Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

 So, my vision for doing recipe posts on this blog is to share, not just recipes but, some baking principles as well. I am doing my best not to be too wordy but want to give some pointers that will help with future baking endeavors.

      So today’s big tip is this. Butter and eggs should both be room temperature. If you are anything like me, you grew up grabbing cold eggs and butter out of the fridge, nuking the butter to soften it and mixing up your cookies, cakes, whatever. This works and the flavor is about the same but pulling them both out a few hours before baking helps with moisture and makes them fluffy and delicious. Any day on which I know I will be baking, I pull my eggs and butter out when I’m grabbing cream for my coffee. First thing in the morning.

     I do this with all recipes. Even basics like my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from Nestle Toll House or NestlĂ© Toulhouse if you are a Friends Fan. This is such a basic recipe but I get compliments on it frequently and I think the room temperature eggs make the biggest difference.

     So without further ado and to stop beating a dead horse. Here is the recipe:

Yields-24 standard size Cupcakes
Prep time-15 minutes
Bake time- 18-20

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
3 cups Cake Flour (All-Purpose is fine but Cake Flour is great for a lighter texture)
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 Tbl Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
Zest from 2 Medium Lemons
Juice from 2 Medium Lemons
1 cup Butter
4 Eggs
1 cup Milk (I use rice milk because of dairy sensitivities but regular milk would work great as well)

Frosting:
1 cup Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tbl Milk
8oz Fresh Raspberries
2 Tbl Meringue Powder

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350
-cream butter and sugar together (scrape down bowl to make sure it is all getting incorporated)
-add lemon zest and juice, beat together.
*this next part is done in stages. I know it can be annoying but it really does make a difference*
-add 1 egg and beat together
-add 1 cup of flour, scrape down bowl and beat together.
-add 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk, beat together
-add 1 cup of flour, scrape down bowl and beat together
-add 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk, beat together
-add 1 cup of flour along  with your salt and baking powder, scrape down bowl and beat together
-add last egg and beat together.
-line standard sized cupcake tin and fill with batter (approximately 1/4 cup per cupcake).
-bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. The top should spring back when you touch it and/or you should be able to insert a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean.
– let cool before Frosting

To make the frosting:
-cream together butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar
-add milk and meringue powder, scrape down bowl and beat together
-add 2 more cups of powdered sugar and the fresh raspberries, scrape down bowl and beat together.
– you may keep adding powdered sugar if you want a stiffer peak. From here it is really a matter of personal preference. I probably used closer to 5 cups.
– frost and enjoy!

A few notes for successful baking:

You probably noticed I was consistent in saying “scrape down bowl” between additions. This is simply scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is getting fully incorporated, you are using all your ingredients, getting the right ratio and not leaving chunks of unmixed butter or flour on the bottom of your bowl.

I added the salt and baking powder with the last flour addition to reduce the risk of the baking powder burning out. Baking powder is twice activated, once with moisture and once with heat. This means as soon as it gets wet it begins a chemical reaction and if you wait too long to put it in the oven, your goodies may fall flat. This is why some cookie recipes can sit on the counter (or in the fridge) for hours while you bake multiple pans and others stop turning out after sitting too long. 9/10 times the difference was because of the leavening agent. Baking soda vs Baking Powder.

Adding meringue powder is just an easier way to add stiffness to a frosting recipe. You could make your own meringue by beating egg whites together or even omit that step but will likely use more sugar to do so. I know meringue powder can be found in the baking section at Wal-Mart. I haven’t had great luck at any other local stores.

Published by faithlikefireweed

I am a wife and mother in the Great state of Alaska. I write about faith, food, and family, and finding extravagant grace in simple living.

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