The bright, perky and fragrant juice and zest of the ubiquitous lemon. What would we do without it? I shudder to think. As the workhorse of the citrus family, seafood comes alive with a mere mist of it’s liquid and at the same time it can pack a serious wallop of cheek puckering power in a lemon meringue pie. I sing its praises and give it star billing in these lemony perfumed bites of lighter than air sweetness.
I’ve had a bit of a lemon craving of late. Too busy over the past week with other recipes to answer it’s calling, I finally succumbed today in the form of these mini cupcakes. So delicate and refreshing – they are worthy of a place at an afternoon tea or perhaps a celebratory lunch. Then again – why save something so delicious for only special occasions.
As straight forward as this recipe is, it does require the additional step of whipping heavy cream to be folded into the batter during the final step. Don’t let that dissuade you. The bit of extra effort and one more bowl to clean is little price to pay for the resulting fine, moist crumb of these cakes.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest from 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups spooned and leveled cake flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Arrange one shelf in the lower third of the oven and one shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Place mini cupcake liners into two 24 cup mini muffin tins. (If you don’t have two tins, bake one batch of cupcakes, cool slightly and remove from the pan. Quickly cool the tin in the refrigerator or freezer, reline, and proceed with the remaining batter.) Place a small mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill.
- In a mixing bowl on medium speed, beat the butter to soften. Beat until it is light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat until very light, scraping down the sides and across the bottom of the bowl at least once.
- Beat in the lemon juice and zest. On medium speed, blend in the oil.
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