Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes with a Lemon Buttercream Frosting

My friend said the lemon buttercream frosting is "ridiculous in a ridiculously good way!"
Who loves lemon? I love lemon, and I also love this recipe for lemon cupcakes. The cake of the cupcake uses cake flour, which is an absolute must in this recipe - so no substitutions. Cake flour makes these cupcakes light and airy. You can find cake flour in the baking section at most all grocery stores. I use the Softasilk brand of cake flour. The flour is fine, silky, smooth, and perfect for this tender cupcake. Not only is the cake good, but the frosting on these cupcakes is also pretty incredible. Due to popular demand, I took these cupcakes to work last week, and one of my coworkers described the frosting as "ridiculous in a ridiculously good way!" 

I think you will really enjoy these cupcakes. The cake is amazing, the lemon buttercream frosting is ridiculously good, and the candied lemons add a nice touch. The candied lemons are edible - they taste like lemon candy! Yum. 

Recipe for Lemon Cupcakes with a Lemon Buttercream Frosting

For the cupcakes
3 sticks of unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
2 cups of granulated sugar
3 cups of cake flour (no substitutions)
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
5 large eggs
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons (save lemons to juice them)
4 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin/cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.

Add the softened butter and sugar to a large bowl. Beat the butter and the sugar together with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light and very fluffy (about 5 minutes or so).

In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda). Sift the ingredients together and set aside.

Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure to beat egg into the mixture on low speed after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. 

Now beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in alternating additions to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. First add about a third of the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Then add about half of the buttermilk to the mixture and mix on low speed. Continue alternating the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the mixture, ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated and that the mixture is fluffy.

Using a cookie dough scoop or small ladle, scoop the batter into each cupcake liner. Fill the liners with the batter almost to the tops, because the batter does not rise much.

Bake cupcakes for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, frost with the lemon buttercream frosting and garnish with the candied lemon slices, if desired. 

(Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes)

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
2 - 3 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. of lemon zest
3 cups of powdered sugar

Put the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer set on medium-low speed, beat together until the butter is smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on low until the frosting is at a good consistency for spreading. 

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe from: Our Best Bites

Recipe for Candied Lemon Slices

1 cup of water
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 lemons 

Wash and dry the lemons. Slice the lemons very thinly, and cut into halves or quarters. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon slices to the pan in a single layer and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, then use a fork to gently flip the lemons over. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Pour the lemons and syrup into an airtight container and store until ready to use.

Love Cupcakes? Love Coconut? You'll love the recipe for coconut cupcakes!