Where are my Hunger Games people? I made some “nightlock” berry cupcakes with berry frosting for you and topped them with black chocolate piped mocking jay decorations. They are so SO cute. I sent these to my friend Amanda because I was so excited how they turned out. She said what is the thing on the top? It looks like a black drizzle. haha. So she’s not up with the movie times, but that’s okay.
I stuffed these cupcakes with raspberry and blackberries so when you bite into them you’ll get pockets of tangy fruity mixed in with your cupcake. I flavored the cake with lemon extract to give it an extra boost of tart. The frosting is also made from berries. I just strained out the seeds because too many seeds are never a good thing.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering why the heck I named these “nightlock” berry cupcakes. In The Hunger Games (the first Hunger Games movie) they make an appearance. Foxface ate them and died, Peeta wanted to eat them but Katniss basically slapped them out of his hand and Seneca Crane was locked in a room and a bowl of them. Yep, nightlock berries. People are dying to eat them.
So, these cupcakes aren’t poisonous by any means but they do have lots of berries in them. They taste quite heavenly, actually. The frosting is slightly sticky, but the flavor is insane. It’s not overly sweet from the overdose of powdered sugar. It’s just perfect. I’ll warn you though, it’s probably not going to form beautiful swirls. It’s more of a piped cloud kind of frosting. It’s worth it though.
- 3/4 cup butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 + 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 T . vanilla extract
- 1 tsp . lemon extract
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp . baking powder
- 1 tsp . baking soda
- 1/2 tsp . salt
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 + 1/2 cups blackberries and raspberries
- 3/4 cup butter room temperature
- 1/4 tsp . lemon extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup black candy melts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in your cupcake pan.
- In a mixing bowl, add in the butter, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Mix until incorporated.
- Add in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time. Mix until each egg is thoroughly incorporated before added the next.
- Measure out the buttermilk and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine all the dry ingredients.
- Begin alternately adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk starting and ending with flour. I added 4 additions of flour and 3 additions of buttermilk. Mix after each addition and scrape the sides of the bowl. The batter will be thick. It will help prevent the berries from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes.
- Add in the blackberries and raspberries and stir in with a spatula.
- Scoop the batter with a medium cookie scoop. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
- Place in the 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 16 to 17 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- In a saucepan, add in the berries. Turn the heat to medium and let cook for about 20 minutes until the berries are broken down and the juices cook down slightly.
- Strain the berry juice with a fine mesh strainer and discard all the seeds. Be sure to get as much of the pulp as possible before discarding. Let cool slightly.
- Add in the butter, lemon extract and powdered sugar. Mix on low until the powdered sugar is almost completely incorporated. Turn the mixer on high and whip the frosting 1 - 2 minutes more. The frosting will be slightly loose and sticky. You can add an additional 1 cup of powdered sugar to stiffen it up, but I didn't want to lose my sweet and tart flavor so I went with less.
- with a round tip in a piping bag, pipe a cloud of frosting on top of each cupcake. Since the frosting is slightly sticky, give the tip a swirl to break the frosting off.
- In a double boiler, heat up the black candy melts.
- Place the melted candy melts in a piping cone and cut a very tiny hole.
- Place a piece of wax paper over a mocking jay template. I found mine here and resized it to 150 pixels.
- Carefully pipe over the lines. Use a toothpick to fix any mistakes and get sharp edges.
- Let dry and use an offset spatula to peel off the wax paper. Place on cupcakes.
If you love the books and movies and need to see more, here are some other great ideas to help celebrate the Hunger Games.