Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

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The last few weeks we’ve had these awful meetings after work.  They go from 3:30-6:30pm, and although the information is somewhat valuable (but in my opinion super intuitive, therefore a waste of my precious time), I’d rather be at home than sitting and listening to presenters tell us how to manage our classrooms.  Lucky me, I usually have enough time to run home for a few hours on these days and bake.  It’s part of the luxury of only being part time-sometimes I get to leave a little early.  Food seems to make these long meetings more bearable, so I’ve been trying to bring treats (along with several other coworkers).

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Last week I took gluten free chocolate mini-cupcakes, and this week I decided on lemon poppyseed.  I used a standard buttercream ‘recipe’ where I just threw together a couple of TBS of butter, milk, powdered sugar, and lemon extract until it had a good consistency and taste.

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This recipe calls for buttermilk, but it’s really just not something we have in our house usually, so I do the ‘milk and vinegar’ trick where I just throw a bit of vinegar into my milk and let it sit until I’m ready to mix it into my batter.  I’m really fond of this recipe, the cupcakes were just the right amount of lemon, without too many poppy seeds.

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Recipe: Mini Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 TBS poppy seeds
Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 c. milk with 1 tsp. vinegar)
1 1/2 c. flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Line your mini-cupcake pan with paper liners.  In a medium bowl cream together your butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and salt, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Mix in the buttermilk and flour a little at a time, alternating the ingredients just until combined.

Spoon the mixture into your cupcake liners, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full.  Pop into the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely before making your buttercream and frosting the cupcakes.  Sprinkle with yellow sugar sprinkles for a little added fun.  Enjoy!

Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

I think I may have said this before, but cupcakes are one of my most favorite things to bake.  I love that they are already portioned out, and that each one is special.  Your own small cake.  I love it.

I also love how gloriously easy cupcakes are.  Baking in general.  There is something soothing and wonderful about having a recipe.  You know that once you cream the butters and sugars together, add your dry ingredient and flavorings and then bake… it will almost always turn out.  Even the ugly ones (the ones that rise funny, or droop, or aren’t filled enough) are small morsels of delicious flavor.  I can’t think of one cupcake I’ve ever made that wasn’t devoured by myself, friends, or family.  It’s comforting to know that.

I made these for my parents.  We’ve been working hard in the garden and a small treat after dinner, or during the mid-day break, can really be what we need to keep on going.  To re-energize a little.  To relax after a long day of manual labor.  I made a trail version of these with a berry buttercream, but I thought they were a little too sweet (the sweetness of the jam was just too much).  If you’re going for that, or you like extra sweet things, replace the cocoa powder in the buttercream with your favorite jams or jelly. I wanted to do chocolate because chocolate is my dad’s favorite.  I think they turned out great, although maybe next time I’ll add some lemon zest to the mix to enhance the lemon flavor.

After we were done eating our fresh out of the oven dessert, we were blessed with a rainbow!  When we took the first pictures (it was a whole arc, but I only could fit in one side  at a time) the rainbow was miles away.  By the time I took this one it lay at the edge of our neighbors alfalfa field.  Truly beautiful.

Recipe: Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes with a Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, adapted from Half Galley Kitchen

Cupcakes:
8 TBS butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. lemon extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 c. milk

Frosting:
4 TBS butter, softened
3-4 c. powdered sugar, to taste
1-3 TBS cocoa powder, to taste
2-4 TBS milk, added until desired consistency between the sugar and milk is reached

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each egg.  Continuing to beat, add in the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract.  Add in the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the milk.  Mix until smooth, but do not over beat.  Divide batter evenly among 12 lined cups in tin.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

After the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting.  Cream together all the ingredients (I start with the butter, and then add a little sugar, followed by the rest), alternating the powdered sugar and milk until you have reached your desired consistency and level of sweetness.  If you are piping the frosting you will want to make sure that your frosting holds a stiff peak and does not ‘melt’ after sitting for a minute unattended (your kitchen temperature will effect this as well).  It should also be easy to spread, so that your piping bag doesn’t burst.  🙂

Lemon Mini-Cupcakes

My friend had an art show this Friday, and asked me to make some food for the event.  After some careful consideration, I decided that some lemon mini-cupcakes would be fun.  I love mini-cupcakes because they are single-bites, perfect for art shows or at parties when people want to sample a little bit of everything.  Lemon, reminds me of spring and summertime.  I love when the months start to get warmer, and wanted to make something that reflected the lightness of summer right around the corner.  The space that the show is in has amazing light, and a heavy dessert didn’t seem to suit it.

I found a regular cupcake recipe and modified it.  This recipe makes approx. 60 mini-cupcakes.  They are really quite perfect.

Recipe: Lemon Mini-Cupcakes and a Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Cupcake
2 1/4 c. flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
4+ cups of powdered sugar
Several TBS Milk
Several tsp. lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a mini-cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and milk. Slowly whisk in the butter, being careful not to cook the eggs. Add in the lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract. Whisk in the baking powder and salt. Continuing to whisk, add in the flour a little at a time, mixing it in until there are no more clumps. Pour the batter into each cup, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15-25 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling make the frosting. The frosting is made “by taste”. Cream the butter with a hand mixer. Add in 1/2 c. powdered sugar, and a splash of milk. Continue to add powdered sugar until the frosting is too thick to beat. Add in a splash (start with 1 tsp.) of lemon extract. Add another splash of milk and some more powdered sugar. Taste and decide if it needs more lemon extract. Continue to add in extract and powdered sugar until it is thick and tastes the way you want it to. Frost your cupcakes!

Note: I didn’t have any of my piping supplies when I made these, so I put the frosting into a freezer zip-lock back, snipped off the tip, and then snipped a small cut perpendicular to my first one (like a “T”, with the top of the “T” being the opening). It wasn’t perfect, but gave the frosting a little more interesting texture than just piping out of a regular cut.