- The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
For the Lemon Cupcakes:
(enough for 10 - 12)
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour (decrease to 1 cup for sea-level)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons for sea-level)
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of whole milk, at room temperature (decrease to 1/2 cup for sea-level)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
For the Lemon Frosting:
(enough for 12 cupcakes)
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus extra to decorate
- a couple of drops of yellow food coloring
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook's Lemon Cupcakes Recipe(Adapted for a high-altitude environment of approximately 5,000 ft)
- Preheat the oven to 375 (F) -- this is a 50 (F)-degree increase from the original recipe temperature of 325 (F).
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
- Gradually pour in the milk and beat until just incorporated.
- Add the egg to the flour mixture and continue beating until the flour is just incorporated, making sure to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the batter is smooth, but be careful not to overmix.
- Using a cookie scoop, spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter into cupcake cases (or, fill until the case is two-thirds full). Bake in the preheated for 20-25 miutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out into a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lemon frosting on top and use extra lemon zest to decorate accordingly.
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook's Lemon Frosting Recipe
(For All Altitudes)
- Beat together the confectioners' sugar, butter, lemon zest, and food coloring in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed. Continue until the mixture is well-mixed.
- Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the milk.
- Once the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
- Continue beat until the frosting is light and fluffy; this should take at least 5 minutes.
Tips & Addendums
- When grating your lemons, make sure grate as little as you can of the lemon's white peel -- the white peel is what gives citrus fruits its bitter taste. You only want the yellow of the rind.
- All spoon measurements are level and unsifted, unless otherwise specified. To level the ingredients, take the back of a knife and run it across the top of the measuring up until the excess ingredients are scraped off.
- Liquid and dry measuring cups are different; please make sure you use the appropriate measuring cup for each ingredient.
- After adding liquid (milk, eggs) to the flour mixture, don't overbeat as this will overwork the flour and make the cake dense -- simply beat or stir until liquids have just been incorporated. In my opinion, making sure you don't overbeat the batter is one of the hardest parts about baking.
- Don't open your oven until at least the minimum time recommended has passed. Too much cold air coming from a frequently opened oven door causes irregular oven temperatures, which then affect the baking process.
- Specifically for the frosting: the longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
- I like to use a cookie scoop to measure out frosting onto my cupcakes; that way each cupcake will receive an equal amount of frosting.
- Add your extra decorations (e.g. lemon zest) immediately after you have frosted the cupcake; if you wait to decorate the cake, the frosting will harden and the decorations will bounce right off the frosting.