Okay...one more birthday related post and then I'm done (for a week or so...). Our most recent birthday girl has been working at a day camp this summer - more specifically, she is a counselor teaching circus skills to kindergarteners. Ah, there is some justice in the world :-) Since she had to work the next day, her actual birthday celebration was not a big one - out to dinner with her friends and then to a friend's house for the evening. I made a batch of these mini lemon buttermilk cupcakes and sent them along for the group. As a tribute to her circus camp I made cupcake picks using vintage circus images I found online - silly, but cute.
I've made this cupcake recipe many, many times - we love them. Just the right amount of lemon and the tiny size makes them a great party dessert.
Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes
(I double this recipe and get about 7 dozen mini cupcakes - unfrosted, they freeze well!)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in egg. Add vanilla and lemon extracts into the buttermilk and pour half into the sugar mixture. Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk and the rest of the flour. Stir until just combined. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk (I use vanilla soymilk)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, lemon rind, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar alternately with milk until the mixture is creamy and smooth, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon juice.
I use a frosting gun to keep it simple. I line them all up and fire away.
I originally found the cupcake recipe at slashfood.com and the frosting recipe at cooks.com.