Happy Easter, everyone! For this special occasion, I wanted a special recipe. What better flavor and color for this time of year than lemon! The pretty pastel color fits perfectly with the season and the flavor is extra-special. This recipe was originally made for a 2 layer 8” cake, but makes 20 cupcakes just as easy. There are a few extra steps in this one, but the finished product is worth it. The flavor of these are great for people who want dessert, but don’t like extra-sweet flavors. The frosting is like a sweet-tart.
2 cups sifted cake flour (sift flour before measuring)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (just pretend that you see milk in the photo below)
2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (Yes, I guess you could use the bottled, but why????)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir together milk and lemon juice (mixture will curdle).
Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale & fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour, mixing on low speed until just combined.
Fill each cupcake cavity about 1/2 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Frost with Lemon Cream Frosting. (Oops, I didn’t get any photos of the baked cupcakes before they were frosted. Oh, well!)
Lemon Cream Frosting
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
To begin this recipe, we must make what is called “lemon curd”. It is kind of like a lemon custard that is the base of the recipe. This next photo is for the ingredients in the curd only.
Whisk together juice, sugar, and eggs in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over low-medium heat, whisking frequently to keep the eggs from scrambling.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the curd is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk and the first bubbles appear on the surface. Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. I made my curd the day before so it would be ready to use.
To make the frosting you will need the curd plus the rest of the original ingredients list.
Beat cream and confectioner’s sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into chilled lemon curd to lighten. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Then frost your cupcakes and enjoy! I used a decorator’s tip to frost mine, just to make them extra-special.