Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

Recipe Review: Lemon cupcakes are sweet and refreshing, with a little zing- The perfect summer cupcake!

I have cupcake fever! I love it!!! I know this blog is becoming a little cupcake centric, but I've been getting a lot of requests for cupcakes, so that’s how it goes. My good friend just moved back into the area and threw a little combo housewarming/ birthday party. She asked me to make her some lemon cupcakes.  I had made lemon cupcakes for the first time earlier this year- I adjusted the recipe a little and this time I completely nailed it.

Lemon Cupcakes
adapted from allrecipes.com
yield: 30 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
the zest from one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees line a cupcake pan with paper liners

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add lemon zest, lemon and vanilla extracts and mix well.

In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Add to butter and sugar mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and sour cream. Start and end with flour mixture.

Scoop ¼ cup of batter into cupcake liners, and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
yield: enough frosting for 24-30 cupcakes

1 cup butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk (as needed)
2 teaspoons lemon extract

Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time if frosting is too dense. Add lemon extract and beat well.

The last time I made this the frosting didn't come together right. The trick is that you need to have lemon extract, not just lemon juice. Lemon juice will thin out the frosting to much and effect the consistency if you put enough in there to get a good lemon taste. I like the frosting pretty lemony, so I added a decent amount of lemon extract but if you are unsure just add a little at a time till you get a flavor that you like. I also added a few drops of food coloring to tint the frosting a pale yellow. I used candied lemon slices as a decoration, which is a fun trick and would work with any citrus fruit.

Candied Lemon Slices
from: ButterYum.com
yield: approx 24 lemon slices

2 lemons
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Bring a sauce pan with 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Thinly slice lemons, add to water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain lemons and place in a cold water bath.

Add sugar and water to pan and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Add lemons to sugar water and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 1 hour.

Spray a cooling rack with non stick spray. Transfer lemons to rack to set for 24 hours.

The lemons will stay super sticky, but can be dipped in sugar to cut down on the sticky if it bugs you. I don't have a mandolin, so I used this awesome trick from ButterYumPlace the lemon cut side down in between two wooden skewers. Rest the knife on the skewers as you slice for precise, even slices.  

I was so happy with how these turned out. The first time I made these they were good- but this time they were great- and they looked great too! I scored the cupcake wrappers at Michael's in the discount bin for only 99 cents. I thought they were completely adorable, I wish there had been an extra set to grab!!


  1. Very nice creative cupcakes. I'm loving the presentation and Im sure it taste really great too!

  2. mmmm tasty))
    Can I steal your recipe?)))