The ingredients are pretty straightforward. The only thing that takes a little time is the grating of the lemon rind. Man oh man do I need to buy a microplane, to which Brad replied, "Why? You don't even like to fly." Wow. Just wow. For the cupcakes you will need: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 2 tsp. grated lemon peel, 1/2 tsp. lemon extract, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 cups sour cream. For the lemon buttercream icing: 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 c. butter flavored shortening, 2-3 tsp. grated lemon peel, juice from one lemon, 4 c. confectioners' sugar and about 2 T milk. (Optional: Yellow Wilton icing coloring for the icing)
Ok, let's start! Grab a big bowl and add the sugar and softened butter. I really don't want to drag out my huge mixer, so I am just going to use my hand mixer.
Yum. Now you need to get busy with the grating. I used 3 large lemons to get the grated zest that I wanted. If you want your lemon cupcakes to a little more tart, then use more zest.
The only thing that is important in this step is that you be careful to only grate the yellow part of the lemon, not the white. The white part of the rind is very bitter and exactly what you want to avoid. Before I get ahead of myself here you need to add the eggs, one at a time and beating well before each addition.
Once the eggs have been well incorporated, add in the grated lemon and extracts. Smell the amazingness.
Now let's sift together the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Dust flour off of shoulders.
Alright. You preheated your oven right? 350 degrees Fahrenheit, if you please. At this point you will need to alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix.
Now add in about 1/3 of the sour cream. Mix. Continue until the dry ingredients and sour cream have all been incorporated.
This is what your mixture will look like. Doesn't it look delicious? I mean really, you can't deny that this is some fine looking cupcake batter.
I always use cupcake liners to make my life easier. Add about 1/4 cup of cupcake batter to each cupcake liner. I managed to make 32 cupcakes with the batter. Bake these at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. My oven has a mind of its own, so you might want to check on these right at 25 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let's make some frosting! Do you remember the buttercream icing that we made for the race car cake? It's the same premise, but with the addition of lemon goodness. Start with one stick of softened butter and 1/2 cup of shortening. I used the butter flavored Crisco shortening. Cream these together.
Add the remainder of the grated lemon (about 2 tsp.) and the juice of one lemon. Just squeeze the juice right into the bowl. Warning: your family members will begin wandering in to the kitchen at this point. They are drawn by the amazing smells of cupcakes coming from the oven and the lemony amazingness that is going on with the buttercream icing. They will begin whining that they are hungry. You have been warned.
Start slowly adding the confectioner's sugar. Slowly. Seriously. Unless you are planning on redecorating your kitchen in white sugar dust. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, add the milk in by the Tablespoon. You want a consistency that works for spreading on cupcakes. Now, if you add too much milk you can always add in some extra confectioners' sugar. Icing really isn't that difficult.
And this is what you will end up with. It makes my stomach growl just to look at this picture. Yum. At this point I added in some Yellow Wilton icing coloring just to add a little kick. My children guarantee that you will love it.
Here are our cupcakes, don't they look lonely? They desperately need buttercream icing. Desperately.
And here we are. All dressed up and ready to go celebrate Nan's birthday. Yum. Let me know if you try these! I would love to hear what you think. :)