How To: One Versatile Cupcake Recipe... Three Fruity Variations

One Versatile Cupcake Recipe... Three Fruity Variations

We like to have a variety of cupcakes on hand when we're entertaining, but we don't want to spend too much time making separate recipes. No one has the time or the money for that—especially when you're hosting and you've got a bevy of other dishes to prepare.

The cheap and easy solution that saves our dessert table every time is to use a versatile batter and buttercream base—then mix it up with different flavors to create a wide selection for our guests.

As for what flavors to use, the sky's the limit—but we're particular to fruits that are in-season! Chocolate and caramel for some, but fruits really take the cake (ha!) for our taste buds.

(1) The cupcakes, (2) The frostings. Images by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

The Base

For our base recipes, we used Food Network's vanilla cupcake and vanilla buttercream frosting. Both the batter and the buttercream recipes yield basic, adaptable results perfect for the variations we'll make below.

(1) The basic batter, (2) The basic frosting. Images by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

1. Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

To make the strawberry cupcake base, simply dice a tablespoon of fresh strawberries per cupcake and mix into the batter.

(Here's a pro-tip: if you smash the strawberries a bit with the back of your spoon, the flavor will become more pronounced. Mmmm... strawberries.)

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

To make the strawberry buttercream, add an additional half-tablespoon of diced strawberries per cupcake to the frosting. You can also dye the frosting red and add sliced strawberries to the top to make your cupcake stand out, like we do below.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

2. Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

To make the orange cupcake base, add a teaspoon of fresh orange juice per cupcake and mix into the batter. Fresh orange zest will give the batter a nice citrus boost, too.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

To make the orange buttercream, add a teaspoon of fresh orange juice per cupcake to the batter. You can also dye the frosting orange, add fresh orange zest to the top, and add a tiny triangle of fresh orange for an additional splash of flavor and color.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

3. Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

To make the lemon cupcake base, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice per cupcake and mix into the batter. As orange zest does with the orange buttercream, fresh lemon zest will make your lemon batter even brighter.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

To make the lemon buttercream, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice per cupcake to the batter. You can also dye the frosting yellow, add fresh lemon zest to the top, and add a miniature slice of lemon for an additional splash of flavor and color.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

The moral of the story: all it takes is a little ingenuity in the kitchen to create something amazing with little effort. And that, my cupcake-loving friends, is a hack definition that we can stand behind. Seriously—the results speak for themselves.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks Daily

Have any favorite cupcake tips, tricks, or ideas you can't live without? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

More Baking Tips & Tricks:

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest