Sharing joy with lemon blackberry cupcakes

Homemade cake is one of life's great joys - something that should be enjoyed on more than just special occasions. Making time to bake is a wonderful way to celebrate the everyday.

Cake in my mind is a gift to be shared. This is one of the reasons that I love cupcakes. They are every bit as delicious as a large frosted cake and much easier to decorate and share. Mention the word cupcake and my daughters will run to the kitchen. All the measuring and mixing is worth it for a taste of the batter.

This featherlight lemon cake is made with oil, which makes it moist, but it also has a small amount of potato starch that gives it a light texture. When I was creating this recipe, the cake was so good that my daughters were trying to eat them before I could even get them frosted. Still, don't skip the frosting because the blackberry buttercream is what puts them over the top.

Fresh blackberries give the icing a gorgeous color. This recipe makes a generous amount of icing because I like to give my cupcakes a couple of swirls of frosting. I recommend getting a large pastry bag, a coupler (a device that attaches the icing tip) and a large open star tip. However, if using a pastry bag feels like too much, then use a butter knife to frost them. They will still taste wonderful!

If you are looking for a way to brighten someone's day then these cupcakes are like a little love note from the kitchen. The blackberry buttercream is sure to put a smile on their face.

- Amy McCauley is The Hinsdalean's food columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].