September 7, 2013
Realizing that summertime is almost over, I found myself wondering why I haven't baked anything with fresh lemons yet :-) Our lemon plants are still doing well producing our seasonal lemon supply. Although I made these cupcakes with regular lemons instead of this particular lemon variety called calamondin, they can be easily substituted. I like the flavor of lemon in desserts. I decided to make these tart lemon cupcakes on the occasion of our anniversary. We kept it simple and celebrated with a late afternoon dinner. Instead of a bigger and fancier cake, I made these cupcakes for our dessert.
I experimented with and without using cupcake papers but I like the look of them baked with the paper liners better. The fluffy frosting was made with 1/3 fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter and powdered sugar then thinned with a little milk as needed. They were sprinkled with finely chopped pistachios before serving. The frosted cupcakes stayed moist stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
LEMON CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
1/2 cup softened butter (I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening combination)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons lemon rind (from two lemons)
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose or cake flour, sift 2x
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh lemon juice mixed with water to make 1/2 cup
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake papers then lightly grease. Combine baking powder, salt and flour then sift twice. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat softened butter, sugar and lemon rind for 5-8 minutes at medium speed until very fluffy. Add eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and lemon juice. Mixture will be light and fluffy. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting. Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios. Enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers.
For vanilla cupcakes, omit lemon rind, replace lemon juice with milk then add 1-2 teaspoons vanilla. Use buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting.