I'm a lemon fan. It's a recent development...in the last 2-3 years or so. Before that I hated lemon, never touched a lemon tart or a lemon merengue pie or a lemon cookie. Now...if I see the words LEMON on a menu I have to get it. Lemon is really almost my idea of a 'perfect' food. It adds flavor wherever necessary...can be used in sweet or savory, and best of all, packs a taste punch with relatively zippo calories, cholesterol, fat, etc. It's just plain yummy.
So it was obviously time for a Lemon Cupcake. But I was so torn. Do I make a fluffy buttermilk lemon cupcake. Or a lemon poppyseed muffin. What about a lemon poppyseed cupcake. But I had one of those recently at a bakery and it was dry and icky. I tossed it, such lemon sacrilege.
I looked through a bunch of recipes online and in my cookbooks. I decided to play around, Tuesdays are fun like that. I mixed up a batch of buttermilk lemon cupcakes, using the one bowl method, and loose measurements from the Lemon Poppyseed Muffins in Baking From My Home to Yours. Did I mention I love the whole sugar zest thing? It's so beautiful and fragrant.
I made my own modifications to the original recipe in the book, adding and removing things to my own liking, and popped 12 regular in the oven.
There was a little batter left, so I tossed poppyseeds in, a little more buttermilk, a handful of flour, and a bit more melted butter and put in 3 nut n'party cups, with a dollop of Wild Blueberry Preserves in the middle.
Well the cupcakes came out fab, the experimental poppyseed muffins were a little visually iffy...could be any number of my random additions. But they TASTED good, which is the important part, even if they were a little chewy.
Cupcakes, winners. Odd little nut n'party cup additions, winners for ME (but no one else). But man..that blueberry preserves tucked into the experimental cuppies and a dollop of cream cheese on top, WOW. Winner.
Frosting...I got a little creative again and made Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese. And it was wild all right, a little too loose and wild all over the tops of the cupcakes. I'm not a fan of super sweet frosting, so I didn't want to add more sugar to stiffen it up. I ended up spatula'ing them in loose swirls and tossing some yellow pareils on them.
Random note, these were mind-blowingly amazing. I love them...I had TWO of them and cannot wait to make them again. If you like lemon, you must try them. And report back with lots of PHOTOS.
Behold...field of cupcakes.
One Bowl Lovely Lemon Cupcake
1 1/2c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
zest and juice from two lemons
2 eggs, room temperature
1 stick melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 tsp almond extract
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix sugar and zest of lemons together, crush together with fingers to release aroma til sugar is lemony yellow. Add sugared zest, lemon juice, buttermilk, eggs, butter and almond extract into flour mixture, whisk briskly about 15-20 times to combine. Don't overmix too much but you want a bit of air in the batter. (Okay so it's two bowls what with the zesting but it's fun!!)
Bake at 350 for ~20-24 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool entirely then frost. Yum...these are my favorite cupcakes.