Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lemon Cupcakes

My gosh, where does the time go? I've intended to bake for close to three weeks now and finally got my first chance today. With my parents visiting, sorority initiation, and my job, I barely had time to do my homework and I definitely haven't had time to do my laundry. Fortunately, things are settling back down. I got some new baking supplies from a dear friend so of course I had to put them to good use!

I made some delicious little lemon cupcakes with my new cupcake molds and cupcake stand, thanks to my friend and the wonderful blog Sally's Baking Addiction. Not only are these cupcakes pretty easy to make, but they don't require that you dirty every dish in your kitchen! Always a plus for me with my janky little kitchen.

I've got a few other new toys as well. Firstly was this bad boy. Just look at his cute little face! He came with the cupcake molds and stand, and I'm low-key obsessing. He watched over my baking... and is on top of our TV watching me type right now. I swear, it's not creepy at all.

This is my second toy--a Hamilton Beach hand mixer bought brand-new on Amazon for like $25. It has been life changing. Honestly how did I use a fork to cream together butter and sugar before this? I'm now worried I'll start losing bicep definition.

The cupcakes are straightforward, everyone! You will need:
 -1 stick unsalted butter, softened
 -1 cup granulated sugar
 -2 eggs
 -2 tsp vanilla extract
 -1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 -2 tsp baking powder
 -1/2 tsp salt
 -1/2 cup of milk (any sort!)
 -Approx. 6 tablespoons of lemon juice (juice of two lemons)

Oven temp: 350˚F

Start by creaming butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You know the drill. Your electric mixer will make your life a million times easier and better. You may tear up with how much greater your life has become. (Maybe that's just me.)

Now add your eggs and vanilla extract and beat the mixture until combined and smooth, about two minutes. It will be quite runny at this point.

Next, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in three parts, combining them by hand. Use those muscles! Make sure you're really getting everything evenly mixed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl frequently to make sure no bits are being left out.

Finally, add the milk and lemon zest. Mix until they're combined--don't overmix! Texture-wise, they'll kind of be in the middle of pancake batter and cake batter. Does that make sense to anyone else but me? Pop those suckers into the oven for 18-20 minutes. They're done once a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Only fill the cups about 2/3 of the way full. They will rise...

See? They rose pretty darn well, if I say so myself.

Once those are out of the oven and cooling down, you can get started on the frosting...

You will need:
 -2 sticks of butter, softened
 -Approximately 4 cups of powdered sugar
 -1/4 cup of heavy cream (I used milk. Something with a higher fat content would be better, je pense)
 -2 tsp vanilla extract
 -1/4 tsp salt

Start by beating the butter until it's light and fluffy. Just the butter! Nothing else!

Then, while the mixer is going, add the rest of the ingredients. Just dump the sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt all in there and beat to combine. I added a bit more salt than the recipe calls for, just because I generally find frostings very sweet. However, I may just be biased towards cream cheese frosting!

Slap some frosting onto each cooled cupcake and then top with whatever you'd like! More lemon zest could be delicious, and I always find it a cute and delicious addition to have a coconut sprinkle atop the cupcake.

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more coconut!

Just look at it. Now that winter is truly coming, this deliciously delicate lemony cupcake is a gentle reminder that spring is coming in just a few months! They're light and wonderful and, in typical "I live with a ton of people" fashion, there are none left.

These could definitely be topped with lemon zest, white chocolate, or even a simple glaze. They're a cute little treat that brightened many days! I'll definitely be making them again, but when I do, I may try an easy cream cheese frosting. This frosting is certainly much lighter than cream cheese frosting, but the latter is just so dang good!

At any rate, I'm so grateful for all my new kitchen toys, and for these delicious cupcakes. However, I've turned my eye to eggplant, and I'm figuring out what seasonally appropriate meals to make with it... stay tuned!

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