Lydia Bakes: Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

glazed-cupcakes_featureLemon cake is one of my all-time favourites – it’s refreshing and perfectly sweet on a sunny springtime day. This recipe for cupcakes is made all the better due to the delicious cream cheese frosting!

Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

glazed_cupcakes_2

Directions:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in colour, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter and it looks creamy, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. If the eggs are cold, the mixture may look slightly curdled. On low speed and in 3 additions (3 flour, 2 milk), add the flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each paper liner with 1/4 cup of batter (an ice-cream scoop works well), to about 1/2 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cupcakes from the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely.glazed-cupcakes_2

For the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, grated lemon peel, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further. Use a small spatula to spread about 3 tablespoons of frosting over the top of each cupcake.

Make the glazed lemon peel, if desired. Using a vegetable peeler and a slight sawing motion, remove the lemon rind from the lemon in large strips. Trim off any white pith that remains on the rind and cut the rind into matchstick- size strips. Put the strips in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Strain, then rinse the lemon strips with cold water. Heat the water, sugar, and vinegar in the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon strips. Simmer for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the strips from the syrup to a small bowl. Cool thoroughly. Arrange several pieces of the glazed peel over the top of each cupcake. The peel can be left in its cooking syrup and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. The cupcakes can be covered and stored in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Recipe courtesy Style At Home.

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