Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

Cupcakes remind me of my childhood. I think they were one of the very first things my mom ever taught me to make. She bought me an adorable kiddies cookbook and pretty much let me wreck havoc in the kitchen. I still have the book. Most of the pages are glued shut with batter but I treasure that thing like a bar of gold.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

This recipe is so simple and so speedy from start to finish. The perfect tea time snack, birthday treat, dinner dessert or peace offering for your neighbour when you might have had a bit of a rowdy party on the weekend… Whoops.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

I added lemon zest to the batter as I am in a love affair with lemons at the moment. Well always. But you can add orange zest, almond extract, a dash of brandy… Whatever floats your cupcake boat. I love this recipe because of the nostalgia and because of the final product. Light, fluffy, buttery, moist little cakes that really scream just-one-more-bite-your-jeans-are-made-of-stretchy-material.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing

makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 280g flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 120g butter, melted and cooled
  • 50g organic maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 lemons

Icing:

  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 280g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 200˚C and line a cupcake tin or two with cupcake holders.

Place flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk them together.

Mix eggs, milk, maple syrup, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until half incorporated.

Pour in the melted butter and mix everything until smooth.

Fill cupcake moulds two thirds of the way up and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a cooling rack.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

For the icing: Whip butter until soft and fluffy and incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Ice cupcakes when they have cooled completely and decorate with fruit, flowers, glitter and love.

Now just for shits and giggles I decided to use some of my batter in a Madeleine pan.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

Why? Well why not? Should Madeleines be the only batter allowed to grace this adorable little sea shell pan? I think not.

So I greased my Madeleine pan and popped in a scant tablespoon of cupcake batter. Baked them with the cupcakes at 200˚C but for probably 3/4 of the baking time.

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

The best part is now where do you put the icing? Well I stuffed them with it! Using a sharp small knife make a little hole in the underside of the Madeleine and create a little cavity. Pop your icing into a piping bag and fill the little cavity with icing. Voilà! Now go make a cup of tea and these babies!

Zesty Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Icing | The Secret Life of Bee

 

 

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