When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Lemony Lemon Cupcakes

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This week's lemon recipe is darn good (but so far I haven't met a lemon recipe I don't like). This is the second time I've made this and I think I'm perfecting it because it was better the second time around.

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These cupcakes look oh-so-lovely in natural parchment paper as cupcake liners--thanks Martha. To do this, cut a sheet of natural parchment paper into about 4" squares and find a glass cup that is the same diameter of the holes in your cupcake tin. Place square of parchment paper over cupcake hole and press cup into hole. Sometimes the paper will hold the shape, but often it won't--it's okay. Repeat for each cupcake hole in pan then spray lightly with cooking spray. When batter is complete, spoon batter into parchment papers--it should weigh the paper down into the hole (if it hasn't kept it's shape). Try not to get batter on sides of papers. Bake, cool and ice as directed below.

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 2003 lemon cake recipe)

Cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk (this is key!)
Lemon curd (store-bought or home made)

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line cupcake tins with papers. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on med to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice: beat until well combined. add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour into prepared papers.

3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan for a few minutes then remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.

4. When cool top with thin spread of lemon curd, then pipe cream cheese icing on top (see below).

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
Finely shred 1 teaspoon lemon peel, set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine 6 ounces of cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Beat with electric mixer on low to med speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in 2 1/2 to 2 1/4 cups additional sifted powdered sugar until icing reaches spreading consistency. Stir in lemon peel. Spoon icing into a large Ziploc freezer bag and snip off bottom of one corner. Pipe in a swirl on top of lemon curd covered cupcakes.

Andrea Waguespack  – (November 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM)  

What an amazing blog. Your work in inspiring and your recipes are incredible. I am so glad that I found this blog, thanks to my friend Ali Portis. I will be visiting this blog often, so keep the posts coming.

Leslie  – (November 15, 2009 at 6:32 PM)  

Thanks for your kind words Andrea! And thanks for checking out the blog. Indeed I'll keep the posts coming!

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