I have been very tempted to try a basil flavored cupcake. I made basil simple syrup a couple of weekends ago and picked up a selection of fruits to taste it with. My favorite match was most definitely basil and raspberry.

I finally got around to the cupcakes this weekend. I made a basic vanilla cupcakes, light and fresh raspberry mousse frosting, basil cream, and mint cream. I decided it would be easy enough to prepare fillings with basil and mint then see what combination I preferred.

The cupcakes turned out great, really fruity and fresh. I suggest serving them with some extra fruit… I wanted a raspberry with every bite. As it turns out, I prefer the mint. The taste was still herby like the basil, but not as distinct or distracting. It’s not that I didn’t like the basil. I did. I just feel like I would need to do something more, like find a third flavor to balance the two.

On a final note, I am looking forward to making a basil martini tonight with the left over syrup and some high quality vodka. Should be tasty…

Vanilla Cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes).
10. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

baked cupcakes

Basil or Mint Cream

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 ounces basil or mint
1 cup heavy cream

1. Bring sugar and water to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Chop basil or mint and add to the mixture.
3. Boil for 3 minutes.
4. Cool to room temperature.
5. Beat heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form add the five to six tablespoons of syrup to taste and beat until combined.

fresh basil

Raspberry Mousse Frosting

2 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat.
2. Stir mixture until it is basically a liquid.
3. Stir in gelatin, continue to cook until dissolved.
4. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
5. Beat heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form. Add the three tablespoons of sugar and beat until combined.
6. Mix about a third of the whipped cream into raspberry mixture until well combined.
7. Fold in remaining whipped cream.

1. Using a small knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon of basil or mint cream.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Pipe on the raspberry mousse and decorate with fresh herb and/or raspberries.

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