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Lemon Cupcakes with French Vanilla Buttercream

Patricia Reitz

Lemon Cupcakes with French Vanilla Buttercream - ButterYum

Has Spring sprung in your neighborhood?  It certainly has here.  We have beautiful blooms everywhere and the bright sunshine reminds me that I need to share these cheerfully scrumptious lemon cupcakes with you.  Be careful though... they're addictive.  Happy Spring!!!

Lemon Cupcakes with French Vanilla Buttercream

Printable Recipe

makes 24 cupcakes using a #20 scoop (recipe may be halved)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (see substitution below)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (see substitution below)
  • 4 large egg whites (reserve yolks for French Vanilla Buttercream below)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon oil (not extract - see substitution below)

Directions (no need to preheat oven at this point - the cupcake batter needs to rest for 20 minutes before baking so turn the oven on after you finish mixing the batter)

  1. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and lemon oil; set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. 
  4. Turn off the mixer and add 1/3 of the flour mixture; mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. 
  5. Add 1/2 of the wet ingredients; mix just until incorporated. 
  6. Repeat process with 1/3 of the dry, remaining half of the wet, and remaining third of the dry ingredients, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. 
  7. Set mixture aside to rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  9. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. 
  10. Fill each liner with a level scoop of batter using a #20 scoop. 
  11. Bake for 15 minutes, cool completely. 
  12. Pipe with French Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below).

Notes:

  • To substitute 1 cup of cake flour - combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and enough all-purpose flour to equal 1 cup (bleached all-purpose flour is preferred)
  • To substitute 1 cup of buttermilk - combine 1 tablespoon vinegar and enough milk to equal 1 cup
  • To substitute 1 teaspoon lemon oil - use 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract plus the zest of 2 lemons

French Vanilla Buttercream

makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 75 grams egg yolks (about 4 egg yolks)
  • 100 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 110 grams light corn syrup (about 2 2/3 tablespoons)
  • 300 grams unsalted butter, softened (about 2/3 pound)
  • 4 grams pure vanilla extract (about 1 teaspoon)

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks until light yellow in color; turn off the mixer until you're ready to add the hot sugar syrup.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar and corn syrup together, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil. 
  3. Immediately pour a small amount of the hot syrup into the beaten egg yolks and turn the mixer on right away for a few seconds; turn off and scrape the inside of the bowl with a spatula. 
  4. Repeat the process using 1/2 of the remaining sugar syrup; mix again for several seconds, turn off, and scrape bowl. 
  5. Add the remaining sugar syrup and turn the mixer back on, this time allowing it to continue to mix until the egg mixture is completely cool, about 5 minutes (feel the bottom of the bowl to gauge the temperature of the mixture). 
  6. When the egg mixture is completely cool, beat in the softened butter and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. 
  7. Pipe buttercream onto completely cooled cupcakes. 
  8. Garnish as desired and serve cupcakes at room temperature. 
  9. Refrigerate unused buttercream - allow to come to room temp before using (you may need to whisk the room temp buttercream to restore it's creamy texture).