Attempt #2: Cupcakes

Due to the success of my first cake atempt, I was inspired to brave the kitchen once more. This time, I was going to make cupcakes. I searched for a simple recipe on my favorite food website foodnetwork.com and found one by Nigella Lawson (again!).  The fact that I’m using her recipe twice in a row is purely coincidental.

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I tweaked this recipe a bit because I wanted lemon flavored cupcakes. So instead of using 2 tsp. of vanilla extract as directed, I only put one tsp. and substituted the other one with one tsp. of lemon juice and rind.  I realized after putting my mixture in the oven that maybe that was not enough to give it a lemony flavor so I tweaked the recipe for the royal icing as well.

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The result was a very light cupcake that had a hint of lemon in it. The icing came out with more lemon flavor but it was a bit too sweet for me. I am really not a big fan of sugar icing and prefer buttercream icing. Hmmmm. Maybe for my third attempt?

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Special equipment: 12 bun muffin pan, lined with muffin papers.

Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to get to room temperature – and this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the cupcakes later – and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all of the ingredients for the cupcakes except for the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smooth dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture between a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top. Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

Ice with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

  • 2 large egg whites (or substitute powdered egg whites)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice, this will thin out the icing. Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cupcakes.

Yield: sufficient to generously ice 12 cupcakes

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