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!
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New England wife, mom & home baker. Faith, food, fitness, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.