A twist on one of my mother's most popular and easy recipes makes a wonderful summer treat that is somewhere between sweet and savory.
I have never been entirely sure where/who my mother got her recipe for Blackberry Wine Cake from, but I have always known that it is one of my favorite desserts. It's one of those recipes that's a super simple modification to a boxed mix that will leave people wondering how much time you spent slaving in the kitchen (Hint: very little).
Blackberry Wine Cake:
The simplest version of it is this: take your favorite boxed yellow cake mix. Replace the milk/water in the instructions with blackberry wine*. Bake as usual.
Now for my recent modification. I went to the farmer's market the other day, and one of the vendors was selling blackberry cider. Since I'm not able to buy real blackberry wine yet (I only want to bake with it!), I decided to try the cider as a substitute. A few vendors later, I found some huge, plump local blackberries, and of course I had to have them. And since I don't have a beautiful bundt pan like my mom, or any real cake pan while I'm in the process of moving, I put this recipe together in my head.
Blackberry Cider "Cuppins":
Like the original recipe, you just buy yellow cake mix, and replace the water/milk with blackberry wine/cider. Pour the batter into greased cupcake pans, leaving some space in the top. Drop a blackberry into the middle of each cup. (Note: I had rather large blackberries. If they had been smaller, I might have added two or three.) Bake according to instructions, though perhaps with a little less time.
* Note that the alcohol evaporates out of the cake and the icing, and it's perfectly safe for children. I've been eating it for as long as I can remember : )
** I realized as I reread this that this is my chemistry-speak coming out. Baking is like chemistry, right?