Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes, Gluten Free

Blueberry Swirl Cupcake, Gluten and dairy free. What to do with 300 quarts of blueberries.

Mr. Canteen went to the store for some chicken and came home with a wheelbarrow full of blueberries. Going to the grocery while hungry was a really bad idea. Points for picking blueberries over say, potato chips or M&Ms, but really? But did he think little Keebler Elves were going magically appear and bake something with all those berries?  And it wasn’t as though he was going to bake anything with them. 

If it had been a wheelbarrow full of chocolate or a certain brand of potato chips, I’d have been plenty happy and probably a little more motivated to come up with some interesting baking ideas. Though I really enjoy blueberries, they are more like necessary things to dress up plain yogurt (the only kind I like) and for the occasional muffin or breakfast thingy.

I was stumped until I remembered what I usually do when flummoxed.  In my little world cake is the answer to most everything. I imagined an adorable little blueberry swirl cupcake not realizing how close to Smurf-ville a blueberry can get. The first batch of cupcake batter turned murky blue-green and even the dog who was hanging out in the kitchen thought that was weird.

The next batch was far more blue but still had hints of green. But that’s what happens when you blend blue-berries into yellow cake batter. Yellow and blue make green even if those things are cake batter and fruit. Mostly no one cares because it’s covered with swirly buttercream and the cake still tastes like cake.

And frankly, if people can get away with making multicolored neon cake layers and funfetti cakes, a little smurfy cupcake is not going to shock anyone. Right? Especially if it’s the blueberry doing the smurfing.

Fortunately after serving up these little smurfy cupcakes, a few muffins, and eating blueberries with every single meal during the week the berries resided in the refrigerator, I’m pretty sure that even Mr. Smartypants had enough. Next time the Canteen guy goes to the grocery for chicken and he’s hungry, I’m guessing we might see a nice wheelbarrow full of Kettle Potato Chips.

Blueberry Swirl Cupcake, Gluten and dairy free. What to do with 300 quarts of blueberries.

Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes
Though they look a little like smurfs, the blueberry cupcakes are tasty little treats full of big summer berry flavor. Makes 12-14 cupcakes. Gluten and dairy-free. The leftover blueberry slush is a nice addition to ice cream, yogurt, toast or any dessert you can thing of that goes with blueberries. I bet you can even freeze some of the slush for another time.
Blueberry Slush
  • 600-700 grams fresh blueberries (4-5 cups)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
Blueberry Cupcake
  • 96 grams organic Spectrum shortening (8 tablespoons)
  • 150 grams granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 120 grams almond or other nondairy milk (1/2 cup)
  • 195 grams Canteen flour blend (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon blueberry slush
Blueberry Swirl Buttercream
  • 440 grams powdered sugar, sifted (4 cups)
  • 96 grams Spectrum shortening (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoon nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon blueberry slush
  • 12-15 whole blueberries
Blueberry Slush
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a deep saucepan. Bring to a rolling simmer and stir. Turn down the heat so the mixture is just barely simmering and cook 5-8 minutes stirring often to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cool completely. Store in a jar in the refrigerator and keeps about 3 weeks. Leftovers can be used to top yogurt, ice cream, toast or other desserts.
Blueberry Cupcake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place liners in a cupcake pan(s) (12-14).
  2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, blend together shortening, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix on high until the batter is light and fluffy. Add the blueberry slush to the batter and using a silicone spatula, give it one figure-eight just to marble in the color. Scoop into the prepared cupcake liners ⅔ full, carefully so that the marbling doesn't turn into a single smurf blue cupcake. When it comes to stirring in and scooping the batter once the blueberry slush is in there, less is more. Anything more than that and you'll have a smurf cupcake (been there, done that).
  3. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Blueberry Swirl Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whip attachment blend the powdered sugar and shortening on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts, and lemon juice and whip. Add the nondairy milk one tablespoon at a time until the buttercream is light and fluffy and thick. Remove ⅔ of the white icing to a piping bag and smash it to one side. Mix the blueberry slush with the remaining icing until it is deep purple (not smurf blue, right?!) and place that icing carefully into the same piping bag on the opposite side. Pipe onto cupcakes making sure the mixture comes out marbled or swirled. You might have to push out some icing back into the mixing bowl first to get to the swirly stuff, but it'll be there, eventually.
  2. Top iced cupcakes with a single blueberry. Best served the same day.



  1. Adorable and clearly yumm! You could have called these Smurfette Cupcakes, Smurf-Friendly Cupcakes, or something similar. 😉



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