Lemon Cupcakes

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your mojo in the kitchen? I’ve had a lot of kitchen mishaps in the last month. Early in January when I was making this I left the handle of my ladle on the edge of a still hot burner. It only melted a bit and is still usable. A few days later I was making a salted buttercream and completely over salted it. A week later, after running the oven cleaner, I put my pizza stone back in the oven only to discover it was suddenly smoking profusely, causing me to run around frantically opening all windows and turn on all fans. I felt like a fool when I discovered the cause of the  smoke: a cork trivet stuck to the bottom of the pizza stone. Our house stunk for several days. And finally, I was making Guinness brownies with a Guinness glaze (from the most recent BA) and completely ruined them by pouring the glaze on while the brownies were still hot, essentially creating pudding (but still tasty).

Needless to say, my ego had been a bit bruised. I started questioning my ability to bake. Then I saw the Limoncello and Meyer Lemon Cupcakes from Tartelette. I have always, always loved lemon desserts. I don’t make them often because they aren’t my hubby’s most favorite but after all these mishaps I needed a dessert that I knew I’d love. And they turned out beautiful and incredibly tasty. So moist and flavorful.

And I didn’t screw them up or attempt to burn the house down. Mission success!

Now let’s talk about limoncello. I was first introduced to this delicious digestif when we lived in Hawaii and we met our dear friends, one is Italian, the other is German. And if you didn’t know, Europeans like their digestifs. I lived in Germany for two years and came to love the digestifs brought to you after dinner. I really wish American restaurants would pick up this delightful tradition!

I used to buy it all the time, but now we live in a out dated old fashioned  Charming Southern State and I can’t buy it. But I can buy ever clear (makes perfect sense) and therefore I can make my own. I used this recipe from Limoncello Quest (yes, that’s right, an entire website dedicated to making your own limoncello), with two exceptions. I used less sugar, about 1/2 cup less I think, and I did not wait the full 45 days the second time around. I did the first 45 days, added the simple syrup, then waited about 10 days. And it is strong but it is delightful and will warm your soul. Even got my mom hooked on it! If you ever have digestive problems or stuffed sinuses, just have a swig of this. You’ll be better in no time!

That being said, the amount of alcohol in these cupcakes is quite minor. The cake batter portion will cook out, but if you are concerned about the icing, you can easily omit it and just add extra lemon juice instead.

Lemon Cupcakes with Meyer Lemons and Limoncello

From Tartelette

Yield: 12 – 15 cupcakes

Time: 90 minutes including cooling and bake time

Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

One Year Ago: Triple Chocolate Brownies

Meyer Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes:

Cupcakes

  • 2 oz (60gr)unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz(60gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200gr)sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30gr) limoncello (see here or here for possible recipes)
  • 1½ cups (190gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup(125ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • zest of one Meyer lemon


1. Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to the butter/eggs mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add the lemonjuice and zest.

4. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Meyer Lemon Curd

  • zest of 2 lemons*
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk

*If you cannot find Meyer Lemons, use standard lemons but add a bit more sugar.

1. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk to break them up.

2. Very slowly beat in all of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper (this will prevent scrambled eggs). Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes (only took 3 minutes for me). Remove the curd from the heat, let cool completely. To speed up cooling, place in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 oz (60gr)unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces (120gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15gr) limoncello (or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup (115gr) powdered sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

To assemble
Cut a whole into each cupcake with a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the cream cheese frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Decorate with berries if desired.

Thank you, Tartelette!

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5 Comments

Filed under cake

5 responses to “Lemon Cupcakes

  1. I love the cream cheese icing! This is the perfect cirus treat! Thanks!

  2. These lemon cupcakes look just delicious. I love any thing citrus-y, for the taste and the colour.

    Beautiful blog, full of great recipes. Maybe you can visit mine sometime…

  3. what’s your secret for the cream cheese frosting? every time we make it it ends up being a disaster…it doesn’t maintain its thickness and starts to get liquidy once adding the powdered sugar. the last time we just reduced the amount of powdered sugar all together and that seemed to have helped a bit. any ideas?!

    • The butter and cream cheese should be room temperature and soft, but I’m guessing it might be close to melting with the way you describe it as being liquidy? Do you whip the cream cheese first, then add the butter, whip some more, then sugar? You could try whipping the butter and cream cheese and chill for a few minutes,then add the sugar. Let me know if this helps at all!

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