January 27, 2008

lemon cloud cupcakes

Yes! it's raining again - I know I shouldn't complain, after all it does seem to happen rather a lot! You would think I'd be used to it by now, but really I'm a Summer girl at heart!.........still, it was the perfect excuse to bake a little sunshine into my life. Lemon Cupcakes to banish away those grumpy grey clouds, inspired by the bright yellow and white primulas bravely standing sentinel against the assault of the rain in the barren Winter garden. Not that I ever need an excuse to bake cupcakes anyway, since I love them in all their enticing incarnations...
These ones, I decided, would be lovely and lemony and dense, with a swirl of fluffy pink & white icing. So, off I went with flour, sugar, eggs lemon and butter all thrown into my basin, to be transformed twenty minutes later into gorgeous edible nuggets. Isn't it amazing how a bowl full of apparently unrelated looking creamy goo can manifest into something so wonderfully and completely different, all springy and golden. It's like magic!!

Unashamedly, I'll admit that my favourite part - and sometimes, the whole reason for baking! - is to eat the leftover cake mix straight from the bowl........(funny really how there always seems to be more mixture than I need). It's one of those childhood things that has stayed with me......it was always a real 'treat' to be given the bowl to clean out when mum was baking......scraping around the sides eagerly with a spoon, that velvety, vanilla flavoured confection that just melted on your tongue.

Anyway, here's my own recipe, a blend of various basic principles. The texture of the cakes is more madeira than sponge - a little more heavy which makes them more substantial. For the icing I decided to keep it plain with just a little vanilla flavouring, although you could add some more lemon juice or zest if you wanted it lemony too. The two-tone colour is really easy to achieve as well, simply by loading the icing bag with pink down one side, and white on the other!

And.... before I go, here are some links to some other gorgeous things cupcake-related.....cupcake shaped soaps and so cute knitted cupcakes from Betz White.

Lemon Cloud Cupcakes

175g self-raising flour
100g butter
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
zest and juice of 1 lemon + a little milk

275g Icing sugar
175g butter
4 Tablespoons milk
Pink food colouring
Vanilla essence

It couldn't be easier to make these. Just put all of the ingredients for the cakes into a mixing bowl and whizz up together until it's pale and fluffy (a couple of minutes). The consistency needs to be fairly soft, so you may need to add a little extra milk - flours vary in the amount of liquid that they take up - to make a 'soft dropping' consistency.

Spoon the mixture into cake cases (I used muffin moulds) to about two thirds full, and then bake in the oven at 190C / 375 F / Gas 5 for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and spring back when touched. Leave to cool.

For the icing, soften the butter in a bowl and then mix in the icing sugar and enough milk to make a soft fluffy icing. Divide the icing in half and colour one half with pink colouring, then pile into an icing bag with a star nozzle - pink on one side, and white on the other - and swirl it onto the cooled cakes.
Instant sunshine!


Smerky said...

Those look positively beautiful! And yummy! I've always wanted to make cupcakes that aren't ridiculously sweet and these seem to fall in that category. Going to try to make them over this weekend :) ~Smerky


I made these for my roommate's birthday today and she loved them. Thank you!

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

I am here for this lovely frosting that beckoned me...so going to try this. thank u

Anonymous said...

They're so pretty! And lemon is divine, isn't it? :)