Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Heaven in a cupcake! This is by far the best recipe I have used for these. I found this over at All Recipes quite a while ago. These lovelies are sitting in my kitchen right now and have to stop myself from eating them every minute. The lemon is not overpowering, just refreshing and light. Now, I am thinking you could adapt this recipe into a regular cake as well as replace the lemon cake mix and pudding with vanilla, orange, chocolate or any other flavor you can come up with. My favorite thing about this is it starts with a mix, which as I've said before- I am not a baker, so for me anything that starts with a mix is on the right track.

What You Need:
1 package lemon cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 small package lemon instant pudding

Mix cake mix and dry pudding mix together. Add wet ingredients. Mix with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes.  For cupcakes, bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. For regular cake, pour into a greased 9×11 pan or two round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness when a tester (I always use a spaghetti noodle) in the center comes out clean. The original recipe said that the cupcakes may fall after they come out of the oven. To cover, fill up the indentation with more frosting. However, this did not happen when I made them.

What You Need:
 Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very soft
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

I use a plane grater to zest the lemon. If you don't have one, a cheese grater will work but be careful not to grate into the white pith of the lemon rind as it is extremely bitter. You want to barely grate the yellow and move to the next spot.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar, then the juice, zest and extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until icing is the consistency you prefer and is easy to spread. (I added 6 cups total). Use and store what is left at room temperature.

Top with fresh berries if you like!


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