Monday, 3 January 2011

When life gives you lemons...

When life gives you lemons (or Mum over-buys lemons at Christmas for her G&T)
....make lemon cupcakes.

 Why wouldn't you?!

Melanie's Lemony Cupcakes

You will need:

Scales (these are crucial to this method..)
Eggs are in charge in this recipe.
The amount of eggs you use dictates the amount of other ingredients you should use. It's really easy. 
I use this method as the base for loads of different cupcakes because it's pretty much fail safe and so easy to remember.
So first you have to weigh your eggs.. Don't crack them, just place the eggs into the scales and whatever they weigh out as is the amount you need for butter, sugar and flour too.
For 12 cupcakes I use 2 large eggs. So as a rough guide use 4 for 24 cupcakes or for 18 standard sizes cupcakes cakes use 3 eggs.

E.g. If your eggs weigh 4oz use 4oz flour, 4oz sugar and 4oz butter.

It works, trust me.

Self raising flour
Caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder (per egg used)
the zest and juice of 1 un-waxed lemon (per 2 eggs)

  • Weigh out all your ingredients so they are ready to go
  • Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • add eggs
  • Whisk, lots. This is the part that makes the cakes fluffy (yummy fluffy, not dropped on the carpet fluffy...)
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder 
  • Add lemon juice/zest and fold together until combined. 
  • Whisking too much at this point can over work the flour and ruin everything so just fold it in, nice and gentle.
  • Spoon into cases, be careful not to fill them up to the top as they'll expand and be harder to decorate.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 7, 220 degrees Celsius for about 18mins. Always carry out the classic pokey skewer test so you know when they're done.
Note: I like to bake on the middle shelf of my gas oven as it stops the cakes from becoming dome shaped, but ovens vary and electric ones sometimes cook more evenly throughout.

You can decorate cupcakes in lots of ways, I chose a swirl of lemon flavoured butter-cream and a few coloured sprinkles, but a simple glacé icing made from icing sugar and water or lemon juice can look just as pretty or even just a dusting of icing sugar if you're a bit lazy or really hungry.

Lemon Butter-cream Frosting
(For up to 18 cakes)

5 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter (real butter please...not margarine or 'spread')
  • 1/4 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Using a whisk or electric mixer beat butter and milk together, sift in icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Add lemon juice and zest.
  • Beat on high for 2 minutes or whisk vigorously by hand for up to 5 minutes.
  • Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

g list

1 comment:

  1. Great tip there for weighing the eggs and the flour - I get eggs from our farm shop and they are massive compared to supermarket eggs, (one weighed 114g!!! When supermarket extra large are 75g) so I often need to adjust.
    The only other thing I would say is that no matter how many lemons there are probably enough G&Ts......


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