Pen... and paper.
Cookies... and milk.
Socks... and shoes.
Peanut butter... and jelly.
Lighting... and thunder.
Spring... and LEMON!
I'm not sure why but when I think of spring foods, I think of lemons. I don't know what it is, March hits and all the sudden I want lemon bars stuffed with sweet homemade lemon curd. Ice-cold lemonades flavored with fragrant berries and aromatic mint. Moist, delicious lemon cakes slathered with a delectably tart and creamy frosting...
Yes, yes, and YES!
These babies are packed with lemon. Packed! The cake is lemon-flavored, lemon juice is drizzled over the finished cupcakes, and the frosting tastes like it came from Lemon Heaven.
What are you going to need? Lemons, of course. Didn't see that one coming, did you? :-)
Room temperature butter and eggs.
You are going to need lemon zest...
And juice. I zested (yes, made up that word) the lemons prior to juicing them. It'd be difficult to juice the lemons and then zest them.
I've got a plethora of colored polka-dot cupcake liners, so I chose some yellow ones.
One trick to these cupcakes is that they are brushed with lemon juice after baking. This infuses the cupcakes with even more lemon flavor, plus a little extra moisture.
The cupcakes were originally going to have a Nectarine-Blackberry Buttercream on them. Alas, I added too much of the preserves to the buttercream which resulted in frosting that dripped from the cooled cupcakes. Never a good sign. I threw my hands in the air and cursed my luck. Then I tossed the frosting and made a simple lemon buttercream. The frosting worked. Man, did it work. It took the cupcakes over the top with that sweet lemon flavor. And not in a bad way.
Can't you just feel the springy-ness?
If you love all things lemon, these cupcakes are for you!
We are headed into our 4th or 5th day of straight rain and cloudy skies here. I'm hating it. These never-ending gray skies remind me of Oregon. And not of all the wonderful things about Oregon that I actually miss, but the one thing I hated about Oregon- 9 months of rarely seeing the sun. Looking at our weather forecast, it looks like I just have to make it to next week and we should have sunny weather. I'm not the only one dying for sunny weather- so are my tomatoes and herbs. I'm thinking I may have to replant all my basil due to the cold, rainy weather we've had. I am not a happy camper.
So, I'll be staying inside today. The hubby has a pretty bad head cold, so I promised to make him some Chicken Noodle Soup this afternoon. Other than that, it seems like it's going to be a "finish-my-library-book-and-Netflix" kind of day. Come on sun, please come back!
Have a great day everyone!
Recipe adapted from: I am Baker
Ingredients (makes ~16 cupcakes):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup whole milk, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp heavy cream
garnish- lemon wedges, mint
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 cupcake pans with 16 liners. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine, set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Mix in eggs, one at a time until completely mixed in. Add milk, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix for about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients to bowl, mix until just combined. Fold in lemon zest using a spatula.
4. Divide batter equally among cupcakes. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from heat. Place 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush lemon juice onto just-baked cupcakes. All cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to a cooling rack. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
5. In stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat to desired consistency. If frosting is too thick, use heavy cream to thin it out. Divide frosting equally among cooled cupcakes. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon wedges, if using. Store cupcakes in an airtight container.
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