Silky Smooth Lemon Cupcakes

January 30, 2011

So like I had said before, my Dad isn’t the biggest chocolate fan.. So for his joint birthday dinner I decided to create a cupcake using his favorite flavor, lemon. :) And yes, you can buy lemon cake mixes, and they taste fine, but my Dad deserves better!

I decided on creating a lemon cream cheese batter, making homemade lemon curd, and ending with a very light lemon cream cheese frosting. I am a HUGE fan of cream cheese frosting. It can be so delicious and so much more “fancy” than basic buttercream. Adding some fresh lemon zest just allows it to become a more lighter flavor, not to mention make you want to lick the bowl. If you think the lemon curd + lemon batter + lemon frosting is too much, leave the lemon curd out. :)

The cupcakes were a hit, of course. And naturally, I warned my Dad a week in advance that he better be at 24 Hour Fitness everyday until the party, because the calorie count on these are quite high…. :)

Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This recipe makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo, if you want to make minis, I suggest you don’t fill them.

6 tablespoons UNsalted butter, softened

3 ounces of cream cheese, softened (if you’re wondering how much 3 ounces is, it’s labeled on the bar of cream cheese)

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (only the yellow part of the peel, the white is bitter-yuck)

2/3 cup sugar

a pinch of salt

2 eggs (I always use large)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Turn on your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin.

2. Beat butter, lemon peel, cream cheese, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with your mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add sifted flour (or whisked) and beat on low speed until JUST combined — do not over mix.

4. Batter is ready to divide into your liners. Fill them about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 25 minutes for the regular sized. Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

–My hint for spooning batter to your pans, you can use an ice cream scoop, or do what I prefer… :) Spoon batter into a gallon size ziptop bag, press out air, cut 1/2 inch off one tip, and squeeze into muffin tins!

Lemon Curd Filling (although you can use this lemon curd for anything!)

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

2 lemons, zested and juiced

A few tablespoons of cold butter, cut up in small pieces

1. Add about an inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium metal bowl with a whisk until smooth (one minute)

3. Add juice and zest to bowl and mix.

4. When the pan reaches simmer, reduce heat to medium low and place bowl over the top of the pan.

5. Whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes (time will vary). It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Remove from heat, set aside to cool. If you are saving it for a later date (up to 2 weeks) simply pour the curd into a clean tupperware and cover with plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrap directly on to the top of the curd so that a skin does not form.

To fill the cupcakes, spoon the curd into a disposable piping bag or ziptop bag with a tip for filling. I do this because I do not like a lot of filling, if you would prefer more….carve out a little of the cupcake with a spoon or melon baller, and fill with the lemon. If you use a tip, stick the tip down about half way and then apply pressure for 2 seconds, release pressure, and pull the tip out. Voila!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

zest of one lemon

1. On low speed, mix butter and cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth and creamy.

2. On medium speed add the zest and continue until you reach your desired fluffiness :)

I decorated mine using my favorite 1M tip and a disposable piping bag. Swirl in a clockwise motion, starting from the outside going in. Pretty simple. :)


5 Responses to “Silky Smooth Lemon Cupcakes”

  1. Katarina Colaco said

    uhhh. These look so good… Lemon is just so delicious. I love the cupcake holder! Its so cute! I bet your dad loved them :) Can you make these when I come home please? :)

  2. chong wong said


  3. mcannici14 said

    These were the best lemon cupcakes I had ever enjoyed. They tasted like they were Soooo hard to make! Thanks for posting this!! I can’t wait to make them for someone special!

  4. Daphne said

    Reading your blog is such a treat…and NO calories! Now, THAT’S sweet! ;)

  5. dustin said

    Big fan!

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