Classic Lemon Cupcakes
We’ve been having quite a nice warm February so obviously spring and citrus is on the mind. These lemon cupcakes in particular! I made these a few years ago when I just started baking and needed to revisit it again with a more seasoned eye. It remains one of my favorite cupcakes as the flavor is rich, the cake is moist and the frosting lip pukering. Hello Spring!!
The cupcake recipe uses a reverse creaming technique that I don’t use nearly as much given the results. Instead of creaming the butter and the sugar, you drop the butter into the dry ingredients (flour and sugar) and incorporate into pea-sized bits before adding your liquids in two additions. This technique results in a finer crumb and of course a moist cake.
These lemon cupcakes have a great deal dose of lemon. If you are not a lip pukering fan, then this recipe is not for you. Although you could substitute the lemon for orange or sweeter meyer lemons. But with the zest of a whole lemon in the batter and some lemon extract in the batter, you get the flavor and freshness of lemons. The frosting is equally sweet and lemon-y delight!
If you are a fan of great lemon flavor, then these cupcakes are for you. You will love how easy they are to make and they will be a hit this upcoming spring.
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 whole egg, room temperature
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ tablespoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
For the Frosting:
- 3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Zest of one lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with liners.
- Whisk together a third cup of the milk, egg whites, egg, lemon extract and vanilla extract.
- Sift the cake flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (Or a medium bowl if using a hand mixer). Combine the rest of the dry ingredients including the lemon zest and sugar. Stir together on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the butter one piece at a time and blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Then add the remaining milk, and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1½ minute. Be careful not to overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg/milk/extract mixture in 3 separate batches mixing on medium speed after each addition until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners and bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center of a cupcake.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- Whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. The butter will become pale and creamy
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Then increase speed to medium and mix for 6 minutes until the frosting is very light, creamy and fluffy.
- Frost cupcakes using any large pastry tip.
- This recipe is great as a layer cake too. Bake in two or three 8-inch round cake pans for 25-30 minutes.