Posted on August 3, 2019

Old Skool Lemon Cupcakes

Baking/ Parties

There are two extremes in my home; there’s the die hard chocolate cake addicts and the zesty lemon party. There is no in between. Well maybe when it comes to a plain sponge covered in lashings of buttercream or layers of fondant.

So when I make cupcakes for Birthdays I know instantly that one of the two fierce women in the house (that would be my daughters for new readers) is going to be disappointed and scream life isn’t fair.

I’m a huge fan of citrus. From lemon cakes to lemon dressings to sitting eating half a dozen satsumas. I love it.

Nothing in my opinion beats an old fashioned lemon drizzle however I went for a lemon cupcake with a lemon icing for these beauties.

To make 18 cupcakes (I used muffin sized) you will need:

300 grams castor sugar
300 grams butter (softened-I zap it in the microwave)
300 grams self raising flour (sifted)
6 eggs; beaten (I used medium sized)
1 TBSP (level) baking powder
Zest and juice of 4 large-ish lemons.
I note bloggers say use unwaxed lemons. If those are a bit pricey you buy cheaper ones that maybe waxed, placed them in hot water and carefully give the lemons are a rub. The wax should come off.

For the icing you will need:

500 grams icing sugar
200-250 grams butter. I use 200 grams as I like a stiffer icing.
Lemon flavouring (I don’t use lemon juice because the icing becomes runny. I also so not use the lemon zest as it clogs up my nozzles).

As my cupcakes were 80s themed I dyed the icing. I used neon yellow and neon pink.
I dyed half the icing pink and the other half yellow. I then added scoops to the icing bag and it created a lovely swirly affect icing.

Nozzle of your choice & icing bag.
Pre-heat your oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
Place 18 muffin cases in your muffin tins. I have a few baking tins so I manage to do this in one go. If you have bake in batches just remember the oven will be warm when you place the second lot in so keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

1) Beat the sugar and butter together. You can do this by hand or in a mixer. I find both work well. Stop beating when you have a creamy consistency.
2) Add a bit of the egg mixture in and beat it. Keep adding and beating until you run out of eggs. Don’t worry if it looks a bit runny. It will work out after you add the flour.
3) Add scoops of the flour and stir in. Add the baking powder and stir through.
4) Now add the lemon juice and zest. Give it a good stir.
5) Now distribute your mixture into the cupcake/muffin cases in the tin. I generally leave a ‘gap’ at the top of the case as these babies rise. I then trim them to make them even. Yes it’s true; my cakes are not perfect.
6) Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When they are ‘done’ they should be springy to touch. I do the classic ‘toothpick check’. If you insert it into the centre and it comes out clean congratulations your cupcakes are done!
7) Now allow the cupcakes to cool completely before you ice them. If you can leave them in the tin to cool down that’s good. But if you can’t tranfer them to a wire cooling rack. Don’t apply the icing whilst they are still warm. It just doesn’t work.
8) Once the cupcakes are cool give them a quick trim to even them out. This really is key to getting uniform-ish iced cupcakes (sorry not sorry).

To make the buttercream:
You can use the mixer for this or do it by hand.

1) sift the icing sugar into a LARGE bowl. Trust me the BIGGER the better. Size matters.
2) Add the butter. Now beat the ingredients together.
3) Once you have what looks like a creamy mixture (it maybe a bit rough or stiff don’t worry it’s normal) add the lemon flavouring. Stir in.
4) If the mixture is too stiff or isn’t coming together like icing add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat in. Repeat if needed. Just do it in stages as too much milk may make the mixture runny.
5) Once you are happy with the texture you can add dye if you wish to. I use gel again it helps with the texture. I find the liquid dyes make things runny and the colour isn’t as strong either (I use ClassicKool-Link here).
6) Put the icing in the bag and ice away. Get creative if you wish. Add sprinkles, glitter whatever you wish. We added themed toppers.
7) Your cupcakes are done. Don’t they look awesome? Like 80s awesome…cos everything in the 80s was awesome….


Notes: You can make the cupcakes and freeze them up to a month in advance if it helps with your party prep.

You can buy ready made icing which does an amazing job too.

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