Plum pinwheel cupcakes

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A few weeks ago I came across some lovely plums at the market. Yellow and dark red, I knew I had to transform them into some sort of sweet and tart dessert that I could eat for breakfast if I wanted. I’d already made an amazing earthy-sweet hazelnut and plum cake, so I decided to go a slightly different route with this recipe. A lemony cupcake, almost more of a muffin, really, with fresh plum slices and a dousing of cinnamon and dark cane sugar.

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I spied the recipe on Epicurious and decided that instead of a whole cake, I’d make adorable little cupcakes. I arranged the sliced plums in a pinwheel pattern, perfect because the exposed parts were just slightly grilled and caramelized, while the rest was melt-in-your-mouth moist, and added moisture to the cake portion as well. These were not too sweet, with just a hint of tart lemon and plum, and an earthy dash of cinnamon. Perfect for breakfast or dessert, and cute to boot!

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Plum pinwheel cupcakes
Recipe from Bon Appétit; makes about 10 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 C butter at room temperature
3/4 C sugar
1 T cane sugar or brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
3-5 plums (preferably different colors)
Large pinch of cinnamon

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Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare your muffin/cupcake pans, greasing them lightly or adding liners. Begin by beating your butter until fluffy, then creaming it with the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Toss in your lemon juice and zest, stir to combine. Carefully mix in the flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into your cupcake pan up to about the 2/3 mark, no more (once your press the plums in, the cupcakes will almost double in height). Cut your plums into small wedges, removing the pit (I got about 8-10 wedges per plum). Alternating colors (if using), press one end of each plum into the center of your cupcake, turning the outer edge slightly so it rests inside the cupcake liner. Continue with three remaining plum slices until you have a pinwheel pattern. Try to force the outer edges into the pan if you can. It’s OK if the batter seeps up and covers the plums partially.

Once all of your plums are in place, sprinkle with cinnamon and cane or brown sugar. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the batter is golden and crusty, and a knife comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

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