Ahh, lemons. Fans of amy bakes in the ‘burgh know very well of my sincere appreciation of this sunny citrus fruit. I’ve had a recipe for lemon cupcakes on my mind for a while now, and these are prepared with a simple lemon cream cheese frosting, but I look forward to experimenting with strawberry or raspberry cream cheese frosting in the future.
I don’t usually pipe my frosting, but these cupcakes seemed to request it. I have big plans to buy a massive pastry bag and enormous plain tip the likes of which are seen on the Food Network, but for these I used a regular 12-inch pastry bag fitted with a #12 Ateco tip. You could certainly embellish these cupcakes with sprinkles, colored sugar, or a bit of candied lemon peel, but I’ve gone the traditional route with a simple swirl of frosting.
Note: lemon curd can be made from scratch, but I used ready-made lemon curd that I found in the jelly and jam section of my grocery store.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Zest of 2 medium lemons
- 1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line two 12-inch muffin ups with paper liners; you will need additional liners, as this recipe yields about 30 cupcakes.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Add lemon zest and beat until combined.
Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, in three batches, beating until combined.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about half full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon curd
- yellow food coloring
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar and salt together; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, shortening, and vanilla.
Add powdered sugar in four batches, beating well after each addition.
Add lemon juice and lemon curd and beat well.
Add several drops of yellow food coloring and beat well.
Spoon frosting into a 12-inch piping bag fitted with a #12 Ateco tip.
Pipe frosting in a swirl on top of each cupcake.
Store in the refrigerator.