Easter Cupcakes 2016: a few years ago, I started a random new tradition of baking Easter themed cupcakes — wth flowers or birds nests or rabbit ears or … well, sommething Easter-y. This year there are three kinds. Enjoy!
for the cupcakes
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
for the filling
1/2 cup homemade Meyer Lemon Curd (recipe here)*
For the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard sized muffin pan with liners.
In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and extract; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream butter, vegetable shortening and salt together until smooth. Beat in sugar, adding by a tablespoon at a time. Finally, add in the lemon extract and lemon zest. Chill buttercream for 20 minutes before filling a pastry bag.
While you are chilling the butter cream, fill the cupcakes. Insert a small knife at a 45 degree angle about 1/8 inch from the edge of each cupcake and cut all the way around, remove a cone of cake (or use a cupcake corer, if you have one). Cut away all but the top 1/4 inch of the cone; leaving only a small disk of cake which will be used to top the cupcake. With a small spoon, fill the cupcakes with 1-2 tablespoons of the lemon curd and then top with the disk. Pipe a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake. Garnish as you like with sprinkles, candy flowers or even a little more lemon zest. Chill until ready to serve.
* You can, of course, use store bought lemon curd, it just won’t be as good. 🙂