Cupcakes on a weeknight? Absolutely!
The box of Betty Crocker lemon cake has been blowing raspberries at me from the pantry shelf for some weeks. I've been wanting to make lemon cupcakes and either lemon or lime cream cheese icing, but just have not had the time. Today? Time! (So happy to be done with schoolwork for now!)
I actually made 48 mini cupcakes and 8 regular ones. I don't like to fill up the cupcake liners too much, and if there's a muffin top when it's done baking, that's too much! It's easier to pick up if the cake part stays in the liner, so I only fill about halfway up with cake batter.
The icing recipe is from AllRecipes.com and got a lot of positive reviews. I adjusted it somewhat: I left out the butter and used 2 blocks of Philly, and we ran out of lemons to zest before we got to 4 teaspoons, so it got lemon juice, some lemon zest, and not quite a teaspoon of lemon extract instead of the vanilla. I usually like a firmer icing, but stopped adding sugar while this one was still on the creamy side.
I used my #1 favorite 1M tip and then sprinkled the first 35 with yellow Cake Sparkles. The other ones that didn't fit into the pan for delivery to work were sprinkled with vanilla sanding sugar and that was surprisingly yummy! I made Gretchen eat the first one, but we are in agreement that the vanilla smooths out the bright lemon flavor very well indeed.
The ones in the picture above are going to work tomorrow, and the ones that didn't fit into that pan are being divided up! Some are going to Gretchen's folks, and I'm sure my darling husband will want one or two, and Gretchen might want to take a couple home, too. Free cupcakes to good home!
Lessons learned: Keep the butter in next time, and possibly add the vanilla, too. Also, get more lemons!! I don't know how much zest comes off of each lemon, but it isn't very darn much.
Nefarious plans for the future: I want one of those peeler thingies that makes tiny little citrus peel curls so that I can do this. And I want a microplane too. Too much of that precious zest was lost in the knucklebuster. Wooo! Wouldn't candied lemon or lime peels be a fantastic addition to the top of a lemon cupcake??