These are my favorite cupcakes, and making them miniature leaves you with perfect proportions. The inspiration for these came from Junior MasterChef Australia - a show based on mini chefs (ages 8-12) that had me so hooked I watched an episode or two every day until I'd finished both seasons. I can't explain why I love it so much, except that they're all so nice and wonderful to each other. They give encouragement and hugs...awww...something you never see from professional chef competitions. Anyway, I thought it was darling and I learned a few things too. Like how to make lemon meringue pie cupcakes. Thank you, Isabella.
Lemon Cupcakes (makes about 15-16 miniature cupcakes)
from Bella Lately
- 1/2 cup + 2 heaping Tablespoons (equivalent of 1/8 cup) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup + 1 heaping Tablespoon sugar
- 1 large egg
- Few drops of lemon extract - optional
Whisk together flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a separate bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and extract until just combined. Spoon into cupcake liners but do not overfill. Bake at 375F/190C for 20-25 minutes - test with a toothpick. Remove from oven and let cool.
This batter is quite butter-heavy, so experiment with your favorite lemon cupcake recipes. This one is actually from a lemon poppyseed cake that is divine.
Once cooled, use a knife to cut a small cone out of the top of the muffin (about half way down the cupcake) to make room for the curd.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (14 grams) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 lemons (smaller sized or one big one), grated and juiced
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler over boiling water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever so slightly (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and immediately press through a strainer. Allow to cool. Chill in the refrigerator to thicken. Keeps for one week in the fridge. Can be frozen. This recipe makes enough for 2 batches of mini cupcakes ~30.
Once chilled, pipe it to fill the holes in the cupcakes.
half-recipe from Smitten Kitchen
- 2.5 Tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 large egg white at room temperature
- 1/2 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk first 5 ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet with about an inch of simmering water. Be sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. Beat egg white mixture on low speak until it reaches 140F/60C. Do no stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet. Beat on high speed for exactly five minutes. Remove bowl from skillet and add vanilla, beating on high speed for two to three more minutes to cool. Use frosting the day it is made.
Pipe the frosting on top of the filled cupcakes. You can use a kitchen torch to brown it a bit if you like. I'm not as fancy as some 12-year-old cooking prodigies.