I had great plans to plant a nice big garden this year. But then we lucked out and were able to snag a seasonal camping spot at our favourite park so we’ve spent all the spare time we can out at the lake. So no garden – except for three pots of tomatoes and my daughter’s fairy garden. Molly loves to plant herbs in her fairy garden and that always includes mint. And, if you’ve ever grown mint before, you know how prolific it is. We’ve dried out a fair amount in the dehydrator for making tea and when I was standing there at the fairy garden, pondering ways to use more mint, I happened to look at the tag and realized this particular plant was named “mojito”. Hmmm. Immediately the idea of raspberry, mojito tea came to mind. And then that idea merged into raspberry mojito cupcakes. I loved the idea of the flavour combinations – mint, lime and raspberry – and I could already envision how lovely the colours would be as well. I decided to use a boxed cake mix as a starter for this recipe because, well, time is precious and I had one on hand. These turned out amazing. The flavours are all quite subtle and compliment each other nicely.
- The lime zest on the top of the cupcakes is pretty yes, but it’s also a very important part of this recipe. It brings everything together and when you bring that cupcake to your mouth and that crisp lime scent hits your nose – well you don’t want to not have that.
- I used a swiss meringue buttercream for these cupcakes. It has an awesome texture, it pipes like a dream, it’s not too sweet and is just melt in your mouth buttery goodness. BUT, if you haven’t used swiss meringue buttercream before you need to know a couple of things. It does not hold up as well to heat as a standard buttercream does. So if you plan on serving these on a hot day just know they should be kept coolish. Also, this buttercream does not crust so you have to be a bit careful transporting them. If you prefer, go ahead and use a standard buttercream recipe. You can definitely add the raspberry puree to just about any buttercream recipe.
Raspberry Mojito Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- One box of white cake mix
- The ingredients listed on the cake mix box
- juice and zest from a 1/2 a lime
- a few drops of green food colouring (optional)
For the mojito glaze:
- 1/4 cup of white rum
- 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
- 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
- juice from a 1/2 of lime
For the raspberry swiss meringue:
- 1 pint of fresh raspberries (thawed frozen ones would work too)
- 10 large egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups of white sugar
- 3 cups of butter – slightly cooler than room temperature but not hard
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- a few drops of pink food colouring (optional)
Lime zest for garnish
Before mixing the cupcake batter place the rum and mint leaves in a bowl, muddle and set aside.
Preheat the oven according to what your mix says. Prepare the mix according to package directions. Stir in the lime juice and zest. If you like you can add a drop or two of green colouring. Bake as directed.
While the cupcakes are baking prepare the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar and lime juice. Remove the mint leaves from the rum, squeezing them to get as much flavour as you can from them. Mix the rum with the sugar and lime. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
When the cupcakes are done baking remove and place them on wire racks. While they are still warm drizzle each with glaze, allowing it to soak in. Repeat a second time. Let cupcakes cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooking make your buttercream. Place your raspberries in a small bowl and using a fork or potato masher, mush them up good. Then push them through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the juice for the icing.
Place your egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler or in a large heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Simmer, whisking constantly until the temperature reaches 140. If you don’t have a candy thermometer that’s ok. Just make sure the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is hot – but not boiling.
Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium/low speed until the mixture is glossy and white and the bottom of the bowl is room temperature. This will take some time – maybe ten minutes – but it’s important that you mix until the bowl is not warm.
Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment. Turn the machine to medium speed. Begin to add the butter, one chunk at a time until you have added it all. Continue to beat until the butter is well incorporated and the icing is silky and smooth. Please note that your mixture MAY at some point start look like it’s curdling. Don’t panic. That is completely normal. Just keep on beating until it becomes smooth again.
Beat in the vanilla and the raspberry juice. Once it’s mixed if you would like it a bit more pink add a few drops of pink colouring.
Pipe the icing on the cooled cupcakes (I used a large open star tip). Zest a little lime on top of the icing. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Store cupcakes in the fridge until shortly before serving.
Any unused icing can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week. When you want to use some, remove the fridge and let it come to room temperature and then beat again until smooth. Again the icing may (probably will) curdle while beating, just keep going until smooth.