Monday, February 6, 2012

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes and January Book Review

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read at least 1 book each month. I chose The Cupcake Diaries by the sisters of Georgetown Cupcake for my January book. I received this for Christmas and was really excited to get started reading. It took me a little while to find some time to sit down, I read a little bit on one day but then one day the kids were napping really well and I was able to finish the whole thing in just over an hour! It was a really quick read and kept me interested. I loved reading about their childhood memories from growing up and the stories behind their cupcakes.

The book is broken down into seasons and they share some stories from that particular time frame along with recipes that are fitting. I also liked the end of the book where they went through each episode from their show and even had some stories about what went on behind the scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed their story and I'm excited to try out some more of their recipes.

I had a hard time choosing which cupcake I wanted to share with you, but in the end my love for all things lemon won! I admit I don't know if I'm completely sold on the cake but they're pretty darn good! The cupcakes were moist, I'm thinking if I worked with the recipe a little more I could get them a little more light and fluffy. I did make a few adaptations to the buttercream, I mainly cut back on the cream cheese since I'm not much of a cream cheese frosting lover. I shared these with my sister-in-law and she agreed they were good as well. It's a good basic lemon cupcake and makes me even more ready for springtime!

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1;/4 cups milk, room temp (recipe calls for whole, I only had 1% on hand so that's what I used)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest from 2 lemons

Lemon-Cream Cheese frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons milk, to thin if needed

Preheat oven to 350, line standard cupcake pan with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl, set aside. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition. Add vanilla to the milk in a large liquid measuring cup. Add one third of dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, followed by one third of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Stop to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix just until incorporated. Add in zest and lemon juice and mix at low speed.

Scoop batter into cupcake pan using a standard-size ice cream scoop until the cups are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer and cream together. Add in vanilla and mix well. Slowly add in confectioner's sugar, mix until well incorporated. Add in zest and milk and whip on high speed until light and airy. Frost cupcakes, I used a Wilton 2A tip for mine. Garnish with a lemon wedge, zest or sprinkles. Enjoy!

Makes about 24 cupcakes

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