Ok, so here’s my first proper recipe. And it goes like this:
For the past week I’ve been thinking about making something lemony, maybe a pudding, maybe cake, I wasn’t sure. But I was sure enough to buy a couple of lemons last time I went shopping. And they have been sat there like, well, like lemons, ever since. Yesterday I decided I wanted some nice, light, fluffy lemon cupcakes with fluffy buttercream icing. The problem was, all the recipe books and recipe sites I use don’t have such a cake. They all offer recipes for heavy lemon pound cakes with glacé icing drizzled over the top. So, armed with a recipe for guidance, and the knowledge that even if it didn’t turn out right, it was still cake, so it was still good, right? I set out this afternoon to concoct my own lemon cupcakes. Here goes.
4½ oz butter
4½ oz sugar
4½ oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp sour cream (see post on substitute sour cream)
zest of 1 lemon
Beat the butter in a bowl to soften it, then add the sugar and cream together. Beat in the eggs one at a time until they are well mixed. Add in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix well. (You can sift the flour if you want, but I’m more of a ‘dump it in’ kinda girl.) Stir in the sour cream and lemon zest. Now, I call these cupcakes, but when I say cupcakes I mean muffin sized cupcakes. So I use a muffin tin and muffin cases. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases (a well rounded dessert spoon in each case), and then bake for about 20 minutes at 180ºC. Once cooked, leave them in the tin for a few minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.
The icing was the really experimental part, and I ran out of icing sugar, but it worked, so I’ll tell you exactly how I did it!
11 oz icing sugar (it really is a good idea to sift icing sugar, especially if it turns into solid lumps like mine always seems to do!)
5 oz butter
juice of ½ lemon
Beat the butter to soften it a little, then add the lemon juice and about half the icing sugar. If you don’t want the icing to be too lemony, then just add a couple of tablespoons of juice instead of all of it, but once the icing was on the cake it tasted perfect. Keep adding icing sugar as you stir, until it’s all used up or it feels thick enough. If you think it’s still a bit soft, you can either put it in the fridge for a while or add more sugar. Once the cakes are cool enough, spread the icing on them. Now try to resist tasting!