Yup - today is the day that I grow one year older... Today is not the day I am celebrating though. It's a good thing, because we are at the beginning of a big snowstorm. I celebrated last Saturday with my family. Went out to a beautiful Italian restaurant and had a wonderful meal. I then invited everyone back to my home for dessert... Yes, I baked cupcakes for my birthday!!!
I wanted something lemony and fresh - so I tried these Lemon Cupcakes
Luscious Lemon Cupcakes/Fairy Cakes
(Makes 24) (Made 20)
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (used low-fat milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 packed cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (used 1 1/4 cups)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
Grated zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in two standard muffin tins. In small bowl, lightly combine the eggs, a quarter of the milk, and the vanilla.
2 In large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for a minute to "sift." Add the softened butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until combined. With mixer on medium-high speed, beat for a minute and a half. Scrape the bowl.
3 Beat in the egg mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl and, with spatula, stir in lemon zest. (I do it by hand because the zest tends to get tangled up in the beaters.)
4 Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. (If you use a full 1/4 cup, the baked cupcakes will have a bit of an "overhang" on them, and you might only get 23 of them.) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 24 minutes or until they are golden and test done with a toothpick.
5 Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire rack for an hour. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting (made half the recipe)
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature (5 tablespoons salted butter)
1 pound powdered sugar, unsifted (2 cups powdered sugar)
1/16 teaspoon salt (didn't use as I used salted butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons lemon juice
In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
You'll need to cut back on the liquid, probably by half, if you're going to get fancy with the frosting. I thought about it but couldn't decide which decorating tip I wanted to use, so I just put my cake decorating gear away and swiped on the frosting with a small offset spatula and threw on some long strips of zest for color.
The birthday girl on Saturday night :)