Welcome, one and all, to the 2010 Cavalcade of Cupcakes! We’ll be making a few stops on this journey, pausing only to stare in awe of the luxury and fabulosity of the beautiful cupcakes to come.
When my friend Wendy mentioned to me that her daughter had requested cupcakes for her graduation party, we immediately got to talking. She knew that she needed one chocolate, one vanilla, and one lemon recipe. She also knew that making nearly 160 cupcakes for a graduation party with one hand mixer was going to be a lot of work! I volunteered to come help her, and, being the nerd that I am, volunteered to bring my KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a couple recipes to help her out.
We set a date, and that date was today. We made an amazing number of cupcakes today. Light and fluffy egg-white based vanilla ones, gorgeous buttery chocolate ones, and lemon ones.
You may notice my lack of adjectives when I said “lemon ones.” That’s because there are not enough adjectives to describe them. They’re not just lemon cupcakes, they’re triple lemon cupcakes with not one but two toppings. I know, I know, you just want to see them already.
That’s a lemon cupcake, topped with lemon Italian meringue buttercream, topped with lemon curd. Notice how the lemon curd is lazily flowing down the side of the cupcake. Notice the smoothness of the frosting. Can you just smell the lemoniness of this bite of heaven? I can’t even express how citrusy the kitchen smelled as we baked these… all 65 of them. We zested 12 lemons, then juiced them… We baked the cupcakes, cooked the lemon curd, whipped the icing, and all I can think about now is eating one. Or seven. Luckily they’re all still at Wendy’s house!
I found the lemon cupcake recipe on Chef Mommy’s blog (who won the Cute Food Saturday contest!) who got them from Taste of Home. We doubled the recipe, and needless to say, they’re not healthy by any means.
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition (batter will be thick).
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. *Poke the top of the cupcake 3-4 times with a tooth pick. Then brush the top with fresh lemon juice*Frost cupcakes. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
Source: Taste of Home
The frosting you’ve seen before a couple of times, but we made a few adjustments, namely adding in 2 Tbsp. lemon rind and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice when adding the butter and shortening. The result was decadent and tart without being too sweet.
Since the vanilla cupcakes and the Italian meringue buttercream both used 6 egg whites per batch, we were left with a ton of egg yolks. What does one make with lemon and egg yolks? Lemon curd! I think that lemon curd is on my top 10 list of foods, and homemade lemon curd just takes the cake (no pun intended). I found this recipe on allrecipes.com while Wendy was hard at work juicing the lemons. I adapted it to suit our needs.
Easy Lemon Curd
* 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 4 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low to low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and chill.
Let’s drool over these again, shall we?
And, while having fun with my new 50mm f1.8 camera lens, I took this adorable picture of Raven. Please ignore the dingy carpet and “awww” the cute Rottweiler.
Please join us tomorrow for The Cavalcade of Cupcakes, Second Stop tomorrow. Feel free to stay here and drool over the Triple Lemon Heaven for a while longer… they’re not going anywhere!