There’s really two kinds of cooks in the world – bakers and everybody else. Baking requires a kind of precision and attention to detail that I’ve never really been very good at, as my years of dry cakes, crunchy brownies, and lackluster breads can attest to. Jess, on the other hand, has become quite a decent self-taught baker, and she’s been creating some tasty treats lately. My favorite thing she’s baked so far are these tasty lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting; lemon-flavored white cake with a cool, smooth frosting that is the perfect treat for summer. The recipe is adapted from an excellent baking website, My Baking Addiction, so check them out if you’re looking for some dessert ideas.
Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2.25 cups cake flour (be sure to use cake flour; the lower gluten content will make for a lighter, more tender cake)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.25 cups buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1.5 cups sugar
- Zest of two lemons
- 1 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat your oven to 350 and get your cupcake pan ready with liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another 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 a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then 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 is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
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.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 – 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Juice of one lemon
Blend the cream cheese and butter together, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Finally, add the flavorings and try not to eat it all straight from the bowl. Be sure your cupcakes are cool before you frost them; we prefer a thinner layer of icing on our cupcakes, but go as thick as you like. Enjoy!