POM Velvet Cupcakes with POM Cream Cheese Frosting
Serve these cupcakes at your New Year’s Eve bash and everyone will leave with a smile.
-Courtesy of Chef Ashley James for POM Wonderful, pomfresh.com
POM Wonderful’s variety of pomegranates are now available in stores through January. Take advantage of this fruit’s disease-fighting antioxidants and surplus of healthy vitamins by making these yummy cupcakes for any New Year’s Eve event!
Makes 30 cupcakes
Ingredients for POM Cream Cheese Frosting:
juice from 3-4 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1 1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 cup arils from 1-2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates
4 oz. soft unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
14 oz. powdered sugar
Ingredients for POM Velvet Cupcakes:
juice from 6-9 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 2 1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
16 oz. granulated sugar
14 oz. soft unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
15 oz. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 oz. cocoa powder
3/4 oz. baking soda
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. For POM Cream Cheese Frosting: prepare fresh pomegranate juice.* Score 1-2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.) Reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 3 fl. oz. Allow to cool.
2. Place butter into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the cream cheese and continute to mix for 2 more minutes. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction. Mix until the sugar is fully combined. Remove icing from the mixer and place into a piping bag with a round or star tip.
3. For POM Velvet Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F. Reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 1/2 cup.
4. Place sugar and soft butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high speed, until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low and add the eggs in one at a time.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, pomegranate juice reduction, white vinegar and vanilla extract, and then slowly add half of this to the mixer.
6. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and then sift at least two times until well mixed. Add half of this to the mixer.
7. Add the remaining half of the liquids to the mixer, and then the remaining dry ingredients. Finish off with the heavy cream. Beat just until combined.
8. Place cupcake liners into cupcake pan, and using a spoon, fill with cake batter until it is just about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the pan to cool slightly, and then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool fully.
9. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, they can be iced with the pomegranate cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh pomegranate arils.
* For 4 cups of juice, cut 8-12 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.