This recipe is my final farewell to summer on this sunny October day. Lemons are the burst of refreshment on a summer day for me. On a hot day I can always count on lemonade, lemon bars, lemon ice cream & these lemon cupcakes. As much as I love lemons, I rarely like lemon recipes. They are almost always too sweet. But when I’m the one with the apron on, expect the suggested lemon quantities to be increased.
This cake is light, buttery with a tang of lemon. The frosting is creamy, fluffy with an intensely perfect zest. These cupcakes were so good as to grace our Picnic Engagement Session (see picture above) & were on the menu for our wedding desserts as well. Send off summer & embrace autumn with me while enjoying these zesty cupcakes.
Adapted from: My Baking Addiction
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
fresh lemon juice from 1 1/2 small lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F & line 24 cupcake molds with liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Repeat until well incorporated.
Give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Place the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Zested Cream Cheese Frosting
E. Conlee Original Recipe
1 (8oz) pkg of cream cheese
1 stick of salted butter
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
Zest from 1 medium lemon
2-3 T fresh lemon juice
On medium, mix cream cheese and butter in a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment. Increase to med-high and beat for 2 minutes or until fluffy.
Incorporate the lemon zest, lemon juice, and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low-medium.
Once all sugar is mixed in, use the whisk attachment and increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.
Photos: Michelle Cross