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Recently I made a variety of cupcakes for Joe to share at work.  One of the choices was this citrusy lemon cupcake which was my personal favorite.  I just love the fresh citrus of lemon that shines through this tiny cake.   The cupcake was very moist and the lemon cream cheese frosting tasted like a smooth lemon cream.  I mixed a little sugar and lemon zest together to make a pretty crystallized topping.   I found this recipe on a beautiful blog post by “My Baking Addiction” but scaled it down to make an even dozen cupcakes.




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Starting with the cake dry ingredients, you’ll need some cake flour, salt and baking powder.


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And for the wet ingredients, some buttermilk and egg whites plus vanilla extract which I forgot to include in this picture.


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To begin, place a half stick of butter (at room temperature) in a mixing bowl along with the sugar and lemon zest.


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Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar mix until they are light and fluffy.


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Begin adding about a third of the dry ingredients and mix well.


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Next, about a third of the wet ingredients.  Continue mixing alternating the dry and wet ingredients until they are all combined.  Continue mixing until the batter is well incorporated.


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Begin filling the baking cups about 3/4 of the way.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake 18 – 20 minutes or until toothpick tested.


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Set them on a cooling rack to cool.  You will want them to be completely cool before frosting them.


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While the cupcakes are cooling it’s time to make the frosting.  Combine your butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment, whisk them together until well combined.


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Add about a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  I just eyeballed it.


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Whisk in the vanilla and begin adding the powdered sugar a little at a time.


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Whisk after each addition.  The frosting will become smoother with each addition.


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Now that it’s all mixed together, time to add the juice of 1/2 lemon.


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This does thin the frosting a bit but it will hold on your cupcake.  If you want a thicker frosting, add a 1/2 cup additional powdered sugar and mix well.


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I filled a snack size zip lock bag with frosting and cut the corner of the bag.  Squeeze in a circular motion over the cupcake to pipe the frosting.  If you’d like to add some crystallized lemon zest, add the zest of 1 lemon with 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.  Mix together and let sit for a few minutes before sprinkling over top.


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Lemon Cupcakes (adapted from My Baking Addiction)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake Flour
1/2 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Buttermilk
2 large Egg Whites
3/4 cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Prepare muffin pans with paper liners for 12 muffins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together the milk, egg whites and vanilla extract.

In a medium mixing bowl of a hand or stand mixer begin creaming together the sugar, lemon zest and butter until it becomes light and fluffy.  Add a third of the dry ingredients while beating on medium speed.  Add about a third of the wet ingredients and beat in well.  Continue alternating between the dry and wet ingredients until you have incorporated the batter into a smooth mixture.

Pour into paper liners about 3/4 of the way  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes or until toothpick tested.  Cool on a wire rack

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package Cream Cheese, softened
4 tablespoons Butter, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Blend the butter and cream cheese together using a hand or stand mixer using the whisk attachment.  Blend together until well combined.  Gradually add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Place frosting in a snack size zip lock bag and cut the tip of one corner to pipe frosting over cupcakes.

**To make a crystallized lemon topping, add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon sugar together in a bowl.  Blend well and lightly sprinkle over top of frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes