Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lemonade Cupcakes

     It's kind of hard to believe, but summer is almost here.  The weather is nice and it's the season for barbecues, pool parties, and picnics.  Yesterday, I actually went to two different barbecue parties, and I made these lemonade cupcakes for my mom's friends who are apparently big fans of my cupcakes. 

     Lemonade is an icon of summer.  These cupcakes have a delicious lemon flavor just like the cool, refreshing beverage.  In the picture above you can see that I had two different frostings swirled together.  I just took a light cream cheese frosting, split it in half, and put some lemon juice in one half to give it a subtle lemon-y flavor like lemonade.  I also really like how the swirl looks; it's simple yet cute.

      I usually don't like frosting that much, but this frosting was creamy, fluffy, and not tooth-achingly sweet.  It wasn't heavy like normal buttercreams and it had that lovely lemon and cream cheese flavor.  So go for a cupcake with a tall swirl of frosting on top.  Trust me.

      The cake itself was lovely, too.  It was very fluffy and lemony, and it held up nicely to the frosting.  Also, I think that the straw decor thing is really cute if you're bringing these to a party or bake sale.

      In conclusion, definitely try these cupcakes.  You will be happy that you did, and so will all the people around you. Enjoy!

First whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites. Instead of buttermilk, you can mix together 1 tbs plus 1 tsp lemon juice and enough plain milk to make it one-1/4 cup.
Sift together the dry ingredients in another bowl.

In a large bowl, press the lemon zest into the sugar.

Add the butter and cream until light and fluffy.

Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, mixing until well mixed after each addition.

Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and bake.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

Cream together room temperature butter and cream cheese.

Add half of the confectioners sugar.

Beat in some cream and salt.

Split the frosting equally into two bowls.  In one bowl, add 1 tbs lemon juice and some  yellow food coloring.  In the other bowl, stir in vanilla.
Put both frostings into the bag.  One vertical half of the bag should have yellow frosting and the other vertical half should have white frosting.
Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Lemonade Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes
adapted from My Baking Addiction


For the Cupcake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tbs baking powder
4 large egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
zest from 2 lemons
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
For the Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4oz (1/2 block) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1-3 tbs heavy cream, half and half, or milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
yellow food coloring


  1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts.
  5. Add one third of the flour mixture and mix to incorporate.  Then add half of the milk mixture.  Repeat until all the ingredients are incorporated and well-mixed. 
  6. Beat the batter for two minutes to aerate it. Distribute the batter among the prepared liners.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
  8. Make the frosting by first creaming together the cream cheese and butter.  Add 2 cups of confectioners sugar and slowly mix until well combined.  Add 1 tbs of cream and all the salt.  Beat until fluffy.  
  9. Split the frosting into two bowls.  In one bowl, add vanilla, and in the other, add lemon juice and yellow food coloring.  Beat each frosting until well combined and add more cream if necessary.
  10. Fill the one side (left or right) of a piping bag, fitted with a large tip, with white frosting  Fill the other side with the yellow frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
  11. Enjoy!

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