Don’t forget to hop on over to her website after this.
Although I may have said a few times over the last year that cupcakes are totally an unsustainable fad in our industry, I still love them. I do, on the other hand, find it a big extreme to open a store that sells nothing but cupcakes, but that’s just me. Cupcakes are fun, come in every flavour, colour and design and please kids and adults alike. The fact that they fit in the palm of your hand is merely an afterthought to most.
Some of you may have experienced people’s less than thrilled attitude at the thought of eating a whole slice of cake. As if eating one slice of cake may throw off their entire diet/workout routine/lifestyle change/etc. So having tiny, cute, paper wrapped cupcakes on hand can appease even the most picky of dessert eaters. This is not a problem in my house, to say the least. If anything, there is a collective sigh when cupcakes are made, and a settling on the fact that you should only eat one and not the whole batch.
More than my love of tiny confectionary is my love of this time of year. There’s just something special about the time just before spring. The birds begin to chirp each morning, the sun is out earlier and stays out just a bit later. But my favourite is the peak of citrus. There are so many to choose from coming out of California. Many that I have never even tried, such as Buddha’s Hand, Pommelos, mandarinquats, etc. A plethora of fantastic flavours to add to salads or desserts, or simply to peel and eat. Being seasonal is important to me and even desserts should fall in that category most of the time.
When I thought of what I absolutely needed to have dessert-wise, citrus was my first thought. That bright, bursting in your mouth, juicy flavour of meyer lemon was the top of my list and good thing, because there is a case of them in my fridge.
These cupcakes are sweet, citrusy and with just the right amount of vanilla. I love a good pronounced nuttiness from the poppyseeds, so there is more of them in there than you may be used to , but just trust me. The cream cheese frosting marries perfectly with the citrus and you’ll be wishing you doubled the recipe after you take that first lemony bite.
Poppyseed Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
zest and juice of one meyer lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper or silicone liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl.
3. In bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about five minutes.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time, ensuring they are completely incorporated before continuing to the next one.
5. Mix in the zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
6. Add flour and buttermilk to batter in two separate additions, beating completely between additions.
7. Fold in poppyseeds.
8. Fill cupcake liners 7/8 of the way to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating half way through baking time.
9. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 1/2-3 cups icing sugar
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
2. Slowly add in vanilla.
3. Slowly stir in icing sugar on low speed one cup at a time.
4. Pipe onto cupcakes and serve immediately.