Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

8/20/12

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | une Gamine dans la Cuisine

Last weekend I watched The Hunger Games. [Spoiler Alert] Yes, I cried during Rue's death, and my throat clenched up when Katniss thought, for a brief moment, that Peeta had died...and realized that her feelings for him were deeper than she knew. This movie hit every mark, spot on. (Pardon the pun.) If you've read the The Hunger Games, please don't be afraid to see the movie, I don't think you will be disappointed.

I can think of only a handful of movies that have lived up to their novels; The Last of the Mohicans, Atonement, Out of Africa, and yes, Harry Potter, were as brilliant on screen as they were on paper. And I can happily add The Hunger Games to that list! I cannot wait for the next two films! Really, I can't wait. I hate waiting on movies, and TV shows.  (Did you know that season 3 of "Game of Thrones" doesn't start until March 2013? That's just wrong.)


This has absolutely nothing to do with cupcakes. I just wanted to share my rare over-the-top enthusiasm for a novel-turned-movie. I can now speak to you of lemons and buttercream.

For the cupcakes, I used the same recipe that I used here. (It's my go-to lemon cupcake recipe.) I love these cupcakes because they're so rich and moist...some lemon cupcakes can be bland and dry. Plus, their tops remain nice and flat, which is prime real estate for frosting. Butter, confectioners' sugar, and lemons. That's my idea of The perfect frosting. This lemon buttercream frosting is as simple and basic as a favourite pair of jeans. (Which, by the way, may be tighter after a few of these cupcakes and frosting-coated finger licks. You've been warned.)

BTW, if anyone has seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I would love to hear if it measured up to the book! I'm still on the fence about seeing the movie.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting | une Gamine dans la Cuisine

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting
yields about 24 cupcakes

for the cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons grated lemon zest (about 4-5 lemons)
1 cup ( that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 room temperature eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup buttermilk (allow it to sit at room temp. for about 20 minutes)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

for the frosting
1 cup (that's 2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp.
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (have an extra 1/2 cup on hand, just in case)
1/4 cup half & half cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

method
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line muffin tins with paper (this recipe will make about 24 cupcakes).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking Powder, and salt; Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer (or any large mixing bowl if you're using a hand-held), combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your finger tips to rub the zest into the sugar until it's moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, using the paddle attachment, beat on med-high until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute per egg. Scape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the almond extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and lemon juice.
Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared tins (about 3/4 full for each).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or the tops spring back when lightly touched and a small knife inserted into a center cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven allow the cupcakes to cool completely in muffin tins before frosting.

Prepare the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Slowly begin adding the sugar, and beat until well combined. Beat in the cream, vanilla, and salt. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for about 3 minutes straight. Turn the mixer down to low and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat for another 3 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and light. [Note: If the frosting looks too thin, add that extra 1/2 cup of sugar. If it's too thick, add a splash of cream, and beat to combine.]

Decorate the cooled cupcakes as desired! [Note: Because I used a piping bag, I started to run out of frosting before all the cupcakes were covered. So for about 8 cupcakes, I simply spread the remaining frosting, using a small off-set spatula.]

37 comments:

Jen @ Savory Simple said...

I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies more than The Hunger Games. I think part of the problem for me was that the HP books are so full of visual descriptions, whereas THG takes place quite often in Katniss's head. But I'm still looking forward to seeing the next film in the series. Love these cupcakes!

Galexi Cupcakes said...

Ironically, I also saw the Hunger Games for the first time this weekend with my family. A very good movie. And since Rue reminds me of my eldest baby girl, I was also choked up when she died. Unfortunately, I did not read the book, so I have nothing to compare it to. As for these cupcakes, they are a true work of art. Delicious!
Jackie

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors... Those cupcakes look beautiful and ever so tempting. I haven't seen the Hunger Games, but I've enjoyed the Harry Potter movies...

Cheers,

Rosa

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I'm in lemon heaven with these cupcakes! So pretty :)

I haven't seen Hunger Games either but I love HP.

La Table De Nana said...

Your cupcakes are always sensational..My papers always always get discolored:( Why!
My brown tulips..no..but all the pretties?

Oy.

Valerie said...

@Nana, If I know that I'm going to be taking pictures, I double line a few tins...that seems to help the grease from seeping through. :-)

Angry Asian said...

it's funny you mention the Last of the Mohicans, i thought the book was a let down after seeing Michael Mann's adaptation of it. this was a case of the movie being better than the book. (can we still be friends?) in HP's case, the successive movies were great but still, the books were better. i'm quite neutral about the Hunger Games movie + books tho.

Valerie said...

@Lan, It's rare when a movie bests it's book, but it does happen! And yeah, absolutely still friends. :D

Sweet Life said...

Love them! One of my favorite cupcake flavors. Love your pictures too!

Beth said...

I loved the first two Hunger Games books, not so much the third. I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm sure I will. Nothing will ever beat the HP books and movies though!

Jenn Kendall said...

your cupcakes are sooo pretty! and sound seriously delicious with all that lemon! i cannot pipe on icing, it always looks so sad when i make any attempt to do it - i need some serious cupcake decorating help

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

Beautiful cupcakes!

I thought the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was extremely well done given that they took a pretty long book and condensed it into a couple of hours. I actually didn't love love the Hunger Games movie but I thought it was pretty good.

diamond said...

a perfect summer recipe!

grace said...

dah--spoiler alert! i have 'the hunger games' shipping to me right now (thank you, netflix!), and now it's ruined. i'm kidding, of course. i'll forget what i read here in ten minutes. :)

Deb said...

Lemon desserts are my favorite! I have a habit of doubling the zest in every recipe I try. That may or may not be a good idea! Sparkling with zest and creamy frosting, I'm charmed by your refreshing Lemon Cupcakes!

Valerie said...

@grace, So sorry!! I should have given a heads up on the spoilers...in fact, I think I'll do that right now. :D

Erin @ Texanerin Baking said...

I haven't read any of those books or seen any of those movies (embarrassing) except for The Hunger Games. My husband made me watch it a few weeks ago. It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. :)

I love lemon anything and everything so lemon cupcakes and lemon frosting sounds perfect to me. And they're so pretty!

Anonymous said...

I did see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I am a retiree who read two of the books, so far, and loved how closely the movie followed the book. But I went alone (for the first time) because I would have been embarrassed at the graphic scenes from the book. I saw other ladies alone also. The second book was quite slow in the middle. Loved The Hunger Games.

Lizzy Do said...

I used to shy away from making cupcakes because I stink at icing them...but my family would adore these lemon beauties, so I must give them a shot!

Valerie said...

@Lauren and Anon, Thanks for the GWTDT movie reviews! I think I'll give it a chance. :)

@Lizzy Do, About 58% of my cupcakes look like they were frosted by Niles, my cat (after a catnip bender). I only take photos of the 1 or 2 that make it through the chaos of my mad piping. ;)

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I also loved the Hunger Games movies and the books, but, like Beth, not so much the third one. Katniss came over too whimpy in that one.
I also loved the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I haven't read the books. The other two movies weren't as good, I thought.

Anna @ hiddenponies said...

I'm always nervous about seeing movie adaptations of books...and if I watch the movie first I'll almost never read the book since I feel like it'll ruin the movie (recent example - "The Vow" :P).
LOVE these fresh cupcakes!

Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden said...

This cupcakes is so delicious! Lemon is great choice for last summer days! And perfect decoration!I would like to showcase this recipe on my cupcake recipes and ideas blog www.cupcakesgarden.com

Marina@Picnic at Marina said...

Valerie, those are such a beautiful cup cakes! I was reading Cake Boss' book yesterday and decided to try to bake some cup cakes: I've never done it before! :)

Valerie said...

@Marina, Once you make cupcakes, you'll be hooked for life! Enjoy. :D

Kristy @ the wicked noodle said...

I love, love, love lemon desserts. Lemon buttercream, are you kidding me?!! Sounds sooo good. Can't wait to try!

Marissa said...

The cupcakes look amazing...but let's talk books for a moment. I still cannot figure out what all the commotion was about w/ the girl with the dragon tattoo. I just finished it and for over 400 pages i was waiting for something interesting to happen...now i do completely agree w/ you on the hunger games though! ;)

Valerie said...

@Marissa, I think you will get into the series more once you start The Girl Who Played With Fire. Things get interesting. ;D

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Ooh I love the Hunger Games! It was probably the first time a movie version was at par with the book version. In fact, I loved the extended part about the Gamemakers!

The cupcakes look amazing, bookmarked to try, now that I finally have time :)

Unknown said...

Just baked a batch of these lemon cupcakes and they have the perfect cupcake texture. I hv been looking for this type of texture for a long time. They taste great too. Will frost them tomorrow for a gathering. (if i can stop eating them already). Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Mary said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I made a batch of these this week and everyone agreed that the cupcakes were truly divine. Thank you again, Valerie.

Valerie said...

@Mary, Thank you so much for letting me know! I'm so happy you enjoyed the cupcakes...I may have to make them again very soon! :D

Margaret said...

OMG! I just made these for Christmas gifts and tasted one. WOW. These cupcakes are moist, uber-light and absolutely divine!! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible recipe! I was never big on cupcakes but I just might have been converted! LOL

Valerie said...

@Margaret, You're fabulous! I love someone who gets excited over cupcakes because it proves that I'm not alone! :D

Thanks, Margaret!

whoneedsadiet said...

Just made these cupcakes! They turned out amazing and so light! (though I did reduce the sugar in the frosting to just 2 cups because I don't like over-sweet frosting and love that Meyer lemon flavor). Delicious! Can't wait to try out your other recipes.

Suparna

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw your Hunger Games recommendation, I knew these cupcakes would be good because you obviously have great taste!

Miss Lea said...

I need a lemon cupcake recipe for my granddaughter's birthday party tomorrow, and these look exceptional. I enjoyed the Swedish Millennium Series trilogy very much (better than the recent English language version), but I haven't read Stieg Larsson's books. Happy baking/viewing/reading!

 

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