Saw this lemon cake recipe from Martha Stewart and wanted to try it as cupcakes, since those are so "the rage" right now. We were having family home evening with my in-laws tonight, and this gave me the perfect opportunity to make a batch to share.
Since my two older sons have been gone, making treats around here is not a good thing. I don't have my big eaters to "finish" everything off. So either it sits until I need to toss it, or "I" end up being the clean up crew.
So without further sniveling, here is the lemon cake recipe. I like that the cake wasn't to sweet and had just a hint of lemon. These would be good all by themselves with a yummy buttercream. Add the lemon curd and fluffy white frosting and you have beautiful treat to impress. Hey, you know the old saying... if life gives you lemons, make lemon cupcakes. While this looks long and complicated, it actually went together pretty quick. I would definitely make them again.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/r cup plus 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (make your own by adding 1 tsp vinegar to 1 cup milk)
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded (this is for a garnish which I didn't have time to do)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 Tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture, mix just until combined.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides ofpans 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed paper lined plante. Stire reminaing 1/4 cup flesh lemon juice into syrup.
Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.
Cupcakes directions -
Pour batter into cupcake pan with liners to 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I didn't actually make the lemon slices with the simple syrup. So I skipped that step and thought with the lemon curd it was lemony enough.
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for another use)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
In a medium saucepan, before putting on heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
Add butter and place pan over medium high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coast the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
Remove pan for heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a find-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.
(can store in refrigerator in airtight container up to 2 weeks)
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combined 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 on an instant read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl (or a mixer). Beat on medium high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.
I put all my ingredients in a sauce pan and just kept stirring. Didn't use the double boiler technic (mostly because I didn't read the direction correctly) but it turned out great. I would also keep frosting refrigerated after applying to cake or cupcakes as I can see it might lose its fluffiness.
So I cut little cones out of the cupcakes like this...
Then cut the bottom of the cones off like this...
Filled the cupcake with the lemon curd like this...
Put the top back on and frosted it with the fluffy frosting. It makes for a nice surprise when people bite into it. A mild lemon flavor in the cupcake, tart filling with a fluffy frosting that doesn't over power the cupcake or filling.
Oh, and how can you really tell that these were great? My daughter offered to pose for a this shot, since she gave these 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. And when a 15 year old offers that kind of service, you know they are good.