New Year's Eve! How is it already New Year's Eve? Growing up, my parents hosted big NYE parties and it made Auld Lang Syne one of my most favorite, nostalgic songs ever. December 31st also happens to be my husband's birthday so we have two big reasons to celebrate. He is not a dessert guy, which somehow co-exists with my ridiculous sweet tooth, but there is one significant exception to this general rule: lemon. Lemon bars, lemon cake, lemon pie etc. can get him over to the dessert table so I've created a simple lemon cupcake recipe here and topped it with vanilla buttercream. There are only 8 ingredients in this cupcake recipe, they bake in about 20 minutes and the recipe gives you a dozen little blissful treats. I do subscribe to the motto that you can't be sad when holding a cupcake so let's get this recipe going, shall we?
For the Cupcake
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the Frosting
-1/2 cup butter at room temperature
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 cups powdered sugar
-4-5 TBS milk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by spraying with non-stick spray and inserting cupcake liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In another large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the oil and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Stir together until well combined. Add in the lemon zest and juice and combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients with the mixer on low and stir until just combined. After the mixer is turned off, use a rubber spatula to make sure that all dry ingredients are incorporated. Don't over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill approximately 2/3 full. I used 1/4-1/3 cup of batter in each liner. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Check to see if the cupcakes are done by inserting a toothpick into the middle and it should come out mostly clean. The tops will be starting to turn a light, golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting by adding the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Keep the speed towards low to avoid a big cloud of powdered sugar as you continue to add ingredients. Once the initial sugar and butter are combined, add in the vanilla extract and 1-2 TBS of the milk. Slowly add in the remaining two cups of powdered sugar and another 1-2 TBS of milk (1 TBS at a time). Continue to mix until all combined. Once combined, increase the speed to medium/high to allow the mixer to whip the ingredients into a fluffy looking frosting. The frosting should stick to a knife when pulled out but be soft enough to spread.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost the tops. I used a Wilton 1M tip and pastry bag (available at Walmart, Michaels, craft stores or Amazon) to pipe a single layer rosette on these and there was some leftover frosting so this recipe will be enough to pile the frosting higher if you would like to decorate differently.
Wishing you all the happiest of New Year's and praying for those reflecting on a tough year gone by or challenges coming up. Peace, love and joy to you all!
Last day of the year! We're wrapping up that weird week between Christmas and New Year's where everything has been a little bit slower than normal. We have some baking to do today that I will refer to as lemon bar redemption. More on that another time, but this week's baking feature was this chocolate cupcake. We baked the super moist chocolate cupcake recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. Wonderful. These cupcakes came out perfect. We modified a little bit by splitting the extracts between mint and vanilla. We also put half of a thin mint Oreo on the bottom of the baking cup before baking and we topped this with our own minty marshmallow buttercream and the other half of the Oreo. All of this combined created a winter perfect minty hot cocoa cupcake and a perfect ending to our Christmas baking this year.
Although it might sound cliche and you're likely hearing about this everywhere today, I like to pause on New Year's Eve to think about another year passing and a new one on the way. This year has brought me a lot to be thankful for and a few tough surprises along the way that remind me how precious time and life is. We're just a few hours away from hearing Auld Lang Syne as the clock passes midnight and we feel the blank canvas of 2018 beginning.
I'm taking a different spin on resolutions here and thinking about some things I want to attempt and learn about on my baking journey this year:
I've made plenty of Irish brown bread and other varieties of breads and rolls over the years, but I've yet to invest in and nurture a sourdough starter. It seems tricky and precise, which intimidates me a tad (ok, more than a tad), but the slow process of making sourdough bread intrigues me. I feel like this on demand world needs more things like sourdough bread so I'm going to slow down and give it a try!
One of the little Sunday Bakers is quite intrigued with Paris lately....maybe even obsessed. This leaves us looking at all sorts of pictures and inspiration for French bakeries and pastries, and we are particularly smitten with the macaron. We tried some from a bakery back in June and they were light as air with the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. I'm anticipating that this one will take us a few tries but I think it will be a fun project together.
Ok, this one isn't exactly in the category of baking but it's a kitchen adventure that's been on my mind anyway so I'm expanding my horizons a little bit here. I'm not an expert about the famous Julia Child but I love learning about her and I loved the movie Julie & Julia. When I do watch TV, I enjoy food and baking shows, but there's so much out there now that it's kind of overwhelming. What I love about catching an old Julia Child clip is how natural it is. Although the shows of today are amazing, Julia Child's TV kitchen chronicles had less editing and polish. There were more messes, bloopers and raw moments, which I love...because I'm a total mess in the kitchen. There's flour and sugar everywhere...the dogs bark and jump up to the counter, a little one cries because it was her turn to dump the sugar in and not her sister's, and then I sometimes find myself wondering "Wait, am I on my second or third cup of flour?" (I remember once that the mini-chaos left me forgetting to add any sugar or sweetener to a recipe....you can imagine how that tasted). Raw. Messy. Real. Thank you Julia. We will add this to the 2018 kitchen adventures.
I wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy 2018!
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.