Monday, May 30, 2011

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

An online friend of mine made this amazing lemon cake last week. It looked so good that I knew I just had to make something with lemon cake and curd. Fortunately, it was Memorial Day weekend and Ryan, baby girl and I were going for a day trip to visit with college friends so I had a good reason to make lemony treats. I came across this recipe for Lemon Curd Cupcakes that sounded amazing. The cupcakes are filled with lemon curd and topped with a mountain of frosting that is made up of cream cheese, whipped cream and lemon curd. Everyone really enjoyed these cupcakes. The cake was moist, the curd tart and the frosting was deliciously light and refreshing.

Short on time?
Jazzing up a vanilla box cake mix with lemon zest and lemon extract is a great option and you can find lemon curd in the baking isle with the other canned pie fillings.

I now prefer to make the cupcakes using Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcake recipe. I just add the lemon vest and extract and only 1 teaspoon of vanilla. This makes for an even more moist cupcake. The recipe makes about 36 cupcakes so I make a batch and a half of the frosting recipe and I double the lemon curd recipe. 
            Cupcakes using the Billy's Vanilla cupcake recipe.
Lemon Cake:
3 C flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 C sugar
4 eggs (separated)
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
zest of two lemons
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Mix well. Alternately add in flour mixture and milk. Beginning and ending with flour. Add in vanilla and lemon and lemon zest.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add egg whites into batter, folding gently.
Place into cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Use half of lemon curd recipe to fill the cupcakes by cutting a small hole in the middle of the cupcake and filling with lemon curd (I made a double batch of curd and used it all).
Lemon Curd:
** I made a double batch because I wanted a very generous about of filling.**
2 lemons
4 egg yolks
3/4 C sugar
4 Tbsp butter, cold
Zest the lemons. Juice the lemons. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and thickened.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C whipping cream
Half of the above lemon curd recipe above.
In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff. In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add in lemon curd. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Generously frost the cupcakes.

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