Have you noticed the severe lack of cupcakes on the blog? I have yet to share even one cupcake recipe in 2014.
WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?! IT MUST BE PUT TO A STOP AT ONCE!
So say hello to these fresh and fruity Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes!
A fluffy vanilla cake with fresh lemon zest, stuffed with sweet strawberry jam, and topped with tart lemonade frosting, these Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes are the perfect addition to any Spring party or Summer BBQ!
Yes, I am already imagining Summer. I need to imagine that this year, Summer in NJ will be something akin to Spring everywhere else, since Spring is just a cruel extension of Winter at the moment with hints of sunshine. Since, you know, we had snow the other day.
But I won’t get into that. Today I just want to chat to you about these fabulous cupcakes, since I received roaring reviews at work last week. I share all of my sweet treats with my co-workers and I wish I could include photos of the facial expressions I saw when my friends bit into these cupcakes.
Sheer bliss, my friends, sheer bliss. One co-worker even went so far as to say it was the best cupcake he’s ever had.
So why aren’t you running to make these cupcakes right now?!
First thing’s first, you need to bake up some cupcakes. This is my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe, but I’ve added some fresh lemon zest to in order to complement the frosting. I know the addition of lemon zest doesn’t seem that mind-blowing, but I’ll let you in on the secret:
before you do anything else, rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers. If you just throw the lemon zest in willy nilly, it’ll clump and stick to your whisk/mixer and the flavor won’t distribute evenly. Rubbing it into the sugar helps the flavor cling to each and every sugar granule, which means fresh lemony flavor in every bite.
Once your cupcakes are baked and cooled, make a little core in the center of each cupcake with a small knife (or, if you’re one of those fancy folk who own a “cupcake plunger,” now is the time to break that bad boy out). I make the hole big enough to hold 1 tbsp of jam/filling, but make sure you don’t cut all the way into the bottom of your cupcake, otherwise the jam will leak out. And no one wants leaky cupcakes.
Then all you need to do is whip up the tangy lemonade frosting and pipe/frost to your heart’s content! The frosting is a little thick, but if you keep those lemons around that you zested earlier for the cupcake batter, you can use as much of the fresh lemon juice as you want to adjust the consistency. Powdered sugar is so freakin’ sweet that you’re going to want to rely on lemon juice as opposed to cream or milk to do this. Trust me. The goal is a sweet yet tart frosting, very reminiscent of actual lemonade. That’s why I include lemonade powder in the ingredients below. It blends in perfectly without adding any grit, and provides the perfect level of pucker.
These cupcakes are the best blend of sweet and tart imaginable, and I promise you’ll be making second (and third!) batches as we get closer and closer to Summer.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake Brownies!