Happy Wednesday, friends!
Are you enjoying the short week? I know I am. I mean, who doesn’t love waking up thinking it’s Tuesday and actually having it be Wednesday? (Though it does mean one less day to prep for finals…yeesh. Oh well).
Today I have some bright and sunny cupcakes for you, perfect for a treat-yourself kinda breakfast, or a light dessert after a summer BBQ. Fluffy, airy cake with a delightful texture twist from the poppy seeds (one word or two? You tell me) topped with a sweet lemon-lime buttercream frosting.
And, of course, matching sprinkles, ’cause why not? 😉
Alright, I need to fess up.
These were supposed to be muffins (oops?).
But, as I’ve come to realize, lemon desserts are the trickiest dang desserts ever, so fickle with their chemistry and egg temperatures and whatnot. I was so, so careful when making these, making sure my egg was at room-temperature and I had proper buttermilk and everything. I even whipped an egg white until soft peaks were formed, and still:
they were flat. 😦
But, as I stood in front of my sad muffins, I realized what exactly my seemingly failed muffin tops were good for–
And that’s exactly what I did. 🙂
So, with a delicious bowl of icing next to me, I topped each cupcake with a swirl of frosting, a smattering of yellow sprinkles, a pinch of poppy seeds, and a perfect lil raspberry.
They’re not the most photogenic dessert I’ve ever photographed, but it was pouring rain outside and stupid-humid inside, so for all intents & purposes, I think they look pretty darn good (and they taste even better so 😉 ).
Side note: I was reading something online the other day, and I saw the phrase “for all intents & purposes” written as “for all intensive purpose”.
What exactly is an intensive purpose? The world may never know–but the world does have lemon poppyseed cupcakes, so, y’know. Everybody wins. 🙂
To make these lemony bits of sunshine, there are a couple of things you should do before starting to actually make them, like zesting the two lemons needed, and squeezing out all of the juice you need from then (fun fact: they’re much easier to squeeze when zested). You should also have your eggs warmed to room temperature, and separated at that, yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
Once that is done, you can go ahead and get started. These cupcakes begin like most cupcakes do–by creaming some good ol’ butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy. You then can go ahead and whisk together the dry ingredients–your flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, salt, and zest. You’ll then add the yolks, one at a time, to the sugary-butter-mixture, beating well after each. After this, you’ll begin to alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and vanilla.
It’s very important that you only beat the batter until everything’s just combined, something that I didn’t do enough, and that contributed to the sorriness of the flat-topped cupcakes. Again, with lemon desserts and their fickleness, beating the batter too much results in the breakdown of some protein or another that causes flat cupcakes.
As soon as everything is mixed together, you can go ahead and whip the egg whites with a hand-held mixer until soft peaks form. You’ll take these and very, very carefully fold these into the muffin batter with a spatula.
Emphasis on carefully. 😉
These bad boys will then go in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the middles set. While these are baking, you can go ahead and whip together this quick lemon-lime frosting. All it takes is a stick of butter, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice (depends on how you want it to taste–an excuse for taste-testing as you go, right? 😀 ), and a bit of vanilla, and bam, you’ve got yourself some deliciously tangy frosting.
Wait until the cupcakes are cool before frosting, or else you’ll have a runny, sticky mess on your hands–once they’re frosted, however, who says you have to wait? Like I said, it’s a nice treat for breakfast, or a light dessert after dinner.
Any time is cupcake time.
Let’s get to it, shall we?