With a brand new kitchenaid just BEGGING to be used, I was pretty determined to make something sweet for the boys birthday last week. He wasn’t overly keen as he really isn’t a bit fan of sweets, but when I told him about the possibility of lemon cupcakes, he was in.
Now, his second question after agreeing to lemon cupcakes was “hang on, don’t you hate lemon?” and the answer to that is YES, yes I do. I have a mild citrus allergy (discovered after one too many nights in a row of drinking vodka sunrises) and so I just never enjoy anything that is overly citrus. My parents used to try to force me to eat oranges and as a result, the sight of orange in a fruit salad will ensure I wont take a bite (years later I am sure they felt bad when they discovered the allergy!) and lemon… well… it is just so sour!
But, I do love the boy and so I told him I would find a way to make a lemon cupcake that would satisfy him but one that wasn’t overly sour.
I turned to Julie Godwin’s Lemon Diva cupcakes from Masterchef last year…
Now the original recipe calls for the zest of 3 lemons, but I just felt that would be far too much for a lemon hater like me, so I cut it down to 2 lemons and the result was almost the perfect balance between sour and sweet. The lemon flavour was definately there, but it wasn’t so in your face. (The boy wouldn’t have minded in your face though. His favourite Cold Rock Icecream is lemon gelati with sour worms.)
I liked these cupcakes, but didn’t love them. I think the icing was what really let them down, but I guess that is my own fault anyway!
Lemon Diva Cupcake
100g unsalted butter, softened (I used nutelex)
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
200g self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk (I used soy milk)
Zest of 3 Lemons (or 2 if you don’t want the full lemon experience)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160C fan-forced). Line muffin pans with paper cases of your choice.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste with electric mixer until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add flavourings of your choice, i.e. the lemon zest!
3. Spoon some mixture into paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
For icing, I ignored the icing sugar and butter recipe she suggested and opted for a butter cream. I wont post the recipe though because the lemon juice for some reason seemed to deflate the icing. I don’t know why, because my extensive googling showed that it shouldnt have happened, but the second I added the juice in it turned runny and I couldn’t get it back.