Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! While the rest of the world will likely have chocolate today, I’m celebrating with two of my favorite non-chocolate flavors: lemon and almond.
A few days ago I made some lemon curd, using up the egg yolks from my recipe for egg-whites-only Valentine Cake. As always, I wondered: what should I do with this lemon curd? I should fill some cupcakes with it, that’s what. You can certainly use store bought lemon curd for these if you like; I must admit that my homemade curd only filled about 1 dozen cupcakes, so this batch is half-filled, half-not. These treats are definitely more lemony than almondy, but they’re delicious nonetheless.
Lemon Almond Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
- zest from 1 medium lemon
- 8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- About 2 cups lemon curd, for filling*
*This recipe would make more than enough for all 20 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; my batch made 20 cupcakes.
Combine milk and almond extract; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine cake flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, then reduce mixer speed to low and add butter a few cubes at a time. Continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture looks like coarse sand.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the milk mixture.
Return to medium speed and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
- 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 tablespoon milk
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and salt on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated, about 3-4 minutes.
Add lemon juice, lemon extract, and milk and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
To assemble the cupcakes:
In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip lemon curd for 1-2 minutes to lighten.
Using a small knife, cut into the center of each cupcake at a 45-degree angle, about 1/8 inch from the edge, all the way around. Remove the core and cut away all but the top 1/4 inch, leaving a small disc of cake. Reserve the scraps for a trifle or other treat.
Fill the inside with lemon curd and top with the disc of cake.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of frosting onto each cupcake and spread with an offset spatula.
Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.