Well, maybe my daydreams about Johnny Depp but that is besides the point.
So when Lizz asked me to make her lemon cupcakes for her birthday party, I agreed. Happily. Because lemons are a happy fruit, don't you think?
Or something like that.
Here is the recipe. Since I was on a schedule, plus I was covered in lemon juice, I did not take step-by-step pictures. I know, I'm a punk. But they are easy to make, I promise!!
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. 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, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, 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. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, 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. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
juice of one lemon
Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Finally mix in vanilla and lemon juice. Refrigerate until needed.
I used a pastry bag without a tip to pipe on the frosting and then sprinkled with yellow non pereils. But you can frost them any way you like!