Strawberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes

When I first saw these over at Coconut & Lime, I knew I simply HAD to try them. The first attempt last week... well, we won't talk about those.

But THIS batch! Oh wow. I really wish my camera batteries hadn't died. By the time it's charged, they could very well be gone. My guinea pigs taste-testers at work (Henelyne, Johanna, Greg, Ella) loved them. And ya know what? Dave's even eaten a few. I'm down to three of them left in the fridge, from the original dozen I made on Wednesday night. So I guess that's a good sign. :D

Again, no picture because the camera batteries pooped out. Next time because I WILL be making these again.

7 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1½ cups flour
12 small to medium strawberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, cream butter, zest, and sugar. Add juice and eggs. The mixture may look curdled. Mix in buttermilk. Slowly add flour, beating for an additional 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Fill muffin cups 3/4s full. Insert berry into the center of the cup.

Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or until a tootpick inserted outside of the strawberry comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

I used a basic cream cheese recipe (as much as I hate making my own frosting), but you could easily do buttercream or something lemony. (Oh, yes, I did often find myself going, "Lemony Snickett!" while making these. *shrug* /ends geekiness)

8 ounces cream cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, beating well. Gradually add sugar. Let sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to thicken.

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