One of my coworkers is getting married in May. She is a complete sweetheart, so I wanted to bake something extra special for her office bridal shower. I did some reconnaissance work under the guise of talking about wedding cakes, and found out that she doesn't like chocolate (inexplicable, but I won't hold it against her) but does like citrus flavors. I found this lemon cupcake recipe on Allrecipes.com and adapted it slightly to increase the yield and use all-purpose flour rather than self-rising. They have a rich, lemony flavor and a delightfully light whipped cream topping.
I didn't want to stay up baking until the wee hours of the morning, so I made the cupcakes the weekend beforehand and froze them. The night before the shower I took them out of the freezer and frosted them. The colored sugar is optional, since I wanted them to look festive I decorated them with her wedding colors.
The trickiest part of the project was getting the cupcakes to work. Yesterday, Minneapolis got hit with an April snowstorm (yes, you read that right). My commute, always on the long side, becomes downright daunting when snow is added to the mix, so I decided to take the bus into work this morning. I loaded all my cupcakes into Tupperware containers, duct taped them together, and very carefully made my way to the bus stop. Luckily, the sidewalk had just been plowed and the bus driver didn't slam on the brakes on the drive in, so the cupcakes made it through unscathed.
Yield: about 3 dozen
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Whipped Cream Topping
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- colored sugar or sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand or stand mixer until mixture is fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest. In a small bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice.
Next, gradually add a third of the flour mixture and half of the milk mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined, and add another third of the flour mixture and the remaining milk mixture. Beat until just combined, add the remaining flour, and beat until just combined.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Add 1/4 cup of batter to each liner (a large ice cream scoop works perfectly).
Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Turn out the cupcakes onto a rack to cool completely.Whipped Cream Topping
Combine heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat the cream mixture until it has thickened and forms soft peaks. Spread on cupcakes and top with colored sugar or sprinkles if desired.