Use this simple Lemon Cupcake Recipe to produce sweet treats with an irresistible tang! Topped with lemon frosting, they are just bursting with fruity flavor
Lemon has to be one of our favorite cupcake flavors.
It's probably because there's something just so wonderful about the contrast between the cupcake's sweetness and the tangy flavor of the fruit. The perfect lemon cupcake shouldn't be sour, but there should be a definite pop of lemon - and that's just what you get with this recipe!
It uses lemon zest and lemon juice, both in the cupcake sponge and in the frosting. These give a lovely fresh flavor - and if you want to amp up the lemon even more, follow the directions to make some lovely candied lemon to pop on top!
The recipe suggests using food coloring in the frosting. Even though it includes lemon zest, the color of the frosting is only a very pale yellow without coloring. If you're looking for a richer, more vibrant color then you'll definitely need to give it a little help!
Tips for perfect cupcakes
Pay attention to the recipe
There's an exact chemistry in producing good results when baking - and whereas other culinary styles can be forgiving if you alter ingredients, baked items come out best if you follow the recipe exactly.
And this doesn't just apply to the ingredients - it includes the method too.
You'll note that the instructions tell you to "add the flour mixture and whisk until only just combined". This is an important distinction, because if you mix the ingredients too much, your cupcakes will have a tough texture. And that's certainly not what we're going for!
Don't over-fill your cup cake liners or muffin cups
The recipe suggests only filling them around 3/4 full - this gives the cupcakes room to rise without overflowing and ruining their shape.
Bake them on the middle shelf
This is the best spot for perfectly browned cupcakes. If you need to bake more than one batch at a time, rotate them between the shelves and remember to turn the pans around half way through. If not, you'll end up with uneven colors.
Don't frost them too soon
Probably the number one mistake when frosting cupcakes is doing it before they've had a chance to cool down.
The result, of course, is melted frosting!
If you're in a rush, the best option is to pop them in the freezer for 15 minutes to ensure they're properly cool.
If you don't plan on eating all of your cupcakes in one sitting, you might want to delay frosting some of them.
Unfrosted cupcakes will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. Once frosted, they'll need to go into the refrigerator within a day or so, which may affect their texture a little.