Raspberry Beret cupcakes.

Also known as dark chocolate cupcakes with fresh whole raspberries topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting & a little “raspberry beret.” Yeah, I know, but come on, it’s the perfect name! Look; he’s actually wearing a little raspberry hat!

...No, they’ve got nothing to do with Prince. I’m just batshit crazy & I name my cupcakes.

I know, it’s been a long time since I made cupcakes! I’ve missed them, haven’t you?

Chocolate & raspberry is a combination that is so typical & popular, it’s everywhere. It’s like peanut butter & jelly or ham & cheese. Most people might think to make these for Valentine’s Day, which is obviously appropriate, but I chose to make it now because of all the fresh raspberries around. I won’t pretend that cupcakes are good for you. I will say, however, dark chocolate has a lot of benefits health-wise, as do raspberries.

The consumption of high-cacao-content of chocolate has been correlated with positive health benefits from flavonol antioxidants derived from the ground and fermented seeds of Theobroma cacao.[15]

Dark chocolate may transiently improve DNA resistance to oxidative stress, probably for flavonoid kinetics.[16]

 

Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases.[6] The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fibre, placing it among plant foods with the highest fibre contents known, up to 20% fibre per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fibre (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper

and iron are considerable in raspberries.[7]

Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of ellagic acid (from ellagotannins, see for instance raspberry ellagitannin), quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Yellow raspberries and others with pale-coloured fruits are lower in anthocyanins.

Due to their rich contents of antioxidant vitamin C and the polyphenols mentioned above, raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Cranberries and wild blueberries have around 9000 ORAC units and apples average 2800.[8]

Although there are no clinical studies to date proving these effects in humans, antioxidant and antiproliferative (chemopreventive) effects against cancer have been linked to the amount of phenolics and flavonoids in various foods including raspberries.[9][10][11]

Mucho thanks to the almighty Wikipedia for that info. See? Now you have an excuse to make them. They’re good for your health.

RASPBERRY BERET CUPCAKES

Get these ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Hershey’s® Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 container (6 ounces) fresh raspberries, chilled

Then you should:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Remove 12 of the best looking and firmest raspberries from the container & set aside in a small bowl, these are your toppers, or “raspberry berets.”
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. In another bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and vegetable oil. Gradually whisk flour mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in raspberries- it’s okay if they stay whole and it’s also okay if they break (as a matter of fact, because I did in fact use a hand mixer, mine broke into a gazillion little berry pieces & everyone loved them, said it tasted like raspberry jam mixed in there). Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Fill cupcake liners ⅔  full. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for several minutes in the cupcake pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost only when completely cooled, then top with a raspberry.

VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Whip the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla until combined, and beat in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting is as thick as you’d like.

In case you’re totally confused about this raspberry beret/Prince thing:

Raspberry Beret” is a song by Prince and The Revolution. It was the first U.S. (and second UK) single from their 1985 album, Around the World in a Day. The sound was different from any previous Prince track, incorporating Middle Eastern finger cymbals, stringed instruments, and even a harmonica on the extended version. The song was also more in the pop vein than ever before, though the 12-inch single and video of the song feature a funky intro. Although the song was originally recorded in 1982, Prince drastically reworked it with The Revolution to give it more of an international sound. The string section was: Novi Novog on violin, Suzi Katayama and David Coleman on cello. Wendy & Lisa provided backing vocals, and the rest of the song was performed by Prince.

The song tells of a teenage romance and first sexual experience with a girl who wears the titular hat. The video for the song was Prince’s first since his short-lived “ban” on music videos. The song quickly became a fan favorite, and a staple in nearly every Prince tour. The extended version was included on Ultimate in 2006. While this song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, it only reached #25 on the UK Singles Chart.

Ya get it now? Personally I’m more of a ‘Controversy’ fan than ‘Raspberry Beret’, myself. But actually, after I thought of that name for these, it reminded me of a school trip I took in grammar school where this kid Robbie was singing “She wore a razz-belly belay!” all day long, and he had me & my friend Jessica in hysterics. So we started singing it too really loud on the bus & it turned into chaos. So I guess these are also for Robbie & his “razz-belly belay”, wherever he is now. Another time, Robbie went home on his bike and brought back with him a bee repellent/bee-sting care package (“just in case”) to the bleachers at the local high school where I was hanging out, because there was a huge beehive there. I always had a way with the dudes.

So a few things about these cupcakes: One, they were easily the easiest I ever made. You don’t even need a mixer, I used one (my vintage hand mixer) on low just to speed things up (no pun intended) but it isn’t necessary. Two, they rose perfectly. Three, the texture is amazing. That’s basically it. The flavors go so well together, but that’s a freakin’ no brainer. It’s just perfect, the perfect cupcake. I also got exactly 12, which was a first for me, usually if I think it’ll make 12, I get 15. Or 20. I definitely live in a parallel universe when it comes to my baking pans. If you prefer another kind of cocoa powder, by all means, use it. I just recommend a dark one, and the Hershey’s Special Dark is one of the best (& darkest) I ever had.

I used a Wilton 2A tip to frost, then an offset spatula to smooth ’em down. Oh, and the brown liners are from sweet estelle’s baking supply at Etsy. I love the way a brown liner looks on a chocolate cupcake, don’t you?

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