Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

My friend Lizz, usually comes to Tampa to visit in July. When she does, I always celebrate her birthday. This year I threw her a flamingo party. She had no idea, I just told her to wear something flamingos. I created these Pink Lemonade Cupcakes to celebrate this year. The frosting had to be pink to match the flamingos. These cupcakes are super moist, light flavored with lemon, they are not pungent. The cream cheese frosting adds a light creamy taste to these wonderful cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup water

Lemon curd, jar or homemade

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla extract and lemon extract. Combine liquids. Combine wet ingredients (except the water) to the dry ingredients and mix till combined. On low speed, slowly add the water to the batter. Scrape your mixing bowl to make sure everything is combined. Batter is thin but that’s what makes it so moist and yummy. Fill cupcake liners to about half full. Bake 16 minutes or until toothpick comes out with crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool completely to fill and frost.

I am going to be honest, I used store bought lemon curd in the jar. I have made it before and since this recipe uses so little jar is just fine. I found jar lemon curd in the jam/jelly section of the grocery store.

To fill cupcakes, I used a piping tip to make a hole. I filled the hole with the lemon curd and covered the hole with the top I cut out of the cupcake. It doesn’t have to be pretty because you are going to frost the top of the cupcake.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8 ounce block cream cheese, chilled

1 stick butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Red or pink food coloring, optional

1 pound of powdered sugar

Combine cold cream cheese and room temperature butter. I use cold cream cheese to keep the frosting stiff for the cupcakes. The frosting gets very soft when adding drops of food coloring. However, if you choose not to add food coloring, you would have lemonade cupcakes which is just as delicious. Combine with one pound powdered sugar. I used a 1M tip to pipe the cupcakes. Yields 12-13 cupcakes, recipe can be doubled. Enjoy!

Copycat Lemon Passion Cake

This is a recipe from Macaroni Grill. I had to make this cake after I tried it. My sweet server told me the ingredients, my job was to figure out the measurements and the recipe go duplicate it. There are a couple of steps to this recipe but it is guaranteed to please.

Ingredients for cake:

3 cups flour less 6 Tablespoons

6 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 eggs, extra large room temperature

1 egg white, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons (or 3 for bolder lemon taste) lemon extract

3/4 vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or prepare a 13 x 9 pan and set aside.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg white. Add the sugar and combine. Mix for 3 minutes. Add lemon extract and vegetable oil and combine. Alternate flour mixture with buttermilk ending with flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and prepare simple syrup.

Simple Syrup:

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

Simmer in pan until sugar is dissolved. This can be made in advance. Poke holes in cake, I used a straw. Pour simple syrup evenly over cake.

Poke holes in cake and evenly pour simple syrup over cake. Allow simple syrup to soak in cake before brushing on the lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Ingredients

1 stick of butter

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons

1 cup of sugar

Strain zest from lemon curd.

Brush a thin layer of lemon curd on cake before frosting with Lemon Whip Cream Frosting.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium low heat, whisk ingredients together. Whisk frequently to prevent scorching. The lemon curd should have a smooth consistency, not thick. Strain lemon curd to remove zest. This lemon curd is smooth and so tasty. Cool lemon curd. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of lemon curd over the cake that has soaked up the simple syrup. Save remaining lemon curd for frosting. Leftovers can be used on scones or biscuits.

Lemon Whip Cream Frosting:

Ingredients:

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar

3 or more heaping Tablespoons lemon curd*

Plain whip cream for garnish, optional

Caramel drizzle on plate, optional

Chill mixing bowl and attachment(s) in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Your cream cheese needs to be cold, not room temperature. Add heavy cream and mix on low, increasing speed of the mixer. Add in 1/2 cup sugar and lemon curd. Taste it to see if you want it sweeter and more lemony*. The cake at the restaurant had a subtle lemon flavor, not overpowering. You make taste however you desire. Frost over cooled cake. Refrigerate cake.