I’m not a huge fan of citrus-flavor sweets. I much prefer chocolate, peanut butter, caramel — you know, the less healthy things. Well, Max brought me home a lemon cupcake that his work friend made and my world has forever been changed. These lemon cupcakes are delicious!! I begged him for the recipe and FINALLY got it…and I made my own batch for Easter. They turned out great, and look MUCH better than my ugly rabbits rice krispie treats…this recipe is directly from Max’s friend, and I used it ingredient for ingredient. Luckily I pawned off the cupcakes on my friends and family so there are none left at my place! 🙂
For the Cake
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- lemon zest from two lemons
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
To Make The Cake:
- Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
- Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- juice of one lemon
- Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
- Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.
- Finally mix in vanilla and lemon juice.
(Note: I made the little cupcake toppers with my Cricut. Simple cut two identical shapes out, line them up, and tape them to a toothpick for a cute and simple touch!)