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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lemon Cupcakes!

Last weekend we picked the prettiest lemons out of KB's grandma's garden. Originally, I was planning to make fresh-squeezed lemonade with them, but then I realized the opportunity to bake and guess which one won! So with the excuse of "I'm baking them for Mother's Day," I pulled out my KitchenAid (the real reason I wanted to bake) and made some SUPER lemony cupcakes.

I have never baked lemon cupcakes or really lemon anything before and I don't know why I thought of it, but these were a big hit! I have to give credit where credit is due, though. These are the two recipes that I started with and then added to, to make them my own. The cupcakes were a Real Simple recipe and the cream cheese frosting was from All Recipes, but I changed them both quite a bit to achieve the really tart lemon flavor I was hoping to achieve.

So let's cook these tasty little guys!

What you'll need: 

1 1/2 

1 1/2 
baking powder 

sea salt (I couldn't find mine, so I had to use kosher)

unsalted butter (take it out of the fridge in advance to warm up) 

granulated sugar


pure vanilla extract (I'll probably skip this next time, to get rid of the extra sweetness)

1% or fat free milk
The zest from 2 large lemons
1 box of lemon pudding mix
Juice from 2  large lemons

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. 

Put your warm butter and sugar in the mixer and mix on medium-high speed until fluffy. 

Add in your eggs and resume mixing until the yolks are completely combined. 

Slowly pour in your flour mixture. You might need to scrape the edges of the bowl to keep the dry ingredients from building up around the edges. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely combined. 

Pour in the packet of lemon pudding mix. Mix until combined. 

I had never baked with pudding mix, but I always heard that it made your baked goods really moist and it really did!

Pour or squeeze your lemon juice into the bowl and add the lemon zest. If you squeeze the juice directly into the mixture make sure to watch out for the seeds! 

I don't like super sweet desserts and adding this much lemon juice and zest made the cupcakes really tangy and delicious.

Line your cupcake tin and spray the paper cups with your choice of cooking spray. I always use Pam, but that's just because it's easy. 

Fill the baking cups almost to the top to get a really nice cupcake shape. Place in the oven and cook for 22 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. 

Time for the icing:

It's super easy! Seriously, it's a one step process!

What you need: 
1 package low-fat cream cheese (8 oz)
1/4 cup butter
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
Juice from 2 lemons
Zest from two lemons

Put everything in the mixer and mix until there aren't any clumps. I wanted the icing to be really zesty, so the icing wasn't as stiff as I would have liked. I didn't want to add more powdered sugar because the flavor was where I wanted it, so I chose flavor over presentation. To thicken the icing, either use less lemon juice or add in more powdered sugar! Ta-da icing.

Take the cupcakes out of the oven. Let them cool completely before icing them! 

Use a knife or a piping bag to ice the cupcakes. I used some lemon rind to garnish the top, but you could also sprinkle some zest over them!

I hope these sunshine-y yellow cupcakes bring some sunlight to your day! 

Love you all, 

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