Well, that's a mouthful of a title.
And these are a mouthful of a cupcake. In the best way EVER.
When I said something was the JAM the other day, these are TRULY the JAM. Literally. (See what I did there?)
Now, some of you may be wondering "What is ligonberry jam?"
I have no idea.
I was in the supermarket, it was a different, and it was the most expensive jam on the shelf. So naturally I grabbed it. If it's expensive, it HAS to be the best, right? (sorry, Jack).
But ho! (Sorry, for the term, but I was a theater major, but sometimes I bust out with words like alas, lo, ho, and others) It looks like Ligonberry Jam has it's own Wikipedia entry (yes, the actual JAM part of it!). And even the entry sounds so poetic:
"Because lingonberries are plentiful in the forested areas of the inland..."
Don't you just want to say that like you're in Medieval times? Like you're in Game of Thrones or something (who doesn't love that show? Because if you don't, we can't be friends).
You'll learn in said article, obviously contributed to Wikipedia by Chaucer, that Ligonberry jam is a staple in Scandanavian cuisine prepared with berries, sugar, and just a tad bit of water. The jam is wonderfully sweet, slightly tart, and has the texture of some whole, tiny little berries that are like a surprise every tie you bite into one.
And they make a PERFECT cupcake filling.
Really, these cupcakes are absolutely wonderful. So, so, so delicious. The incredibly moist lemon cake, studded with poppy seeds, filled with this incredibly delicious jam and topped with a sweet, cream cheese frosting.
Do you see what I mean when I say these are THE JAM?
These best eaten day of, BUT, if you save them for future days, I will say, these are INCREDIBLE out of the fridge. I'm very anti-refrigerating cakes for too long if I don't have to, (I feel like it affects the texture of the cake and, well, I always forget to take it out of the fridge and then I'm serving cold cake), but these are so so so so good out of the fridge, dare I say, I actually like them BETTER cold.
Dare I say!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes Filled with Ligonberry Jam
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 tablespoons poppy seeeds
Ligonberry Jam (or whatever Jam you would like!)
Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
Pour milk, egg whites, and extract into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until fully cooled.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cold cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, firm but not cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon
Combine butter, salt, and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. It should be thick but not fluffy.
Add vanilla and lemon and incorporate fully.
Using the open end of a large pastry tip, or just a knife, cut a "cone" in the center of the cupcake (be careful not to go all of the way through to the bottom of the cupcake" (Click here for a tutorial). Fill with one teaspoon ligonberry jam. Top with cream cheese frosting. Serve immediately.