Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day Cupcakes

A few months ago I got an email from Kristen from POM Wonderful saying she came across my blog and loved it and wanted to send me a case of POM wonderful juice to use in a recipe and blog about. I have been trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to make. First off cupcakes of course, but what combo would work best with pomegranate? And for what occasion besides just because. Mothers day cupcakes came to mind because when I was a little kid one of my favorite things to do with my mom was go grocery shopping ( I know weird huh?) but I always KNEW I would get treats if I went with her. She used to joke that the grocery bill would be way more when I went with  her. I wasn't the kid that screamed for cookies or donuts or candy at the store. I wanted pomegranates. There was just something so awesome about that big red fruit that I could peel away at and pull the little seeds out and nibble on all day. Little did I know back then how good they are for you full of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants etc. But then again does an 8 year old think about let alone know what an antioxidant is??

 If I was to ever call a container of juice cute, these would be it. They're adorable. ha ha

 I searched many pomegranate recipes online and I thought it was funny that almost all the ones I came across in other blogs they too had mentioned receiving a case of POM juice from POM Wonderful. I was torn between two recipes but since I have 8 cute little bottles ( well now 5 left) I can make several recipes. I first went with a white chocolate pomegranate cupcake and was going to do a pomegranate buttercream but the cupcakes failed miserably. I am not sure what happened exactly but the cupcakes FELL apart when taken out of the cupcake pans after cooling a few minutes. I had found the recipe here.The tops were a little crunchy and the middles were too moist and too light. They were more like a muffin than a dense cupcake and there was no way they were going to hold up under even the tinest bit of frosting.
Plus all the wrappers peeled off too. I threw them ALL OUT. I was so mad I almost didn't make a new batch. But I had worked really hard on these gorgeous fondant flowers for the decorations I had to make a new batch.  I think these ones had either too much melted chocolate in the recipe or something was just off. Not sure. I debated making a box mix and adding in the pomegranate juice but I cringe at the thought of a box mix and it really is against my own personal baking religion. ha ha

So I decided on my basic vanilla cupcake and subbed pomegranate juice for the milk

Even with the juice added in for some reason they looked green...

I made a glaze of pom juice and powdered sugar and spooned over the tops of the cupcakes while still warm so it would soak in. They smelled like pomegranate just didn't look pinkish.

I whipped up a small batch of white chocolate swiss meringue butter cream and frosted with wilton 1M swirls

Decorated with my fondant flowers. I love these cutters and I got the veiner/mold I had seen on one of my favorite blogs that has a tutorial for these flowers. CakeJournal is the site and she has lots of great tutorials and all kinds of beautiful cake and cupcake creations.

I added pink luster dust to the light pink ones, I added pixie disco dust to the pomegranate colored ones. I mixed some different colors of fondant and added in some other colors to try to match the color as best as I could. They came out a little darker but I think they were a nice contrast with the light pink

So happy Mothers Day to all the amazing moms out there that really should be recognized daily not just one day a year. And thanks to my mom for always letting me get a pomegranate at the store when I was a kid and for being a great mom to me!!

Pomegranate Cupcake Recipe
adapted from my own vanilla cupcake recipe
makes 12 regular sized cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs room temp
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons pomegranate juice ( I subbed this for the milk and vanilla in my basic vanilla cupcake recipe)

preheat oven to 350 deg f, line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. 
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together in and electric mixer til light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl. Add in the eggs one at a time making sure each one is fully mixed in before adding the next.  Alternate the flour mixture with the pomegranate juice in 5 additions ( 3 dry, 2 juice) and mix until just incorporated don't over mix

Distribute batter evenly in liners in cupcake pan. Bake for 15-18 min. Test for done ness with a toothpick or by pressing lightly on the cupake and it bounces back. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Frost when cool.

White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3 large fresh egg whites at room temp
1/2 cup extra fine granulated white sugar ( bakers sugar)
pinch of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp cut into tablespoon sized pieces
3 ounces of melted and cooled white chocolate ( not chips but a baking bar) ( melting can be done in microwave or by double boiler method)


1. In a heatproof bowl, add the egg whites, sugar and salt, set over a pan of simmering water. Mix by hand constantly with a whisk, until the sugar has dissolved completely and an instant thermometer register 160°F.
2. Remove the bowl from heat, and beat with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed, until fluffy and glossy and the bottom of the bowl feel cool to the touch.
3.With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the butter two tablespoons at a time; mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and whip on high a few minutes. If it looks like its not coming together keep beating and it will.  Add the melted and cooled white chocolate, beat on high until smooth. If mixture looks curdled at any point during the beating process, continue beating until smooth; the curdling will disappear.
4. Transfer the buttercream to an airtight container and keep at room temperature if using the same day or refrigerate up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until smooth.


  1. First off in your original recipe, their are no essential egg yolks and too much sugar. You can try and take out the powdered sugar added to the chocolate. Plus the white chocolate should be added at the end of the mixing, not after the butter. Also I would use three whole eggs.

    When you substituted the juice for the milk, you need to add in the necessary amount of fat back to the recipe to keep it in balance. I can't remember the exact percentage of fat in milk, but you should add it back in with some more butter. Probably a better thing to do is about 2T of juice and some extract. But I have never seen pomegranate extract, so that might be difficult. Your cupcakes are beautiful. I love the flowers.

  2. Linda
    I linked to the wrong original recipe. I just changed it. I had two that I had saved and used one and linked to the one I didn't. Oops! Still it didn't have egg yolks in it and I did use whole eggs. It was just such a disaster I didn't feel like going into detail on the ingredients etc.

    Also on my second cupcake they came out great. Everyone loved them. Didn't need milk just weren't a STRONG pomegranate flavor. Pomegranate is like a milder cranberry juice. I have seen pomegranate extract online but the purpose of this recipe was to use the POM wonderful juice I had received in the mail. Also I have seen recipes using nonfat milk and have made them before and had no issues with the lack of dairy fat.

    Thanks for your input.