Amazing Lemon Cupcakes

I used to be a complete chocolate guy.  As in, if it’s not chocolate it’s not really a cupcake.  But since then I’ve had my share of fruit-based desserts and I have to admit that I was wrong.  Because I’m the bigger man.

I can’t get into oranges, but lime, raspberry, cherry…all great.  And lemon.  Especially lemon.

Like the lime cupcakes I’ve made, these are refreshing and actually kind of fancy.  Certainly fancier than most of the things I make.  But fortunately we don’t have to sacrifice taste for fanciness.  These are good and since they’re made with real fruit I’m almost certain they qualify as a healthy snack.

Pretty sure, anyway.

Ingredients

Filling

·        ¾ cup lemon juice

·        1 T lemon zest

·        ¾ cup sugar

·        1 T cornstarch

·        3 eggs

·        ½ cup butter

Cupcakes

·        2 T butter, melted

·        2 ¼ cups sugar – separated into ¼ cup and 2 cups

·        ¼ cup almonds

·        1 ¼ cup flour

·        ¼ t baking soda

·        1 t baking powder

·        ½ t salt

·        2 eggs, brought to room temperature

·        ½ cup buttermilk

·        1 cup sugar

·        ½ cup oil (not olive)

·        1 T lemon zest

·        2 T fresh lemon juice (1 lemon probably)

Frosting

·        1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

·       ¼ cup lemon juice (probably 2 more lemons)

·       5 cups powdered sugar

·        1 T lemon zest

Directions

We’ll make the filling first, and then put it aside.  You can actually do this up to a week before you actually use it.  It’s really simple but you need to give it time to cool, which is why we do it first.

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Fresh lemon juice is the best!

Put all the filling ingredients into a saucepan and cook over a low to medium heat, whisking occasionally to make sure everything is well mixed, until it starts to get thicker and just starts bubbling a little.  This’ll be probably 5-7 minutes.

Once you get to that point take it off the heat and let it cool.  If you’re not making the cupcakes the same day (I didn’t), cover it and put it in the fridge.

Next on to the cupcakes themselves.  Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners (should make around 18).  Take a pastry brush and brush the insides of each liner with melted butter.  Then, take the ¼ sugar and pour that into the liners, rotating the liners so that the sugar sticks to the melted butter and covers the inside.  Put these aside.

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Put the almonds into a food processor (I have a mini one) and go to town on them until their as finely ground as the processor will make them.

In a bowl, mix the almond powder you’ve just made with the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk them until they’re well combined.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Next, take the flour mixture, add that in, and whisk again until well combined.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way.

IMG_9113Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until you put a toothpick in the center and in comes out clean or with a few crumbs on it.  Let the cupcakes sit in the muffin tin for 3-5 minutes (go do something that takes a couple minutes…put the wet laundry in the dryer or, you know, pee.  But if you pee, please wash your hands.).  Anyway, after a few minutes take the cupcakes out of the tin and let them cool on a wire rack.

Once they’re cool you can fill them.  Pour the filling into a pastry bag equipped with a decorating tip.  We’re not “decorating” per se, just using the tip to pierce the cupcake.  Insert the tip into the cupcake about a third of the way down and squeeze filling into the cake.  You’ll see the cupcake start bulging on the sides and that’s when you know you’re done.

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Finally, on to the icing – this is easy.

Put the butter into a large bowl and beat until fluffy.  Next, add the lemon juice and beat briefly until fully blended.

Next, add the sugar, one cup at a time, blending well each time.  Once that’s done sprinkle in the zest and mix until just blended.

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You can either pipe the frosting on or just put it on with a knife – the piping will look better, spreading it with a knife is easier and less messy.

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And you’re done!  Delicious lemon cupcakes that everyone will love.

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