when life gives you lemons…

Make cupcakes, lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting!

Today was a beautiful day, it was sunny and warm and felt like spring was coming! One of my favorite things about the spring and summer is the wonderful fresh fruit. Spring and sunshine beckon for afternoons lingering in strawberry fields and tall glasses of lemonade under shade trees. Lemons are the perfect springtime flavor, fresh and colorful!

In celebration of sunny skies and temperatures of 75, I decided to heat up my house even more with a fresh cupcake to welcome the spring. I originally planned on finally baking my avocado and plantain cupcakes, but upon arriving at the grocery, the avocados were rock hard and the plantains bright yellow…it would take at least 2 days before either of these would be ripe enough to cook with. In a quick fervor, I searched for a cupcake recipe with the one ingredient in my basket I didn’t feel like walking halfway across the store to return; sour cream. I knew I wanted a fresh and light cupcake; keywords: lemon and sour cream.

I stumbled upon this recipe on ‘allrecipes.com’ and decided to try it out.

Lemon Cream Cupcakes with Lemon Zest Frosting
Yields: 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup and 2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups and 2 tablespoons sugar
2-1/2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups and 2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
1-3/4 cups and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon and 1-3/4 teaspoons lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2-1/2 teaspoons milk

Cupcake Directions:
1. Cream together butter and sugar
2. Beat in eggs one at a time, Add lemon peel and vanilla
3. Add in dry ingredients and alternate with sour cream, Mix until smooth (The batter will be thick)
4. Fill muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes

Frosting Directions:
1. Cream together butter and sugar
2. Add milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla
3. Mix until creamy (more sugar may need to be added for a smooth and thick consistency)
4. Refrigerate until ready to use

10 Minutes Later:
Unfortunately, this baking session is a win for the ingredients, a loss for my lack of baking skills. My cupcakes smell amazing, they looked perfect in the oven and the frosting is tart, sweet and creamy. After checking up on my cupcakes 10 minutes later, they have sunk and weigh a ton. I sliced one of the cupcakes in half and it is super dense, its more like a cornbread/pancake rather than a light and fluffy cupcake.

Reasons for this mishap:
1. I need a real mixer, this hand mixer isn’t cutting it and makes it very difficult to achieve the perfect ‘creamed’ consistency
2. I mixed the flour way too much with the other ingredients! Next time, I will blend in the sour cream and then fold in the dry ingredients, rather than mixing them all at once.

In the end, I am pretty disappointed that I spent and hour and 1/2 making lemon cornbread. But on the bright side, this is the best sweet lemon cornbread I have ever had! The frosting is amazing, I wish I had a fresh cupcake to put it on…maybe I’ll go buy some easy box mix, or just enjoy it straight from the bowl! Yum!


3 thoughts on “when life gives you lemons…

  1. Seeing that your birthday is right around the corner, perhaps you should put a mixer on your list. Your story made me smile 🙂

  2. If you are looking for a mixer Laura, go right to the best: KitchenAid. They are costlier than some, but after burning out several other brands, I swear by my KitchenAid.

    The recipe is odd in that it sounds like someone tried to convert the recipe into a larger (or smaller) amount than the original recipe, hence the odd amount of each ingredient (i.e. 2 1/2 eggs!) Whoever did the math may very well have messed up the fractions, which caused your muffins to not turn out as you thought. Or maybe the whole wheat flour?

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