Amazingly tender, melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes with a fun swirl of raspberry pomegranate syrup hidden inside. And there’s an all butter icing that’s super creamy with a delicious hint of raspberry and pomegranate flavors.
These Raspberry Pomegranate Swirl Cupcakes are based on my Best Vanilla Cupcakes and Buttercream Recipe, super tender melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes, and a delicious icing with just a touch of cream cheese. This recipe was the final result of a long quest to find the perfect yellow cake recipe. To me, this is what a really good wedding cake should taste like.
In celebration of pomegranate season, I combined raspberry jam and fresh pomegranate arils in a sauce pan and simmered the mixture for 15 minutes. Then I strained out the seeds and pulp, resulting in a delicious pomegranate-raspberry syrup. The syrup is simply drizzled over the cupcake batter right before they head to the oven. A quick swirl with a small knife or skewer and you’ve got a fabulous tasting cupcake with a beautiful splash of color.
For the icing, I saved a bit of the pomegranate-raspberry syrup and used a two-tone technique that is explained in the recipe below. If you’re in a hurry, or don’t feel like fussing with a decorating bag, just add the raspberry-pomegranate syrup to the entire bowl of buttercream and frost the cupcakes with a knife. Believe me, they’ll still be extremely well received! They’ve definitely been a hit here at The Café!
Give these Raspberry Pomegranate Swirl Cupcakes a try, I think they may become a seasonal favorite!
Amazingly tender, melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes with a fun swirl of raspberry pomegranate syrup hidden inside. And there's an all butter icing that's super creamy with a delicious hint of raspberry and pomegranate flavors.
- For the raspberry-pomegranate syrup:
- 1 cup raspberry jam use your favorite
- ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds*
- For the cupcake batter:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup cake flour
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter not softened but remove from refridg and allow to warm for about 15 minutes
- 4 large eggs
- For the Buttercream:
- 8 ounces butter softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese or Neufchâtel softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons half & half
- 2 tablespoons reserved raspberry-pomegranate syrup
For the raspberry-pomegranate syrup, set a fine mesh strainer over a medium size bowl. Set aside.
Combine raspberry jam and pomegranate arils in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour mixture into prepared strainer. Push on solids with the back of a spoon to extract all of the liquid. Return strained liquid to the sauce pan and simmer for another 5 minutes or until syrupy and reduced to 2/3 cup. Set syrup aside to cool. Discard seeds and pulp.
For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350° Line cupcake pans with 32 cupcake liners. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup and set aside. Break eggs into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of stand mixer and stir together for 30 seconds using mixer paddle attachment.
With mixer on low, drop in butter, a few cubes at a time, continuing until all butter is in and mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add eggs one at a time on low speed. With mixer still on low slowly pour in milk and vanilla. Turn mixer to medium and beat for 2 minutes until batter is smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Scoop batter into cupcake liners filling cups with about ¼ cup each. Cups will be just slightly over half full - don't be tempted to over-fill. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the raspberry pomegranate syrup for the icing. Drizzle the remainder of the syrup over the batter filled cupcake liners, dividing evenly. Swirl syrup with a skewer or small, thin knife in a circular pattern.
Bake for 18-22 minutes or until centers are set and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the buttercream, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip the butter until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. I like to use the whisk attachment for my mixer.
Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is pretty well incorporated, increase speed to medium high and beat for1 minute. Mixture will be quite thick.
Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the other 3 cups of powdered sugar. Start out on slow speed again until sugar is mixed in the increase to medium high and beat for another minute. Mixture will be very thick.
Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon half and half* (see below for two-tone icing) and beat for two to 3-4 minutes until nice creamy consistency is reached. You made need to add more half and half, just a teaspoonful at a time, until desired consistency is reached. You want a creamy, but fairly stiff consistency for piping.
For two tone icing, remove ½ cup of the buttercream to a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the raspberry pomegranate syrup. Stir well to combine. See notes for piping tips.
If you prefer a solid color raspberry pomegranate buttercream, replace the half and half with the raspberry pomegranate syrup and proceed as directed above.
For the cupcakes pictured, I used a Wilton 104 petal tip and a two-tone technique. I used a pomegranate aril in the center but you could also use cake sprinkles or decorating balls (dragees).
I found several helpful tutorials for piping the cupcakes. This Two-Tone Buttercream Rose Cupcake Tutorial was great in explaining how to fill the decorating bag to achieve the color tinged petals. For the flower technique itself, I followed this Buttercream Flower Cupcake Tutorial. I used the fourth technique that was demonstrated.