Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

I recently discovered Russian ball tips. My best friend, Valentina, thinks this sounds like something dirty and inappropriate — but they’re piping tips, people, so CALM DOWN. Anyway, I was itching to use my new gadgets, and with Mother’s Day coming up, this was the perfect excuse to make cupcakes. These cupcakes have a delicate lemon flavour with a very tender crumb thanks to the use of cake flour and the addition of buttermilk in the batter. I’ve paired them with a lemon buttercream frosting that’s super simple to make. This recipe can be easily doubled if you’re making cupcakes for a crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice and zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour

Frosting:

  • I cup butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, salt and baking powder.  Mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour and buttermilk in batches, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until batter is smooth.
  5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting: using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter.  Whip it good (sorry…couldn’t help  myself.)  Whip the butter until it is very light, fluffy, and almost doubled in volume.  This will take about 10 minutes.
  8. Next, reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time.  Mix until the sugar is fully incorporated.
  9. Add in the lemon extract, juice, zest and salt.  Whip for an additional 5 minutes.  If the icing is too soft, add an additional half cup of powdered sugar.

*Yield: 12 cupcakes

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