Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lemon Cupcakes with Perfect Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

These decadent cupcakes were a joint project Anna and I undertook for Easter. She baked the cupcakes and I made the lemon curd and the frosting. She made all the holes for the filling and I filled them. Eating them was a very joint project too! :) Enjoyed by not only the two of us, but everyone else present at the party. People asked to take some home too... How could we blame them? They were irresistible. So, here is the recipe we put together- for the whole world to enjoy too! Go ahead, bake them right away and you can thank us afterwards. :)

Lemon Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
zest of one large lemon
freshly squeezed juice from one large lemon
2-3 drops of lemon essential oil
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners (for cupcakes). This recipe makes about 30 standard size cupcakes.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes).
Blend oil and sour cream. Add vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest,  lemon juice, and lemon essential oil. Mix to incorporate.
Add flour and milk, alternating- starting and finishing with flour.
Pour in muffin tins, filling each cupcake about 2/3 of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes or until they test done. Fill with Perfect Lemon Curd and frost with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipes below).

Perfect Lemon Curd
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (it took me about 5-6 small lemons!)
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Mixture may look a little curdled at first but that's okay, it will smooth our later, I promise you. :) Finally, add lemon juice and zest and mix in to incorporate.
Using a double boiler, bring water in the bottom container to a gentle boil, and add mixture to the top container while stirring frequently in the beginning and almost constantly towards the end. Keep stirring over medium to medium-low heat until mixture thickens enough to hold marks from whisk, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool. Fill your cupcakes with about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of lemon curd per cupcake. This recipe is enough to fill about 30 cupcakes and can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated until ready to use (big bonus for me!).

Recipe for Perfect Lemon Curd adapted from:

And here are my filled cupcakes, waiting to be frosted: :)
This is what the cupcakes looked like when cut across... And they tasted even better! :)

This was the frosting I made for these super yummy cupcakes. They were a decadent treat, perfect for spring, summer, or any time of year (especially if you a huge lemon fan like me!). :)

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
2-3 drops of lemon essential oil (such as this fabulous lemon EO)
3-4 tsp heavy whipping cream (or more, if you prefer a thinner consistency)
a few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired

Directions: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium/high speed until light and fluffly, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar, covering your mixer with the shield attachment or a kitchen towel to avoid a cloud of powdered sugar all over your kitchen. :) Beat until well incorporated. Add lemon extract and essential oil and beat again for another minute or so. Finally, mix in whipping cream, one teaspoon at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Frost your cupcakes and eat one (or more) right away! :) Trust me, I won't judge you. See the one cut in half in this picture? This was gone about two seconds after the photograph was taken... :))) Uh-hum....

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