Saturday, March 24, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

(courtesy of my friend Jessica C. - thanks girl!!)
Yellow Cakes:
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 1/4 cups milk
    3.5 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large bowl, beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on hight speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Fill cupcake baking cups 3/4ths full.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely. 

4. Scoop out a bit of cake in the center of each cupcake, and fill with lemon curd. Frost, to cover the curd and the rest of the cupcake. Serve.

Lemon Curd:
    1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
    1 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 1/3 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

1. Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on the surface, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, then chill, covered.

2. Lemon curd keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week or freeze the extra for later. (This recipe is more than enough for 2-3 batches!)

Strawberry Frosting:
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup crisco
    pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 cups powdered sugar
    1-5 strawberries, chopped

1. In medium bowl, mix butter, crisco, salt and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla. 

2. Gradually beat in one strawberry at a time, until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. If the frosting is too thick, add another strawberry. If the frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.

3. After frosting, chop some old fashioned lemon drops, and sprinkle them over the top. Note: the frosting dries quickly. For best results, frost and sprinkle lemon drops on only a couple cakes at a time.

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