Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

i woke up the other day and decided to make cupcakes. lord only knows why. so i asked E what kind of cupcakes he wanted and he suggested lemon. but come on, i couldn't just make lemon cupcakes, i had to make triple lemon cupcakes.

that's right, triple lemon cupcakes. lemon cupcakes with lemon curd* filling and lemon cream cheese icing to be exact. these little cupcakes pack a lemon punch. in fact, they may just be the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

lord have mercy.

put down the phone, step away from the computer, turn off the tv and head to the kitchen. i highly recommend making these and taking them to a new years eve party. these cupcakes will guarantee you will get an invite next year.

*of course you could make lemon curd from scratch but i cheated (gasp!) and used lemon curd from a jar. don't judge. if you want to be all fancy-schmancy and martha stewart-esque i suggest ina garten's lemon curd recipe. i've made it before. it's fabulous! come on, i woke up wanting to make cupcakes, not lemon curd. plus, i just happened to have a jar in my pantry begging to be used.

Triple Lemon Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/8 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg white
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract  

5 oz lemon curd

8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 lbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1 tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed

to make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

in bowl of a mixer, combine lemon zest and sugar. mix together with a spoon, pressing to ensure zest flavor is released into the sugar. add butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. add both extracts.

in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. whisk together buttermilk and egg in another bowl. add 1/3 of flour mixture to the butter and sugar and beat until combined. add 1/2 of buttermilk mixture, followed by 1/3 of flour mixture, remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour beating between each addition. beat mixture on medium for 1 minute to make sure everything is incorporated.

divine batter among a paper-lined cupcake tin. the batter should make 11-12 cupcakes. bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. turn tin 180 degrees halfway through baking time.

remove from oven and let cool completely.
 when cool, cut a small cone out of each cupcake.
  spoon a teaspoon of lemon curd into each hole.
 cut bottom of cone off of removed cupcake piece,
and place the flat top back onto filled cupcake.
gently press so cupcake top is flat.

in bowl of electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. slowly add sugar and beat until well combined. add extracts and lemon juice and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. frosting will be light and fluffy. spoon into pastry bag or into large ziploc bag and pipe onto cupcakes.

store in airtight container. i like to keep mine in the fridge as i think they are better chilled but they are also tasty at room temperature.

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