Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes

Once a month, I meet up with a group of lovely women to stamp and make cards. As an engineer, my work life is extremely regimented and technical, so my baking and stamping have become my creative outlet. I've been trying to bake for these ladies for months, and finally the stars aligned and my calender cleared up the few days before and what else would be perfect than cupcakes to munch on while cutting, folding and stamping!

I spent a week trying to decide what type of cupcakes to make and with the help of some of my internet friends I decided to make two...these Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes and Almond Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling.

These lemon Strawberry Cupcakes were delicious. I made them a little more lemony that the inspiration recipe, but after tasting the batter with the zest and juice of 2 lemons, I decided to add more zest and juice because I was looking for a fresh and bright taste. I finally found Meyer lemons in our grocery store and after hearing raves about them from multiple blogs, I decided to splurge and used them in this recipe. It turned out great.

These cupcakes have a little surprise inside...if you so desired, you can add a fruit filling inside the cupcakes. I decided to use some decandant Strawberry Champagne jam that we brought back from a vacation to Ireland. It was a great choice because the sweetness balanced the bright lemon flavor extremely well.

Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes (adapted from Things Alauna Makes originally from Martha Stewart)
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
zest and juice of 3 lemons

Between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of strawberry preserves, jelly or jam (depends on the size of holes you make)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
~Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a whisk, stir dry ingredients to aerate and mix.
~Cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add sugar and beat on high speed for 3 minutes until the color lightens and the sugar is fully incorporated.
~Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg into the batter fully before continuing.
~On low speed, alternate adding the flour and buttermilk in about 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour.
~Beat in lemon zest and juice.
~Dive cake batter into lined cupcake pans and bake for approximately 19 minutes.

~After the cupcakes have cooled, use a small melon baller or sharp knife to make a small cone/bowl in the center of each cupcake.
~Melt the filling in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
~Using a spoon, fill the holes with the fruit filling.
~If desired, replace the cake removed over the filling.

~Top with Strawberry buttercream (see below) and garnish with sliced strawberries.

Strawberry Buttercream (Adapted from Things Alauna Makes)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp strawberry preserves, jelly or jam

~Beat butter on high speed until fluffly.
~Add strawberry preserves.
~Reduce speed to low and add confectioner's sugar slowly. I added 1 spoonful at a time which produces a very smooth, non-gritty buttercream.

I used a large star tip and a pastry bag to pipe the frosting on, but a gallon ziploc bag with a corner cut off will do just fine.



alauna said...

i think you are the very first person to link back to my blog - it's so exciting!

the specialty jam you used sounds fabulous :)

Claire said...

These are pretty! I bet the ladies loved them =)

The Dynamic Duo said...

Hi there. We are making these cupcakes and found that putting them in the oven for 19 minutes and they were under cooked. 40 minutesis better.