The sad but true fact is that the end of pomegranate season is nearly upon us, but you don't have to have fresh pomegranates to enjoy these cupcakes. Originally, this was a sheet cake recipe published in bon appétit's 2008 Thanksgiving Special, but I wanted to bake something a bit more finger-food friendly and made cupcakes instead. They are tasty on their own, but I think they'd make great afternoon tea cakes.
Pomegranate cupcakes with lime glaze
12 cupcakes plus a bit extra
1.5 C all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature (I used salted, and it was fine)
2 lg eggs
3/4 C pomegranate juice (divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup portions) (Juice! Not the concentrated syrup. Not the molasses either. Try a Middle Eastern store.)
4 tsp grated lime peel (divided into two 2 tsp portions)
1/2 C Greek-style yogurt (a thicker yogurt than American yogurt. I used an Indian brand of yogurt. Worked fine.)
1.5 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings: the original sheet cake recipe called for scattering pomegranate seeds and mint over the top. Or, you can use extra lime gratings, which is what I did since I had neither fresh pomegranate or mint.
2/3 C pomegranate seeds
2 Tbs thinly sliced mint leaves
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Beat sugar and butter with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in 1/2 C pomegranate juice and 2 tsp lime peel. Mixture may appear curdled. Beat flour mixture until just blended. Stir in yogurt.
Drop batter into cupcake liners. I generously filled a 1.5 Tbs cookie scoop to measure out the amounts. (Worked fabulously.) Bake until tester comes out clean. ~25 minutes, possibly longer. Let cool for 15 minutes or so. After cooling, use a fork to poke small holes into the top of the cupcakes. This will allow the glaze to seep into the cupcakes.
Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, vanilla, and 2 tsp lime peel.
Remove cooled cupcakes from pan and carefully remove silicon liners. Place cupcakes on wire rack. Pour tablespoons of glaze over each cupcake until top is covered and glaze drips down the sides. Grate extra lime peel or top with pomegranate seeds and mint, or even silver dragees.
If you used paper liners, you may want to keep the cupcakes in the pan and glaze them there so that the outsides of the paper liners don't become gooey with glaze.
Kitchen Chick's notes:
The glaze is thin, so don't be thinking like I did that the holes for the glaze need to be large, or you'll have holey-looking cupcakes. If you'd rather make this as a sheet cake, use a buttered and floured 13x9x2 cake pan.
12 cupcakes use less batter than than one sheet cake. I put the extra batter into two small 3" wide soufflé ramekins (pictured above) and baked them up as special treats for the baker and her husband. :-)