sure, you can color buttercream frosting with food coloring… but how much cooler to do it naturally? plus you get the added benefit of a delicious berry flavor.
i have only tried this with raspberries and blueberries (although the berry-prepping technique was slightly different, the most important step is the same), but i would imagine blackberries would be devine, and strawberries would definitely work, too.
i started with 4 dozen of the tiniest vanilla cupcakes you’ve ever seen.
the scale is totally off in that picture. that is a mini muffin tin, a mini scoop, and a mini spatula. seriously, the pan isn’t more than 6 inches long. it makes cupcakes that are less than one bite. i love it.
anyway, bake all those up.
for the frosting, i simmered about a cup, maybe a little bit more, of frozen raspberries (you could use fresh if they were in season, but for the price, frozen might be a better deal) until they broke down and got all juicy.
then i worked them through a fine sieve to separate out the seeds. i don’t think this step is absolutely necessary, but i was making these for elderly ladies, and i didn’t want to cause them any dental problems!
the key to adding berry syrup (or pureed berries, in the case of my blueberry example) to frosting is to whip it into the butter before you add the confectioners sugar.
if you add it after, it gets too wet and you never end up with the right “frosting” consistency. also, it might separate, which would be bad, too.
so beat a tablespoon or so of butter with about half the raspberry puree. then start adding confectioners sugar until the texture is right. you’ll probably end up using about one box, which is enough for a layer cake, two dozen cupcakes, or an army of mini ones.
if you need to add more liquid, use the raspberry – just a little at a time. i didn’t use any milk at all, which is the traditional liquid to soften frosting.
look at how pretty they turned out!
happy 90th birthday tea party, grandma!
(i also made her a mini layer cake, with raspberry jam between the layers.)