Food: Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.

What to bring to a girls night? Well, cupcakes of course. Cupcakes are just perfect! Bite sized so that you don’t think about portions or having too big of a cake slice. And when you have a second and a third cupcake you still don’t feel guilty.

I love plain white cake but in the effort to jazz things up a bit – lemon became the star. A little zest, extract and food coloring did the trick!

The food coloring was a last addition – I love the nature look of white cake with the hint of lemon but I wanted the little cute cakes to look more like lemons!

*Yes, I didn’t put on a ton of Buttercream. I am more of a cake girl so the soft mountain peaks of frosting did it for me. Decorate any way you like with as much or as little frosting as you want. It’s your world.

Adapted from Jamie from My Baking Addition

Makes about 20 medium to large-sized cupcakes. Best to use an electric mixer (KitchenAid) for this recipe. 

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • lemon zest from two large lemons
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 -2 teaspoons yellow food coloring, depending on how yellow you want them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

4. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of your mixer and beat for 1 minute. Add the butter and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts.

5. Add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter incorporated, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Add yellow food coloring and beat for 2 minutes. If the yellow color is too dull, add a few more drops and mix. Fill each cupcake mold to 2/3 full.

6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean from the center of cake. Cool on wire rack.

Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Beat all ingredients together until combined. Taste test. May need more powdered sugar.

2. Ice cooled cupcakes.

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