Lemon Curd Cupcakes

I’ve been in a pretty intense baking mood lately, though I haven’t had the time to bake as much as I’d like. However, whenever friends come to visit (which they pretty much have every weekend since good beach weather started), I’ve tried to make a little something special for them. It’s a good excuse to putter around my kitchen, I guess.

After the resounding success of Jess Silva‘s famous brownies (topped off with a peanut butter swirl), I decided to go for something lighter and more summery for my next baking spree.

The winner? Lemon Poppy seed cupcakes with a Lemon Curd filling and Sour Cream frosting.

In super cute cupcake liners, courtesy of my loverly mom.

The verdict? Delicious, but rich. Taken individually, they rocked my socks off. The cupcakes were moist and supple (why yes, I do like it when my baking sounds like a romance novel). The curd tart and thick; the frosting had a great consistency and tang from the sour cream. And yeah, they were pretty tasty together, too 😉 Though they went down better with a glass of milk.

Lemon curd is surprisingly simple to make. Even in a ghetto double boiler.

I’d never actually filled cupcakes before, though the process was simple. I wanted to keep the top to place back over the curd so frosting the cupcakes would be easier. Thus, I used a butter knife to make a circle, then spooned out about an inch worth of cake. (Which I then ate. Obviously.)

PS -- pound cake recipes do not necessarily translate to cupcakes as easily as, yanno, cake.

Still, it was a fun experiment. If I make them again, I might forgo the frosting and do a lemon-curd glaze. Thing. Or go for a lighter cupcake (plain vanilla?) so the flavors aren’t in such competition to coat my tongue with delicious. Of course, the overall effect might be better if they’re enjoyed in a less humid climate, then the sugar might not be as intense. Still, lots of fun to make, cute, and they got a good reception with the other ALTs on the island.

I ate three and then purposefully left them at a friend's house. Too much temptation if I let them stay under my roof.

Recipes

  • Lemon Curd (I definitely did not use splenda.)
  • Sour Cream Frosting (I eyeballed the powdered sugar until it reached the consistency I like. I’m generally a thicker frosting kinda gal.)
  • Berry Surprise Lemon Poppy Seed Cake by Andrea Love (from a Penzey‘s catalogue which, try as I might, I cannot find online, so I’ve typed it up below. I did not include the strawberries, but I’ve made it before using them. Amazing.)

BERRY SURPRISE LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/3 c milk
2 TB plain yogurt
1 1/2 c sugar
6 TB butter
1/4 c canola oil
2 eggs
3 TB lemon juice
1 TB grated lemon peel
2 TB poppy seeds
2 large strawberries, sliced
1 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan or a standard Bundt pan. Flour the surface and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and yogurt. And finally, in a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter, and oil until fluffy, then the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon peel, and poppy seeds. Pour half the batter into the pan. Gently place the strawberries on top of the batter avoiding the edges. Pour the remaining batter in the pan.

Bake for about 55-65 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes, then take out of the pan and cool completely before slicing.

Serve with whipping cream and blueberries.

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