After searching and searching for a decent lemon cupcake recipe, I resolved to adapt and remix a few different promising looking recipes for a smaller batch. I’m a single lady, what will I do with 30 cupcakes?! I am not a kindergarten teacher! I also would love to have a delicious cake recipe that I can make small changes to and adapt easily for new flavors and creations.
I ended up with this lemon cake. It wasn’t quite as lemon-y as I wanted. I’m not sure it’s the go-to cake recipe I was looking for. But it’s a good start. I’ll mess with it a bit more. After all I’ve got an idea for lime, cranberry, vodka cake that needs to happen.
Mostly I love citrus in cake form with alcoholic frosting on top. It’s amazing! A cocktail for dessert complete with butter, flour and sugar. Mmm…
1 C. white sugar
1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 C. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/3 C. almond milk (buttermilk)
1 tsp. vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
Cream together the sugar and butter. Once the sugar, butter mixture is creamy, add the lemon zest and juice. Mix the wet ingredients together. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside the almond milk and vanilla in another small bowl. Add about 1/3 of the four mixture to the butter mixture, mix together until smooth. Add about ½ of the almond milk and vanilla mixture. Mix until smooth. Add another third of the flour mixture. Mix. Add the remaining buttermilk and vanilla. Mix together. Add the final third of the flour. Mix until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared tins until about 3/4 full.
Bake in heated oven for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick is clean.
Yields: 12 cupcakes
I also put together a quick and easy butter cream frosting. It’s so simple and delish! I like this recipe enough I’ll keep it around for a long time with minor adjustments for flavor.
Boozy Butter Cream Frosting
½ C. unsalted butter at room temperature
3 C. powdered sugar
2 oz. (2 Tbs.) bourbon (Maker’s Mark)
Less alchoholic option: Reduce the alcohol to 1 oz (1 Tbs.) and substitute 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Non-alcoholic option: Substitute 2 Tbs. vanilla, lemon or other flavoring for the alcohol.
On the lowest low setting of your electric mixer whip the butter until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the two tablespoons of flavoring, whip until smooth. Scrape down the bowl. Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time whipping slowly. Continually scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Tip: Use SOFT butter. Not melted, not cold. Soft, room-temperature unsalted butter will whip perfectly.
Tip: Go slowly! Butter cream frosting is not a process to rush through.
After all the baking and whipping, my favorite way to eat this cocktail inspired cup of cake was like a sandwich. Yep, slice those lovely lemon cupcakes in half. Layer on a thick spread of butter cream, make an lemon, bourbon oreo and dig in. It’s just enough alcohol, sugar and fat to make you feel like maybe the 1920s weren’t so bad for the nation after all.
There are no photos because I suck at food photography. I may just have to make these again for a photo-op. Also does anyone know where the maraschino cherries are in a grocery store? I can’t find them anywhere! On second thought, maybe I’ll put together a small layer cake since this BuzzFeed Food post inspired me to get back to regular cake.