It’s been a while! I apologize, my family friend was in town for a bit and since he was like my little brother, well he technically is, I had to take him and his mom around NYC. In addition, my mom flew into NYC on the 20th and I was hanging out with her. I got to spend some fun quality time with her. Since my mom was in town, I was staying with her in the hotel, which means I was sans oven and baking ingredients for a few days. But don’t worry, I’m back! And I brought you lemon cupcakes.
I had two lemons in the fridge and since I wanted to do something new, I decided to make lemon cupcakes with meringue frosting. Did I mention I bought myself an electric hand mixer? Well I did! Although I don’t recommend it for mixing batters. When I made these cupcakes, I creamed the butter, whipped egg whites, made meringue and even beat the batter with the mixer. Everything came out great, except the batter. I over mixed it. If you over mix, you’ll end with pretty hard cupcakes and big air bubbles called tunneling. This is caused by the gluten forming and thus you end up with dense cupcakes. Isn’t food science awesome? Anyway, one day I’m sure I’ll get the hand of it, but for now I think I’ll stick with hand mixing batters.
Anyway, I made the lemon cupcakes using a recipe I got from Food 52 and tweaking it to my taste.
So let’s get started!
Ingredients:Cupcake batter -1/2 cup sugar, divided -1 stick butter, softened -3 eggs, divided into yolks and whites -1 lemon -1 1/2 cup flour -1/2 cup milk Frosting -2 egg whites -1/2 cup sugar -1 pint raspberries -1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- Zest the lemon and let it sit with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Mix the butter and and the lemon juice together. Add in the lemon zest sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
- Whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated. Alternate mixing in the flour and the milk until smooth. Be sure to not over mix.
- In another clean, non reactive bowl (I find that a stainless steel bowl works best), whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter in 3 batches. (minifoodlesson: since the egg whites have plenty of air, this cupcake recipe doesn’t call for baking powder to make the cupcakes rise)
- Fill the cups about 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them sit in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes to cool and then transfer them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
- While the cupcakes cool, put together you meringue frosting. In another clean, non reactive bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmer water and whip for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the egg whites are in soft peaks.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking until the meringue becomes glossy and stiff. Add in the raspberries and beat until incorporated. It might also be pretty to only partially mix them, so that the meringue is a swirl of pink and white.
- Transfer the frosting into a piping bag, select your piping tip and frost the cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a large ziplock bag and snip off a small corner. Eat right away or keep them in a covered container until ready to serve.
Share them with friends, co-workers or eat them all by yourself. Garnish them with lemon twists or raspberries to make them look fancier and to give people a hint as to what the flavors are. I liked how the lemon and the raspberry complimented each other in this cupcake. It was almost like eating raspberry lemonade! While my mom was in town, she visited the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and got me a gorgeous piping kit, so you’ll be sure to see some more posts focused on baked goodies that require frosting 😉
Hugs and puppies!