Welcome to the new year! We hope to entice your taste buds to a whole new level in 2011. If you haven’t already noticed, we now have a Recipe Index link that will take you to everything we have blogged about since January 2009. We’ve come a long way, my friends! Also, just a minor change to the background color… instead of the darker green you were used to, we have lightened it up to a more softer sea green. If time allows, we’ll play around with other visual changes to the blog. But for now, let’s move on to these lemon cupcakes, shall we?
Winter is the season of citrus fruits and it just so happens our Meyer lemon tree is flourishing with beautiful yellow fruit! Meyer lemons tend to be sweeter than the common lemons, and the skin is very thin but fragrant. Seeing how we like to incorporate our harvest with our kitchen creations, we thought it would be fun to make Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. But to make it even more special, we are using the zest of the lemons to make candied lemon zest to top the cupcakes, which is absolutely delightful! Oh – and I better not forget to mention that it’s a lemon cream cheese frosting, too!
We love having a lemon tree in the backyard. It's such a useful fruit in so many dishes - from desserts (like this cupcake we're making) to savory dishes like lemon chicken. Of course, there's always the classic lemonade that you can make out of these wonderful lemons!
For the batter, combine 1/2 cup butter (at room temp) with 3 oz of cream cheese. Mmm, fatty.
Along with that, add 1 tbsp grated lemon zest and 2/3 cup sugar. We beat this with a whisk instead of taking out our huge Kitchenaid mixer, but the mixer will be a lot easier. Next, beat in 2 eggs until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake cups in your cupcake tin. Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes until firm.
Meanwhile, prepare the candied lemon zest. With a vegetable peeler, remove long strips of zest (without pith) from lemon. Then cut into julienne strips.
Place in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 7 minutes and drain.
Return the lemon strips to the pan and add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Return to a simmer and cook over low heat until the zest is translucent and the syrup is slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the candied lemon zest to wax paper and set aside. Maybe pop a few in your mouth - you'll love the taste! Sweet and tangy.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine 3 oz of cream chees with 1.5 cups confectioner's sugar. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp grated lemon zest. Beat together until smooth. (Oops, this is the wrong photo for this caption. Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the cream cheese frosting process. Let's pretend the flour pouring in is the powdered sugar, ok? Hehe)
When your cupcakes are done baking, let them cool for about 10 minutes before frosting. Top with the candied lemon zest for a nice finishing touch to the Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. Despite all the lemon flavors we added, the cupcakes didn't have a overwhelming lemon taste. It had a nice hint of lemon that worked well with the sweet cupcakes and frosting. Enjoy!
To view or print-out this recipe, click here: Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Candied Lemon Zest
Here are some related posts we’ve done in the past:
Lemon Broiled Orange Roughy
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting