I made these tasty treats to celebrate by oldest daughter’s Sweet 16 Cupcake and Ice Cream Float Open House. They were a hit with almost everyone. (One guest gasped and puckered and handed her cupcake off to her son. Too tart, maybe??) I was especially tickled that these cupcakes pleased my lemon-loving friend, Emily, who sets a high bar for all things lemon. Plus, my hubby really, really liked them, too.
This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes, so it’s basically a double batch. Before icing, they freeze wonderfully. I frosted them with a lemon cream cheese frosting that was a basic cream cheese icing recipe with lemon juice and a couple of drops of lemon oil added. I could’ve eaten it with a spoon. (Okay, okay. I confess! I did eat it with a spoon!)
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, room temperature, if possible
1 t. vanilla
2 T. grated lemon zest
1 c. buttermilk or whole milk
3 T. lemon juice
3-4 drops lemon essential oil, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest.
Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, 1/3 at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice. Add essential oil. Beat until just combined; do not over-mix.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan about 10 minutes before removing to rack.