We have a small, potted Meyer lemon tree at our house that produced dozens (and dozens!) of lemons this year. It’s been so fun to think of delicious ways to use them up. One of my favorites so far has been Meyer lemon cupcakes topped with fresh Meyer lemon buttercream. The homemade cupcakes are light, fluffy and sweet, just like all good cupcakes should be. And the frosting is tart and tangy, bursting with fresh lemon flavor and beautiful flecks of bright-yellow zest. These cupcakes are truly irresistible and are a little taste of sunshine, the perfect pick-me-up during the long, dreary days of winter. If you can’t find Meyers, you can use regular lemons instead, although the flavor will be slightly different (Meyer lemons taste a little more like oranges and tangerines).
Click through for ingredients and instructions…
Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Buttercream
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
Lemon zest from two meyer lemons
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the buttercream:
1 lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tablespoon meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 24 cupcake tins with nonstick cooking spray, or line them with paper liners. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Whisk together the milk and eggs in a medium bowl or measuring cup; set aside. Put the sugar and Meyer lemon zest in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is very fragrant. Add the butter and beat at medium speed until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add one third of the flour mixture, and beat until smooth. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture. Continue adding flour and milk alternately until all ingredients have been added. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack until completely cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the Meyer lemon buttercream. Combine all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth and fluffy. This recipe will make enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes if you spread the frosting. If you want to pipe it on in big, fluffy coils, or do the rose design pictured here, you’ll need to double the recipe, or at least make an additional half batch.
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