So with Summer fast approaching I have been wanting something lemony. When I was pregnant with my youngest son Conner, I crave all things citrus. If I had known about these cupcakes I would have gained more than 20 pounds during my pregnancy. Its a good thing I didn't. These cupcakes are THE BEST cupcakes I have tasted in quite a while. They are now my favorite at the moment. The cake is moist and dense but light at the same time. The frosting is so good you could eat it by its self. This recipe was featured on Bestbites and they got the original cake recipe from Martha Stewart.
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter
3 c. cake flour (has to be cake flour or the recipe won't work)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 & line muffin pans with cupcake liners. I used pink foil from breast cancer event because that is what I had.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter & sugar on a medium speed setting for 5 mins. Don't skimp on this step. You want it to be really fluffy for the recipe to work. It should look like the photo below.
While butter & sugar are mixing, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set all that aside. After the butter and sugar are done mixed and is really fluffy, add eggs one at a time with the mixer still running. Allow the eggs to be fully mixed into the batter before adding the next one. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, & lemon zest.
With the mixer on a low speed setting, alternate the flour mixture & buttermilk. Start & end with the flour mixture. Make sure it gets fully mixed into the mixture.
Using a standard cookie scoop, place about 2 scoops of batter into each muffin cup. Fill these almost to the top. The cupcakes won't really rise that much because they are more like a pound cake than a traditional cupcake.
Bake about 20-25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. You don't want to over bake these even by a second or they will start to lose their moisture. I baked mine for 20 mins and they came out fantastic.
Lemon Buttercream Icing Recipe
1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks)
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp coconut extract or fresh coconut juice (totally optional)
Beat butter, lemon rind, and lemon juice in an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating to spreading consistency.
I added the coconut to give the recipe a little bit sweeter taste. It was a little bitter to me. If you like how it tastes feel free to skip the coconut or add whatever other flavor you would like. Maybe even some strawberry juiced would be really good.