Friday, April 6, 2012

Lovely Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello, my name is Cassie, and I have a Seasonal Sprinkles Addiction.

It all started with these sugar cookie bars, the first time I made them for Christmas. I just had to buy festive sprinkles to adorn them. When I made them again for Valentine’s Day, they were just begging for a sweet topping of tiny hearts, colored sugar, and festive nonpareils. By the time the Easter goodies hit the shelves, I was completely addicted to sprinkles. I bought a giant multi-pack of Easter-themed sprinkles at the grocery store, and when I saw some different ones a few weeks later at another store, I bought another one. The question then became: What am I going to do with all these Easter sprinkles? A secondary question was: Is there some sort of Sprinkle-holics Anonymous meeting I can attend?

I’ve been craving lemon baked goods for I don’t know how long now, and when my stepmom hosted a family dinner recently and asked me to bring dessert, these cupcakes seemed like the perfect thing to make. In addition to fulfilling my craving (and making my family happy, too, since they’re lemon-loving people), it would also be a great way to use up my surplus of sprinkles.

These cupcakes are delicious. Yes, they start with a boxed mix, but the additions of sour cream and the zest and juice of a lemon make them taste homemade. They’re moist and fluffy, with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy elements. The frosting is a lemon cream cheese frosting that I wanted to (and did, actually) eat with a spoon. It was creamy and sweet and just perfect to go on top of the cupcakes. And not only did my extended family love them, my sons did, too. This thrilled me, since their father is not a lemon fan. I’m happy to report that the boys seem to have inherited my lemon love.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Lovely Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
cupcakes adapted from Sugar Plum; frosting is my recipe

For the cupcakes:

3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 box lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 box lemon cake mix

For the frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
5 cups powdered sugar
Splashes of heavy cream
Yellow food coloring, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sour cream, pudding mix, oil and milk until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in lemon juice, lemon zest and cake mix until moistened. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat an additional 1 minute.

3. Divide batter into muffin cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until well risen, and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out with moist crumbs attached (mine definitely took the full 20 minutes). Cool 5 minutes in pans before transferring to wire racks to cool.

4. To make the frosting, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Use heavy cream to thin out the frosting, if needed. Tint the frosting yellow with food coloring, if desired. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, and decorate with sprinkles if desired. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.


Cookaholic Wife said...

I also have a sprinkles addiction. :)
I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award because I think your blog is great. :) Check out the award here:

Jaida said...

Oh Cassie...How did you know that lemon is my all-time favorite flavor? (Aside from chocolate, of course!) These look amazing and make my mouth water just looking at them!

Tina said...

OMG I love anything Lemon. Now if only I can learn to bake...

Lizzy said...

Oh, YUM! My hubby loves lemon desserts...these would make his day!

sharon m said...

I made these cupcakes tonight for my hubby who loves lemon desserts! He walked by the kitchen asking what I Was making while I Was making up the frosting! He ended up talking me into letting him have one early to "test" them out! He said they are the "best" cupcakes he has ever had! The cake batter was super the cupcakes turned out very light and fluffy! I lives the frosting flavor too. I chose not to add the food coloring because it naturally turned out a beautiful pale yellow! Thank you for this awesome recipe!