I was inspired, and we all know that inspiration tends towards the romantic. After two days of dreaming up, preparing for, and making these cupcakes, I must say I am in love.
That is, if love can come in the form of a moist and fluffy lemon cupcake topped off with a slice of candied lemon.
And though making candied lemon slices for these homemade cupcakes may not have been the most efficient use of my time ten days before Christmas, it helped me ignore the stress.
For those of you out there who need to be pragmatic this holiday season, I suppose these cupcakes would stand alone without the candied lemon slice.
Candied Meyer Lemon Cupcakes Makes 16 cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine; original recipe for buttermilk cupcakes here
For the cupcakes
- 2 Cups Cake Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shaken buttermilk
- candied meyer lemon slices (can be made 2 days in advance)
- 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
- 4 Cups of powdered sugar, packed
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners, or spray with canola oil.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon peel. Add each egg, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. With mixer on low, add the buttermilk until just combined. Add the flour mixture in two batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
Fill each muffin cup halfway (do not overfill- these cupcakes will rise a lot). Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating their position halfway through baking. Cool the cupcakes on a rack until at room temperature.
Make the frosting:
In the bottom of an electric mixer, mash the lemon peel with the salt until a paste-like consistency forms (you can use the bottom of a spoon to do this).
Add the butter, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add the sugar in four batches, mixing well after each addition.
Putting it all together:
Frost each cupcake liberally with the lemon frosting. Add a candied lemon slice as a garnish for each cupcake.
Enjoy wholeheartedly, and without any holiday guilt.