Here it is one week into Summer. There are green tomatoes on the vine. Decorations are coming out for the Fourth of July celebration. The days are getting shorter. It will be six months until the days begin to get longer.
I am doing my baking early in the morning before the heat of the day and my oven battle for the attention of the A/C. Today is the birthday of my BFF, Champagne Girl. Girl doesn’t cook or bake and she is the first to tell you. She almost worships my food. She is in awe of my grouting skills. And, she tells me all the time how good I am and how much she loves me. That, my Gravy friends, is a true friend.
A true friend also plans and schemes with you, always resulting in your next adventure. We share secrets of our lives with each other and spread the word of need and comfort as it is required. Champagne Girl loves lemons and blues music. (Not in that order)
Today, in her honor, I am making a lemon dessert for her. Lemon cupcakes, filled with lemon curd, and topped with lemon butter cream frosting. The perfect ending for a birthday dinner on a hot and sultry Summer evening. Happy Birthday Champagne Girl!!!!!
Here is the recipe for the cupcakes and the frosting. The lemon curd will require a post all to itself….because homemade lemon curd is right up there with Nutella, Kit Kat candy bars, and Champagne. It’s that good.
makes 24 to 30 cupcakes from Alpineberry
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake wells with paper cupcake liners.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix in the vanilla.
Combine buttermilk, heavy cream and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
Fill each cupcake paper 2/3 full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
Nella’s Lemon Butter Cream Frosting
2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
2 sticks of very soft butter, salted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from 1/2 lemon
6 Tablespoons water
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water. Beat on high. Alternately add some powdered sugar and water (a tablespoon at a time), beating on medium until all is incorporated. Scrape sides as needed. Add the lemon zest and then beat on high for 2 minutes. Store unused frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator.