Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Honey Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm in the stage of life where all my friends are having babies.  Literally...almost all of them.  Over the last few years there have been countless weddings...and now, the babies.  Since I probably won't be in their shoes for a while, it's kind of nice to live vicariously through them and hold their babies and watch them experience pregnancy before I have to go through it.  Hopefully someday, God willing, I will be a little bit more prepared because I was able to learn from my friends. 

One of my dear friends had her baby shower recently and I had the pleasure of making the cupcakes for the event.  The baby mama is a huge fan of any thing "lemon" so it was no surprise to me that she requested lemon cupcakes.  I'm a huge fan too.  

The honey & lemon compliment each other nicely in these cupcakes and the cream cheese frosting tops them off with just enough sweetness.  I garnished them with lemon zest but you can feel free to get creative!  Lemon twists or slices would be beautiful as well! 

Honey Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 
Makes 12-15 Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon zest

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract – but the real vanilla bean makes pretty little specks in the frosting and tastes yummy!)
1 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar

To make the Honey Lemon Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

Using an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine milk, honey, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Add in the milk mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full (using a ¼ measuring cup usually works well for measuring your batter into the baking cups).  Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, vanilla and salt on low until smooth.   Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven 

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