These juniper berry lime cupcakes are zingy, citrusy and bursting with beckoning springtime. The sponge is infused with zesty lime and earthy juniper berries, and it’s topped with a sweet lime and jasmine frosting.
I took inspiration for these juniper berry and lime cupcakes from the herbal and botanical flavours from Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine soft drink. If you’re not familiar with Fentimans, they’re the natural, grown up soda company that uses complex mixes of natural flavours to create refreshing botanically brewed drinks. They’re lovely on their own, but also fantastic mixers for spirits!
- 125g (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 125g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
- zest of 1 lime
- 2 organic free range eggs
- 125g (1 ¼ cup) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries, crushed in a pestle and mortar until fine
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 80g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1 /2 tablespoons Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine drink (or substitute lime juice)
- 250g (2 cups) powdered icing sugar
- zest of 1 lime, divided
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line a muffin tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk or stand mixer until light and fluffy, then beat in the lime zest.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the crushed juniper berries (there will only be a small pinch) and gently combine. Stir in the lime juice, but don’t overmix.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, filling each ¾ full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the butter until smooth, then add the Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine drink (or lime juice), icing sugar and ½ a teaspoon of the zest and beat until smooth. If necessary, add more drink or icing sugar to reach desired consistency. Top the completely cooled cupcakes with the icing and sprinkle with the remaining lime zest.
This new addition to Fentimans’ natural botanical drinks range, Sparkling Lime and Jasmine, has a lovely depth of flavour and isn’t too sweet. It has a beautifully bitter edge balanced with sweet botanical flavours from hyssop, lime flower, myrtle leaf and juniper berries, while it’s aromas of lime and jasmine are refreshing. It’s complexity is rounded out with orange, quinine, pear juice and ginger root.
Because this drinks doesn’t have the jarring sweetness of most soft drinks, it’s a perfect mixer for gin or vodka, as well as a great alternative to alcohol. I didn’t take part in Dry January this year, but I’ve cut down on my alcohol consumption. This is the sort of drink that’s perfect at bars and pubs, because you still feel like you’re drinking something really special, even though it’s non-alcoholic. My tipple of choice is usually prosecco, so this is a great dry, sparkling alternative.
Disclosure: Fentimans commissioned me to create a recipe inspired by their Sparkling Lime and Jasmine drink. All opinions are my own.