Friday, August 7, 2009

Lemon Cupcakes

mmm.... lemon cupcakes... cue the mouth-watering. i decided to make these as a thank you for somebody who let me swim in his pool while he was at work. i wanted something summery, a bit light, and not too decadent. these fit the bill! and boy, was it easy. how easy was it? well, i'll tell ya.

to make these cupcakes, you'll need:
  • 1 box yellow (or white, i guess) cake mix, plus whatever it calls for on the box
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding
  • lemon buttercream frosting (more on that later)
that's it! just add the lemon pudding mix to the cake mix and then prepare the cake as directed. i guess you could just use a lemon cake mix, but i think this method makes a better cupcake. they're a bit dense and extremely moist. and, i think the lemon flavor would be too overwhelming with a lemon cake mix when you combine it with the lemon buttercream frosting (i promise, it's coming).

the batter will be quite thick, but don't worry. it's fine. here's the batter in the cups. see how it isn't settling down:

and when they come out, they fall a little bit, so this recipe probably isn't good for a full sized cake.

but it's great for cupcakes- more frosting! i sort of 'spackled' the dips with frosting to make a flat (ok, slightly rounded) surface to pipe on.

here they are all piped up.

so, what did i frost these puppies with? quite possibly the crown jewel of this whole project: lemon buttercream frosting.

i took this simple buttercream frosting (that i've used before) and added lemon juice. at first, i just added it after the sugar, substituting 2 tbsp lemon juice for the 2 tbsp milk, but the frosting was a little dry. so i added the 2 tbsp milk as well, and it was perfect!
but a word of caution: lemon will curdle milk if they're added together, so make sure you mix in the milk or lemon juice completely before you add the other one, otherwise you might get some nasty results.

you could just use canned buttercream or white frosting, but really, this lemon buttercream frosting really makes these cupcakes shine. my mom said these are her favorite cupcakes of mine so far, largely due to the frosting. so, make the darn frosting!

so, here's some of the cupcake carnage.

it's so good!

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