#6 Watermelon Cupcakes

With the last days of summer upon us what better way to celebrate than with a seasonal favorite-watermelon! As I was surfing the Internet for some inspiration a few weeks ago I came across www.cupcakeproject.com and found watermelon jam. I know it sounds a little odd and nothing I would have thought of, but this seemed like a perfect challenge for me.

Watermelon Jam
So the first step towards making these cupcakes is making the watermelon jam. Since I haven't made jam on my own I asked my wonderful mom for help and of course she said yes!

My watermelon from Costco
The Goods (courtesy of southernfood.about.com)

4cups seeded, diced watermelon
3 1/2 cups sugar
tsp. lemon juice
1 packet of powder fruit pectin

The How To

Place diced watermelon in a blender or food processor bowl. Cover and blend/process until smooth-you should have 2 cups watermelon puree. In a 6- to 8-quart kettle or dutch oven combine the watermelon puree, sugar and lemon juice.

And yes the funny smell while it cooks is normal.
Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) over high heat, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir in the pectin all at once. Return mixture to a full rolling boil; boil hard for 1min. stirring constantly.
At first I wasn't sure why you need such a tall pot but as this stuff boils it starts rising and I'm glad i didn't attempt this on my own or it would have been all over the stove!
Remove kettle or Dutch oven from heat; skim of foam. Ladle jelly into clean hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch space. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids, Allow to cool completely away from drafts, then store in cool, dark place. Makes 4 half pints. *I didn't do this last part I actually put them in the plastic freezer jam jars since I was only making enough for the cupcakes.
Looks good right?

So you cant tell from here but the pectin never activated so I took one of the two jars I had and recooked it for 3mins. And at the time it seemed to have thickened up. So happy with the outcome of the second jar I put it in the fridge overnight. When I took it out the next day it was beyond jam it was like hard watermelon candy and of course the other jar I had (I was hoping the pectin just needed time to activate) was still like syrup. So I ended up leaving the over cooked jar out for a few hours hoping this would soften it but after waiting I ended up adding some of the syrupy jam to the over cooked jam and came up with a happy medium. On with the cupcakes!!!!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (courtesy of creative confectionery)
I picked the vanilla since it's not a overly strong flavor and it really seemed to complement the watermelon.

The Goods

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
3large eggs
2cups sugar
1cup canola oil
2tsp vanilla ( used one vanilla bean and 1tsp of vanilla paste)
1cup sour cream

The How To

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In your mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2mins. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.

This is the vanilla bean which i scrapped out the insides for the batter


my vanilla paste

here i added the oil and vanilla
Mix in the sour cream.....

Mix in the flour mixture until it's incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared cups and bake 18-23mins (I checked my at 15), until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10mins. Remove from pan and let completely cool before the next step.
After the cupcakes have cooled down I took the watermelon jam and put it into a frosting bag with the injecting tip (sorry I don't know the correct name).

trying to get the jam into the bag.
I then squeezed jam into the center of the cupcakes. If you don't have a frosting bag you can always cut out part of the center of the cupcake and fill with jam too.

See the long tip

looking good :)
Next the frosting....

Vanilla Watermelon Frosting
This is just vanilla buttercream frosting and I added watermelon jam and red food coloring.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla paste or extract
watermelon jam (I didn't really measure this just poured and taste tested)
1-2drops of red food coloring

Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla and jam. If you want the frosting pink then add the 1-2 drops of food coloring after the jam and vanilla is mixed in.

just added the jam.
If you look closely you can see the tasty little morsels of jam through out the frosting.
The chocolate chips are suppose to look like watermelon seeds what do you think?

Aidan approves!!!!

Up Next....
Chocolate malt cupcakes with cherry filling

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