Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Double Dose: Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes Two Ways

** Aren't they fun looking? Like a Dr. Suess type fun?! Thing 1 and Thing 2 might LOVE these.**

So YELLOW is pretty much my favorite color. I wear it weekly. My bridesmaids even wore yellow converse sneakers at our wedding. What a happy color. So when I saw these yummy yellow looking cupcakes I knew this would be next recipe I would try and tackle. I mean,who doesn't love a good poppyseed?! And a glaze filled with bits of bright yellow lemon zest? Where do I sign up? :)

I made the lemon glaze recommended in "Cupcakes, by Shelly Kaldunski". But then the wheels started turning and I decided to put my big girl panties on and make another attempt at the very scary buttercream I have been trying to get right. So I ended up making two batches of these bad boys with two different frostings. The verdict will follow the recipe:

Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes: 

(adapted from "Cupcakes" By Shelly Kaldunski)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (don't skimp on this, it really gives the cupcake such great lemon flavor)
1/2 tsp lemon extract (I used a slight bit more than this, to give the batter some punch!)
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place one of the baking racks in the middle of the oven. Spray the muffin pan with cooking spray. I wouldn't suggest using liners for this recipe.

1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.
2. In another bowl, use an electrix mixer on med high speed to beat sugar and butter together until it's nice and light and fluffy, roughly 2-3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, lemon zest and lemon extract into the sugar mixture and mix until it is well combined.
4. Add the flour mixture and beat on LOW speed until JUST combined, about 1 minutes. (Don't overmix or the texture of your cake will become much denser than I'm sure you'd like)
5. Add the sour cream and mix until combined.
6. Divide batter among the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
7. Bake until golden brown until toothpick comes out clean (18-20 minutes)
8. Cool cupcakes completely, about 1 hour before frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes.
**This was much denser cupcake than some of the ones I have tried. It has more of a muffin type consistency**

Lemon Glaze:
(as seen in picture above)

1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Spoon the glaze over the cupcake and serve~!

**Note, I will now be calling confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar. This is what I have always called it and I spent 10 minutes googling it to see if they were the same thing. They are. I'm not always the brightest crayon in the box**

Here's the scoop on the second frosting I made. (Pic is at top of post, peeps!) Lemon blueberry buttercream. I wanted to try one that added some color. I created it myself using a basic buttercream recipe, then added some lemon extract, a teensy bit of lemonade mix and some blueberry preserves hanging out in my fridge.

Lemon Blueberry Buttercream:

3 large egg whites, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temp
1/3 cup blueberry preserves or jam (the more potent the better)
1/4 tsp of lemon extract
1/4 tsp of lemonade mix (I used crystal light, original lemonade mix)

How To:
In a large heatproof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Set bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking it constantly until the sugar has been completed dissolved and the mixture is warm. (about 160 degrees on thermometer); Remove from saucepan. Using electric mixer on high speed, beat egg white mixture until nice and fluffy and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.

With mixture on med low speed, add salt and butter, a few small pieces at a time. Continue to beat after each addition and mix until it is smooth and creamy. (3-5 minutes). Add the blueberry preserves and lemon extract to mix. Then mix in lemonade mix. Pipe frosting on cupcakes.

This is the absolute first time I have succeeded at making a buttercream and it turned out pretty good. I don't know if I am a fan of buttercream quite yet tho. I hear there are people who love and some who leave it. I may have to take a stab at making some more flavors so I can truly make a decision.

The cupcakes were amazeballs. Tang from the lemon and crunchy from the poppyseeds. While I would suggest using either frosting, because both tasted great on top, the glaze is much easier and less time consuming. The choice is yours! Let me know if you do decide to try this one out and which frosting you tried! Enjoy! ;)
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