Sunday, November 14, 2010

Did I do that?: Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes

Every time I make cupcakes I tell myself this will be the last time I make cupcakes. 

But it was my dear friend Heather's birthday and I knew how much of a lemon lover she is (this girl eats lemons by the wedges like oranges). Jupiter aligned with Mars or something like that and I decided to go all out and make the most outrageous lemony cupcakes possible. I just recently finished my first ever batch of limoncello using lemons from my grandfather's backyard in Huntington Beach so I was eager to use some of my moonshine in the cupcakes since I only make boozy cupcakes anyway. I used Tartelette 's recipe for Meyer Lemon Limoncello cupcakes, including her lemon curd warranting a 300% lemon burst.

As a disclosure, these cupcakes are obviously not for kids, as:
1) There is limoncello in the frosting.
2) There is limoncello in the batter.
3) I am still bitter about never making do-over status as a babysitter during my teenage years.

I was a little intimated about making lemon curd, but it turned out to be ridiculously easy. By far the simplest part of making these cupcakes. This curd is more tart and less sweet than most I've tried but it provides the perfect zing and balance to the rest of the confection. I would make it again in a heartbeat for crepes or as a normal cake filling. 

I admit, these cupcakes were delicious and cute, but I have hereby resigned from further making cupcakes. Until the next birthday. 

Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes (adapted from Tartelette):
Makes 12

For the cupcakes:
2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons limoncello 
1½ cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon

For the lemon curd:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the cream cheese frosting:
2 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon limoncello
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to the butter/eggs mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add the lemonjuice and zest. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Prepare the lemon curd:
In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk to break them up. Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat, let cool completely.

Prepare the cream cheese frsoting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

To assemble:
Cut a whole into each cupcake with a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the cream cheese frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. 


The Wind Attack said...

ooh, those look nom-able. Yes, I think I'll have one... or two.

Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Matthew Carpenter said...

outstanding work here.

Peter M said...

You've gone loopy on those molds! lol
Good lemon goodness from the Abatzo-anna!

Maria said...

I am a fan of lemony desserts too and these sound yummy indeed! It seems like you make cupcakes well so why the heck stop?? Now you've got me craving something seet just before dinner ;)

Esi said...

They've got lemon curd...sign me up!

Dewi said...

wow, very tempting looking cupcakes Anna.

To answer our question, SAF yeast can be purchase online from King Arthur.

Anonymous said...

I love lemon desserts and I am glad taht these are not kid-friendly. After all, sugar is bad for them! :-)

Banana Wonder said...

Andy - Thanks :) If you come visit PDX on your birthday I may be inclined to make them again :)

Matthew - Thanks chief!

Peter - I know @-@! I need to get another mold, but then that would mean I'd have to make more cupcakes.

Maria - I think it's my fancy William and Sonoma frosting piper that makes my cupcakes so pretty. That thing is hell to clean!

Esi - You're on the list :)

Elra - oh great news! Thanks for responding elra :)

Ionna - Haha, agreed! More for us adults :)

Gastronomer said...

It's been way too long since I've made cupcakes. Yours look spectacular! LOVE LEMON!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I think the kids can miss out this one time! Love the design of these and lemon curd is always a big plus in my book!

Banana Wonder said...

Cathy - You are the cupcake queen! I need your inspiration!

Peter - Thank you! I didn't realize how easy homemade lemon curd could be!

Helen said...

Oh boy! These cupcakes look incredible! Everything about them sounds delicious. I'm a frosting person and I can see myself eating the frosting with a spoon. I've been wanting to make lemon curd for ages. I'm definitely bookmarking this for a special event.

Banana Wonder said...

Helen - Oh lord you will love the curd, I think. It's not too sweet and extremely easy to make! PS. I made your tahini dressing last night in a lentil-pumpkin-bulgur salad! Will post soon!

Helen said...

re: tahini dressing - can't wait to read your post :)