Lemon

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

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Happy spring everyone!

The weather has finally decided to warm up a little over here in Michigan. That means its time for some light & fruity cupcakes!

One dessert that I think has the perfect balance of tart & sweet is a simple lemon meringue pie! But I'm not much of a pie making girl, so I turned the springtime classic into a cupcake!


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I started with a light lemon cake, filled with a tart homemade lemon curd and topped with a toasted meringue frosting. The perfect dessert for Easter!

Lets start with some cake...

Lemon Cupcakes
-makes 24

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.
2. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
3.Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.


Some cute liners for Easter!

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The batter is pretty thick once combined.

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I like this recipe because they are light and fluffy!

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Now we need some filling...

This is probably the most foolproof and easy lemon curd recipe I've ever made. It came out a little bit tart (which I like), so if you prefer a sweeter filling then you can add 1/4-1/2 cup more sugar.


Lemon Curd
-makes about 2 cups

6 Tbs unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar (extra for a sweeter, less tart filling)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest


1.In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil, it will overcook and actually curdle the eggs. If this happens, depending on the severity you might be able to save it by stirring vigorously with a metal whisk while the curd is still hot.
3. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.


I made my lemon curd the day before so it could chill in the fridge overnight.

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Don't forget to prepare your cupcakes for filling, I used the cone method!

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I used a small pairing knife to cut out the cones, then trimmed them reserving the top of the cupcake. The cone trimmings are perfect for taste testing =]

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You could always pipe the filling in, but I found using a teaspoon was just fine.

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Now that the cupcakes are filled, its time for some frosting!!

So a traditional lemon meringue pie uses a French meringue, raw egg whites whipped with granulated sugar.

But since I needed a more stable topping for cupcakes, I decided to go with an Italian meringue; which is sugar syrup cooked to the soft-ball stage (234-240 degrees) poured into firmly whipped egg whites.

Italian Meringue Frosting
-enough to frost 24 cupcakes

3 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup water

1. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is at soft ball stage(234-240 degrees).
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously. Beat for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
3. Frost cupcakes immediately, frosting will set once cooled. Store cupcakes in refrigerator up to 3 days. Best eaten on same day, or if brought to room temperature first.


Pouring the hot sugar into the whipped egg whites.

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I love how this meringue looks so shiny and white! It dulls some once set though.

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Cupcakes lined up and ready to be toasted!!

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Be careful not to light your cupcake liners on fire though! (I almost did, oops!)

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Look at that yummy filling!

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I hope everyone had a great Easter!

<3 hollicakes

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Its Almost Summer...

That means its time for some Arnold Palmer cupcakes out by the pool =]

If you don’t know what an Arnold Palmer is, don’t feel bad, neither of my parents had any idea what I was talking about. For instance, direct quote from my dad, “You mean the golfer?”

Nope. Anyone thats ever worked in foodservice, AKA a restaurant, knows that Arnold Palmer means half iced tea half lemonade!




So for these cupcakes I went pretty old school and used the instant iced tea mix, its actually not that good by itself... ha. BUT in these cupcakes it is fabulous!

A really simple recipe too.

Iced Tea-Lemonade Cupcakes
-makes 24

1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Instant Unsweetened Iced Tea Mix
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, iced tea mix, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in bowl of a mixer until combined.
2. Combine all wet ingredients, both milks, lemon juice and oil, in a separate bowl.
3. Slowly add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl containing the dry, and mix until combined evenly. Divide bater between 24 standard cupcake liners and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched.



Lemon Buttercream
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from 2 lemons

1. Add butter to bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest to taste.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until fluffy and creamy.
3. Frost cupcakes however you like! I used a simple star tip.




Enjoy this summer-friendly cupcake recipe!

<3hollicakes


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Belated Mother's Day Cupcakes



So this Mother’s Day post is so late because my grandma’s community didn’t have their brunch until this past Saturday!

They didn’t request any specific flavors, so it was all up to me! Oh here we go...

The first flavor I decided on was Lavender Honey !



I had never done a flavor like this before, but it sounded spring-like and fun, so I figured Mother’s day was the perfect occasion to try it out!

Vanilla Bean Lavender Cupcakes
-makes about 26-30

3 cups flour, slifted
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ( Or I used 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise & seeds scraped)
2-3 drops lavender oil

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, lavender oil and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.

Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 25 cupcakes

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon honey

1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add honey and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.


Next... Chocolate Raspberry.

PS I got both of the lavender and these red flower liners at Orange Novelty Cake Supplies, so cute I couldn’t resist.



Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
-makes about 22

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup pureed raspberries (you can strain out the seeds, or leave them in)
1/8 teaspoon raspberry extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the eggs, milk, buttermilk, oil, extracts & puree; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 sticks of butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
raspberries to garnish

1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add chocolate and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.

On to my favorite flavor, Strawberry! ...with homemade sugar cookies on top, of course.




Strawberry Cupcakes
-makes about 30

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries (I used a food processor to save time)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce speed to low. Mix milk and vanilla together. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Fold in strawberries by hand. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost about 25 cupcakes

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup finely chopped strawberries

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add strawberries and mix until fluffy.

And as for the sugar cookies, it is Dylan’s (the boyfriend) one and only secret recipe. Maybe one day I’ll share it =]

The last and most beautiful.... Lemon with marshmallow Chrysanthemums on top!



These cupcakes took the longest, by far. But so worth it when you see everyone’s reactions =]

Lemon Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 T lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add sugar, lemon zest, butter and cream cheese to mixing bowl, beat until light and creamy, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, once incorporated, add the next 1/3 of the flour mix, followed by remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour, beating each addition until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, beating until just incorporated on low speed.
3. Transfer batter to muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
-makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
zest of 1 lemon

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and zest.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition.


To make the marshmallow chrysanthemums, you’ll need a bag of the pastel color mini marshmallows. Separate them out by color.



Then cut them in half, diagonally. Sprinkle each color with matching sugar sprinkles. Most of them might fall to the bottom, but thats okay just dip the sticky side of the marshmallow in the pile of sprinkles before attaching to the cupcake!



Frost the cupcakes with a thin layer, just enough so the marshmallows will stick! Start from the outside, and work your way in.



Add a pearlized round sprinkle, or whatever you want as the center of the flower.




Happy belated Mother’s Day!

<3hollicakes
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Wedding Shower Cupcakes!



I LOVE making cupcakes for special events, especially weddings! So when a friend from high school asked me about cupcakes for her wedding shower, I was so excited!

We ended up deciding on half chocolate, half lemon with a pastel pink and white theme! And of course cute little ring toppers =]

I whipped up the chocolate cupcakes so fast I didn’t end up with any pictures. But you guys have seen my chocolate cupcakes before, right? Yep. And same with my swiss meringue buttercream, which is what I used on these cupcakes. I just dyed half of it pink for the chocolate cupcakes and added a little lemon zest to the rest for the lemon cupcakes!

Lemon! Mmm oh how I love when my kitchen smells like lemon zest.



Hello baked cupcakes!



It is hard to see in the pictures, but I loaded these cupcakes up with edible glitter to match the sparkly ring toppers!



See?







Congratulations Kim!


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My First Wedding Cupcakes!




Last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to make cupcakes for a wedding! A friend from high school ordered them for her sister Janine Jarman’s wedding, who you may have seen on the TV show Shear Genius a few years back. A dozen red velvet and a dozen lemon cupcakes. The wedding colors/theme I had to work with were mint green, peach, and pastel blue with a vintage-like feel.

Simple enough right? I decided to stick with my favorite frosting, a swiss meringue buttercream for both. Tinted light peach for the red velvet and an elegant white for the lemon cupcakes. I found some pearlized sugar sprinkles in ivory and mint green that matched perfect with the theme! BUT, there was still something missing. Back to the cake supply store I go...... And it was there I found what I was looking for; light yellow mini frosting roses to top off the cupcakes!

Being the procrastinator that I am, I left myself with only half a day to bake, decorate, photograph and box up these cupcakes. So thank you to my boyfriend/assistant for remembering to take these pictures =]




Red velvet cake batter in the mixer!



I don’t know why but I LOVE this picture. Maybe because it’s my lil’ KitchenAid, or maybe because I can see my favorite color blue reflecting in the metal, or because red velvet cupcakes are being made. Who knows, I just know I love it.



These came out PERFECTLY rounded, I was so stoked.




Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (I added a little extra to get a darker red color)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Hello beautiful cupcakes!






Lemon Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.





Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.





Mmm lemon!



















Thank you so much to my friend Corie for thinking of me when ordering cupcakes! And congratulations to Matt and Janine! Check out
A Shear Genius Wedding in People Magazine!

<3hollicakes
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