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Citrus Cornmeal Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberries, Fig Jam, and Goat Cheese Frosting

yield: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

For the Citrus Cornmeal Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • fresh zest from 1 small lemon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, divided into two 1/4 cup portions
  • 1 large egg

For the Goat Cheese Frosting and Fruit Topping

    (makes enough for 12 cupcakes)

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
    • 2 tablespoons Bonne Maman fig jam

    Instructions

    For the Citrus Cornmeal Cupcakes

    • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 (F). Prepare a muffin tin by lining each of its cavities with a cupcake liner.
    • In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and the fresh zest from 1 small lemon. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, until the zest is well incorporated throughout the sugar and the mixture becomes fragrant. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the lemon-infused sugar (from the 2nd step), 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt, and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Beat on the mixer's lowest setting until the mixture turns sandy and the ingredients are well combined. Pour in 1/4 cup of the milk and continue beating until the milk is just incorporated.
    • In the bowl of a liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1 large egg with the remaining 1/4 cup milk. Pour the mixture into the rest of the batter, and continue beating until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix!
    • Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center of each cupcake should come out clean.┬áLet the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out into a wire rack to cool completely.
    • When the cupcakes are completely cold, spoon the frosting on top and decorate accordingly.

    For the Goat Cheese Frosting and Fruit Topping

    • In the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 8 ounces cream cheese and 4 ounces goat cheese. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined, before adding 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once all the confectioners' sugar is added, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and beat until just incorporated.
    • Use a piping bag or an offset spatula to spoon the frosting on to the top of each cooled cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with strawberries and a dollop of fig jam. Serve immediately.