I have been looking for a new cupcake to make for Mothers’ Day. Personally, I would like something deep, dark, rich, and chocolaty like these, but I figure I should appeal to the masses on this one. Given that it’s May, and finally above 50⁰ here in Wisconsin, I started thinking about warm weather and summer, and lemonade seemed like the perfect flavor.
This recipe, from Confections of a Foodie Bride, brought it over the top with the addition of fresh strawberries in the buttercream topping off the lemonade cupcakes. I’ve adapted it slightly by switching from a Swiss meringue buttercream to a basic buttercream. I also brushed the top of my cupcakes with lemon syrup to keep them from drying out and adding another layer of lemon flavor. Finally, I added some gel food coloring to both the cupcakes and the frosting to really make them pop.
These were a total hit, despite the fact that by the time I was ready to make these cupcakes the weather had turned and we were told to expect snow, and I’m already dreaming up ways to alter the flavors into different combinations: cherry/lime, raspberry/orange, blackberry/grapefruit …
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup, 2 sticks, Unsalted Butter, at room temp
- 2 cups Sugar
- 4 Eggs, at room temp
- Zest of 3 Lemons
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- Lemon Yellow Gel Food Coloring, optional
- 1 cup Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Sugar
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 8 to 9 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- ¾ cup Strawberry Puree, from about 6 medium, hulled strawberries
- Red Gel Food Coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Turn mixer to the low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated.
- Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.
- While cupcakes are baking, bring lemon juice and sugar to a boil and then allow to cool. When syrup and cupcakes have cooled, brush tops with lemon syrup.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
- Add 4 cups of the sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Add 4 more cups of sugar and continue mixing until combined.
- Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add lemon juice and strawberry puree ¼ cup at a time, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, between each addition.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. If you notice the frosting isn’t as stiff as you would like, add in the last cup of sugar, beating on low until combined, and then finishing on high for 2 to 4 minutes.
Yields: 24 cupcakes