My husband often remarks he’s quite certain, that as a child one of my favorite things must have been playing “house”. Guess what ? He’s 100% correct!
I have a sneaking suspicion he says this because he knows that I still love it! Though I’ve had an outside-the-home career for over thirty-five years, to this day, there’s not much I enjoy more than tinkering around in the kitchen, creating new recipes, thinking up fun presentations for my food, setting pretty tablescapes, shopping for new home accessories, looking at the latest decorating ideas, etc. This past week I’ve gotten to play “house” in a delightful way, you see, all week long I’ve been playing with this.
So sleep’s been a bit short and our time’s been a bit consumed, (in a wonderful way) as we’ve helped the new little family get settled. A few amazing blogging friends have agreed to help out at The Café during this time and today I’m so excited for you to meet my friend, Tricia from Saving Room for Dessert. I know you’re going to love her fabulous Limoncello Cupcakes as well as her beautiful blog as much as I do. Tricia always has something unique and wonderful to share. Her way of describing food is delightful and her photos are phenomenal! She always has me wanting to run to the market and buy the ingredients to prepare her food. I was beyond confident, when Tricia agreed to do a guest blog, that it would be spectacular. I’m not disappointed in any sense.
For as long as I can remember (digging deep in my blogging memories here) I’ve been visiting Chris at The Café Sucré Farine and am always impressed with her beautiful fresh ideas, amazing photography, all those gorgeous (mostly) healthy dishes, her fresh, perfect rolls and impressive desserts. Imagine how thrilled I was to be invited to guest post today! This is like being invited into her kitchen to cook up something special for her friends and family. Such a special occasion for Chris welcoming her brand new granddaughter Emery, into the family. Thanks Chris – I am honored to be here.
I took this opportunity to try out new baking cups found at our local grocery store. These baking cups are decorative, disposable with no pre-greasing or messy clean-ups. You can bake, serve, store and gift your goodies all in one convenient baking cup.
When I think of The Café Sucré Farine I know there will be something bright, fresh and totally drool worthy posted. So I wanted to keep the theme going and make something fresh, bright and perfect for the Easter holiday or to celebrate the coming of Spring, you know… celebrating new life! OK cupcakes don’t exactly scream “new life” but the limoncello infused cake, tart lemon curd filling and limoncello buttercream frosting are all tart, fresh, perky, sweet and bright. Is this lemon overload? Not a chance. These components are perfect together.
This recipe made 10 baking cup-sized cupcakes, but would probably make 12 regular cupcakes.
The cupcakes were easily removed from the baking cups and all cooked evenly. I’m impressed! I am also very impressed with the combination of lemon flavors in this recipe. You can make your own Lemon Curd several days in advance and, if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own Limoncello. Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that requires very little effort to make. It’s also easy to find in your local liquor store. Lemon rinds are soaked in vodka for 10 -14 days then added to a simple syrup made with sugar and water. It keeps indefinitely in the freezer and is best served cold, or in cupcakes and buttercream frosting!
- For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tablespoons limoncello
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- For the Lemon Curd Filling:
- also available in the jelly and jam section of your grocery store
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter cubed
- zest of 2 lemons
- For the Limoncello Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 stick of unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons limoncello
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners sugar sifted (more or less as desired)
- For the lemon curd, zest two lemons and set aside. Juice 4 or more lemons or enough to make 3/4 cup juice. Strain the pulp and seed from the lemon juice before measuring.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended. Add butter and lemon peel. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the curd is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- This recipe make about 3 times the amount you will need for 10-12 cupcakes. Divide the recipe in half or save the remaining lemon curd to serve over pound cake, muffins, pancakes or waffles.
- For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350˚F. degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium until light and creamy - about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat another minute or until incorporated.
- On a low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and blend just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups or 10 baking cups as pictured. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
- For the limoncello buttercream, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy.
- Add the limoncello and vanilla. Blend another minute or until fully incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth.
- To assemble the cupcakes, using a small paring knife cut a cylinder or cone shaped hole in the middle of each cupcake. Using the knife you can trim out a little extra depending on how much lemon curd you would like to use. I followed mine out a bit more to allow a thick section of filling.
- Fill each opening with lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with the buttercream frosting and pipe the limoncello frosting onto each cupcake. Decorate with additional fresh lemon zest if desired. Refrigerate until served.
*This lemon curd recipe make about 3 times the amount you will need for 10-12 cupcakes. Divide the recipe in half or save the remaining lemon curd to serve over pound cake, muffins, pancakes or waffles.