Food & Drink Magazine

Skip the (Bad) Necktie for Dad: Lemon Cupcakes

By Cakediva

   Skip the (Bad) Necktie for Dad: Lemon CupcakesI’ll admit it.  Over the years, I’ve given my father a few bad neckties.  I’ve also made him a few gifts that, as an adult, make me laugh and cringe at the same time. (Yes, that’s possible.)  When I was about eight years old, I used my hand-cranked knitting machine to make him a “scarf” for Father’s Day.  It was an ugly brown, and it wasn’t long enough to fit around his neck.  Never mind the fact that the temperature outside was a sweltering 90 degrees in the shade. 

   If you’re struggling to find a Father’s Day gift, or if you’d like to make him something with your own two hands, here’s an idea.  This year, bake him something. 

Skip the (Bad) Necktie for Dad: Lemon Cupcakes
Bake him these lemon cupcakes.  They have a subtle lemon flavor that is well-balanced by the buttercream.  This frosting is not one-dimensional.  It’s sweet and buttery with just a pop of tartness.  In a word?  De-lish.  

   What if you’ve never baked anything from scratch?  No worries.  Take a deep breath.  Crank up your favorite tunes for a little inspiration.  Then, just follow these directions, step-by-step.  You can totally make these little darlings, and your father will love that you took the time to bake him something special.  And, I’d hazard to bet that he just might breathe a sigh of relief that, at least this year, you didn’t get him another bad necktie.  


Skip the (Bad) Necktie for Dad: Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Adapted from: My Baking Addiction

2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
large egg whites
1 ½ cups fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

   Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffin tin either by using cupcake liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.  Set aside. 

   Place the sugar and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl, and use your fingers to rub them together until the sugar is moist and fragrant.  Next, add the butter to the sugar/lemon zest mixture.  Beat them at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.  Then, beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice until incorporated.  Next, while continuing to beat on medium speed, add one-third (1/3) of the flour mixture.  Beat in one-half (1/2) of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in one-half (1/2) of the remaining dry ingredients until they are well incorporated.  Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is smooth, and then add the last of the dry ingredients.  Then, continue to beat the batter on medium speed for another 2 minutes to make sure it is thoroughly mixed.  

   Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake tins.  Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire cake rack.

Lemon Buttercream

2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled but not straight from the fridge

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Dash of salt

1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

   Place both sticks of butter into a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.  Next, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt until well combined.  If you’d like yellow frosting, add food coloring and mix until the color is well incorporated.

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