Monday, January 18, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I love me some chocolate, DH loves him some chocolate, lets face it, MOST people love chocolate. If you are in the minority on that one, I don't know whats wrong with you but something clearly is.  When I asked around at work what they'd like for this week's sugary goodness the requests were for something not chocolate! I guess with the nonstop holidays, cakes, and candy, people have had their fill.

And so, I decided to poke around for some fruity cupcakes. When I came across a lemon cream cheese frosting, I knew that I had to make it.  I LOVED the results, they are light and refreshing and would be great for a summer get together.

     -  1 cup butter or margarine, softened
     -  2 cups sugar
     -  3 eggs
     -  2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
     - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     -  3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     -  1 teaspoon baking soda
     -  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
     -  1/2 teaspoon salt
     -  2 cups sour cream (I used light/reduced fat)

     - cream butter and sugar
     - Beat in eggs, one at a time.
     - Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well.
     - combine dry ingredients
     - add creamed mixture into dry ingredients, alternately with sour cream
     - Fill paper-lined muffin cups
     - Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes (toothpick test)

                        (1) This recipe is for 30 cupcakes, I halved the recipe and decided to pour the batter into 12
                              paperlined cupcakes- this resulted in some pretty big cupcakes, had I made 15, they would have made
                              storebought size cupcakes but would have required me to bake 2 batches since I only have one 12cup pan
                        (2) In halving the recipe, I totally screwed up the baking powder and used 1/2 teaspoon rather than 1/4- I do
                              not think this effected the texture, appearance or taste of the cupcakes at all
                        (3) I set my timer for 25 minutes and did not check on them at all until the timer went off, I think 22 minutes
                            would have been better

   FROSTING (This made too much for my 12 jumbo cupcakes--probably enough for 15 jumbo or 20 standard cupcakes)

     -  8oz cream cheese (I used light)
     -  1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter or margarine, softened
     -  2 tablespoons lemon juice
     -  2 teaspoons lemon zest
     -  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     -  1/2 tsp lemon extract (or you can just use some extra lemon juice, to taste)
     -  5 cups confectioners' sugar  (you may need to add more to compensate for additional lemon juice should you use it)

     -  Mix together all ingredients but confectioner's sugar and lemon extract
     -  1 cup at a time, add confectioner's sugar
     -  After approximately 3 cups, add extract, to taste
    -  continue adding sugar until you reach your desired consistency, for piping thickness, you will need 5 or so cups, for 
       spreadable, 3 or 4 cups will probably do
     -  refrigerate at least 10 minutes to stiffen it up before placing into piping bag and frosting cupcakes

PIPING DIRECTIONS: use any tip that has a decent size gauge, carefully press tip into cupcake to create cavity (I inserted, then lifted out, and reinsterted to create the size you see in the pictures).  When ready to fill, insert tip into cupcake and slowly squeeze piping bag while carefully lifting it out of the cupcake (its much easier than it sounds). Once you reach the top of the cupcake, either spread or pipe frosting on top.


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