I LOVE CUPCAKES!
Yes, I AM on the cupcake bandwagon...the perfect portion, your own personal dessert, and so many possibilities...how can't you be?!
I may not be ready for the set of Cupcake Wars just yet (love that show), using ingredients like wasabi, Dr. Pepper, and flax seed, but I sure do enjoy using more traditional flavor combinations to create these sweet little treats.
Lemon Cake Recipe (Food Network, Diner Desserts by Tish Boyle)
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup whole milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.
3. In an electric stand mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue to beat until the mixture is light, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in he lemon juice (the batter will appear curdled at this point, but will smooth out after you add the dry ingredients).
Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 10 seconds.
*Here's my optional modification...for a lighter cake, beat and fold the 3 left over egg whites into the batter. (as I said, this is optional...sometimes I do, sometimes I don't...this time I didn't)
5. Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Makes approx. 30 cupcakes.
Let me make this easy for you...store bought!
Or, if you're feeling somewhat ambitious, make your own. I love Alton Brown's lemon curd recipe, but found that something a bit lighter (more of a pie filling consistency) works best with these cupcakes...it is a matter of taste though, isn't it? For my next batch, I'll be trying the lemon filling found with the original Diner Desserts recipe. It makes complete sense, not sure why I haven't tried it before...
Fill a pastry/icing bag, coupled with a filling tip or any other open ended tip (#10 or #12 works great) with lemon filling, insert tip into the center of cupcake and gently squeeze the bag until you see filling rising through the top of the cupcake.
No pastry bag, no problem! Another way to fill them is to carve out a pocket in the center of the cupcake and spoon it in.
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and beat until peaks are stiff. Pipe onto cupcakes and place in oven under a low broil until lightly browned, and trust me...DO NOT WALK AWAY!