finding it at my local grocery store, it only cost a couple of cents, and it provided the perfect blue raspberry flavor that I’d been hoping to find.
Topped with a fresh raspberry, these cupcakes were pretty perfect! They were a hit with all the guests, including one uninvited one…
My dog, Biscuit, ladies and gentlemen. They say dogs are like their owners…
Happy 4th of July, everyone! If you’re in need of any last-minute red, white and blue desserts, here are a few you might be interested in:
Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreo Cupcakes
Easy Glazed Fruit Pizza
Layered Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
Pretzel Sparkler Cupcakes
Have a fun and safe Independence Day, and thank you to those Americans who have fought so hard for our freedom!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1 /4 cups fat-free milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 packet (.22 oz.) Blue Raspberry Lemonade Kool-Aid
- 1 1/2 tsp. fat-free milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Blue gel for tinting frosting
- 24 fresh raspberries, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
- In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add vanilla to milk.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat with stand mixer until well combined. Add 1/3 of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scraping bowl as needed.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool pans completely on a wire rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, powdered sugar, Kool-Aid mix, milk, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy, at least three minutes. Add gel to tint desired shade of blue and mix well.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Press a fresh raspberry into the center of each cupcake just before serving.