Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lemon-filled Cupcakes with Almond Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Spring time is my favorite time of year.  I love seeing everything blossom and come alive again.  Plus I have so much more energy when the days are longer and the weather is warmer.

Lately I've noticed I'm craving lemon flavored things and I've decided it must have something to do with the time of year.  Over the weekend, I made lemon curd filled cupcakes.  The lemon curd recipe came from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  If you don't want to make the lemon curd, you can use store bought lemon pie filling.  I just wanted to make homemade lemon curd because I was curious about how it would turn out.  Plus, I'm always up for trying something new and this was definitely new.  I've never made a cupcake with filling before, and it really wasn't difficult. 

Originally I was just going to make a vanilla buttercream icing but I was talking to my mom on the phone while I was making the icing.  She asked if I'd ever made buttercream icing with vanilla and almond extract.  I told her I hadn't and she continued to tell me how delicious it is so that's all the convincing I needed.  She was still talking to me about the icing after I'd added it to the icing so I told her I'd just added it and she said "oh, I didn't know you were going to do it right that minute."  I just laughed because when it comes to making icing a new yummy way, you don't have to tell me twice.  I love icing!  I could eat it with a spoon straight from the mixing bowl!



Servings:  24 cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix
3 egg whites
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the muffin tin.  Mix the ingredients per the box mix instructions and add the lemon zest.  Using an ice cream scoop, pour the batter into the muffin tin.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 - 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Lemon Curd:

1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. butter/margarine cut in pieces
3 eggs, beaten

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together.  Temper the eggs (pour about 1/3 cup of the lemon juice mixture into a bowl with the eggs and whisk together).  Then pour the eggs into the sauce pan along with the butter/margarine and whisk the ingredients together.  Continue whisking until the mixture thickens (about 8 - 12 minutes).  Set aside to cool.

Once the filling and the cupcakes are cooled, use a decorating tip to fill each cupcake.  Push the decorating tip into the center of the cupcake and push all the way to the bottom.  Squeeze the decorating bag as you lift the tip out of the cupcake.  Once the end of the decorating tip reaches the top of the cupcake, stop squeezing the bag and start filling the next cupcake.  The first couple of cupcakes were a mess because I didn't quit squeezing the decorating bag soon enough.

Once all of the cupcakes are filled, start on the icing.

Icing:

1 1/2 sticks butter/margarine, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Yellow food coloring (optional)

Using a mixer, beat the butter/margarine.  Then add the confectioners sugar and milk.  Once smooth, add the vanilla extract and almond extract and continue mixing.  Then add the food coloring.  I used a decorating tip to frost the cupcakes but it's not necessary. :)

Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.




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