Friday, May 3, 2013

RECIPE: Lemon Lemon Cupcakes

I've never liked the old adage "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade"....cause when life gives me lemons, I wanna yell, freak yea! and then bathe in their juice (barring any paper cuts), eat lemon bars till I'm sick, and finish the affair with 24 ounces of lemon-berry slush. 
Thank you for making the world smell, taste, and look better.
And thank you for giving me Lemon Cream Pie.
And now a gazillion of these in my kitchen (since I had to test the recipe 3 times to get it just right):
Yay!  Zesty bundles of yellow with soft fluffy lemon butter cream on top.
Mmmmm.  Seriously, this frosting alone is to die for.
And plus, these are all part of the Celebrate Mom series, since you and your mom probably love lemons too.  Let's start baking.

Makes 22-24 cupcakes (or 48 mini cupcakes)
Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes (10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes)
You need appx 4 lemons for the recipe

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3-1/2 cup lemon zest *

* NOTE: I prefer a lot of zing in citrus desserts.  So while my husband though 1/2 cup of zest was too much, I thought it was fabulous.  If you're a mild lemon gal, start with a 1/4 cup zest, taste it, and add more as needed.

Start by zesting a few lemons and squeezing the juice in a separate bowl.  Set both aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder,  and salt.
Add to flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
Add the milk and lemon zest and mix again just till incorporated.

Line two cupcake trays with liners and pour 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake (for mini-cupcakes, pour 1 Tbl of batter into each one)

Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes and allow them to cool completely before frosting (bake 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes).
While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.

1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
3 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

6-7 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon zest (see note above) *
Let the butter soften to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer (I prefer a hand-mixer for frosting).
Mix in the milk, vanilla, and lemon juice.
Add 6-7 cups powdered sugar and mix.
Add the lemon zest and mix....and take a taste.
Add more sugar and/or zest, juice, or milk if needed.
When life gives you lemons...
...dollop them with frosting and enjoy!
This is part of Celebrate MOM, a series with gift ideas for moms and women.

Here’s what we’ve shared this week:
Dishtowel and Napkin Totes
Fabrics A to Z book Giveaway
Dandelions Pom Poms
the Vintage Pearl Giveaway 
Tincan Caddy

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