Hawthorn Berry Cupcakes

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My cookbook addiction has been in full swing lately. Currently, I’m reading cover to cover a new purchase, American Cake by Anne Byrn. This is a food history book as much as a cookbook. So far, I’ve learned the origin of today’s take-for-granted ingredients such as baking powder and gained a new appreciation for my oven imagining how it contrasts to baking a cake in a firepit. Did you know that women actually died from burns while baking? I had no idea. But what I love the most is the dedication to the specialness of baking and how recipes were shared and kept in personal journals long before cookbooks stocked shelves. Resourcefulness is an apparent theme because there were no supermarkets to buy ready to use ingredients. Women churned their own butter, milled their own flours, and raised chickens for eggs. When sugar was scarce, molasses became a go-to sweetener, spices valuable flavoring agents. With utmost respect, as I read these recipes I can’t help but think of my own baking. These impressions unfold a world of potential herbal baking. How easy it seems to substitute an herbal syrup in place of molasses. Using liquid sweeteners in a batter eliminates the butter-sugar creaming step and feels a bit easier. I made these cupcakes before I had this book but I know I will use it as a reference again and again and feel inspired by the history it unfolds.

 

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Hawthorn Berry Cupcakes
Baking with syrups is my favorite way to incorporate herbs into baked goods. It’s especially helpful for those herbs that need a little help from the sweetness of the sugar or the honey or the molasses or require some decocting. A dried hawthorn berry adds it’s own sweet and sour twist as well as an extra bit of love.
Servings Prep Time
18cupcakes 25minutes
Cook Time
30-35minutes
Servings Prep Time
18cupcakes 25minutes
Cook Time
30-35minutes
Print
Hawthorn Berry Cupcakes
Baking with syrups is my favorite way to incorporate herbs into baked goods. It’s especially helpful for those herbs that need a little help from the sweetness of the sugar or the honey or the molasses or require some decocting. A dried hawthorn berry adds it’s own sweet and sour twist as well as an extra bit of love.
Servings Prep Time
18cupcakes 25minutes
Cook Time
30-35minutes
Servings Prep Time
18cupcakes 25minutes
Cook Time
30-35minutes
Ingredients
  • For cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cup (218.75g) organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/4 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hawthorn berry syrup see below
  • 1/2 stick (4oz) organic unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For icing
  • 1 stick organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (250g) confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons hawthorn berry tea
  • hawthorn berry syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried hawthorn berries
  • 16 ounces water
  • 1 cup (200g) organic light brown sugar
Units:
Instructions
For cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 18 cupcake liners in two 12 serving cupcake pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In large electric mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat egg with milk and vanilla until just combined.
  4. With mixer set to low speed, add flour in two additions, alternating with hawthorn berry syrup. Blend until combined after each addition, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. Add cooled, melted butter beating until incorporated.
  6. With wooden spoon, stir in orange zest and chocolate chips.
  7. Fill cupcake liners with batter using a ¼ cup measure. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Check for doneness after 30 minutes
  8. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer each cupcake to wire rack to cool completely. Prepare icing while cupcakes are cooling and ice when completely cool.
For icing
  1. Add sifted sugar to electric mixer and with paddle attachment mix a few seconds to make sure lumps are removed. Add butter and mix until creamy.
  2. With motor running, add hawthorn berry tea in a slow stream. Mix until smooth. Set aside until cupcakes are cooled and ready to ice.
For hawthorn berry syrup
  1. Combine dried hawthorn berries and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer on medium low heat. Reduce to lowest heat and simmer covered with lid slightly ajar for 30 minutes. Cover tightly, remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes more.
  2. Strain through sieve covered with cheesecloth. Measure 1 1/2 cup hawthorn berry tea and return to saucepan. Reserve 4 tablespoons of remaining tea for icing.
  3. To tea in saucepan, add brown sugar and bring to simmer on medium low heat. Continue to simmer on low, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until syrup is slightly thickened. Cool completely before adding to cupcake batter.
Recipe Notes

***Using organic ingredients whenever possible will make your baked goods all the more nourishing. For this recipe, use organic butter, eggs, sugar, flour and milk if available.

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organic sugar

dried hawthorn berries
organic all-purpose flour

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