There’s something delightful about mixing sweet and sour flavours to challenge the senses. My lemon cupcakes are light, fluffy and bittersweet – perfect for afternoon tea in the sunshine. Complete with streaky frosting swirls and a cute blueberry and fondant flower, they are sure to brighten up your day.
Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)
For the cupcake batter…
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
115g caster sugar
1 1/3 tsp lemon zest
1 1/3 tsp lemon juice
For the cupcake frosting…
265g icing sugar
2/3 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 tsp lemon zest
2/3 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp milk
1 drop of blue and yellow food colouring
1/2 pack of fondant
5 cocktail sticks (not to eat, don’t worry!)
How to make the cupcakes…
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the other dry ingredients (baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt).
- Put the butter in a second bowl (this bowl needs to be large as it will be the main mixing bowl) and melt in the microwave so that it’s softer and ready for mixing.
- Add the sugar to the butter and mix them together until creamy.
- Crack the eggs into a third bowl and whisk gently to get a smooth consistency.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients to the bowl with the eggs (milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice). Also grate lemon zest into this bowl. Stir everything.
- Add half of the contents of the first bowl to the second bowl (with the butter and sugar). Fold in the dry ingredients carefully so that the batter will be light and fluffy.
- Add half of the contents of the third bowl to the second bowl and continue to fold.
- Repeat the previous two steps so that all the ingredients are now in the large mixing bowl and folded in.
- Line a baking tray with cupcake cases (the mixture is a little bit greasy so foil cases will work better than paper ones).
- Spoon the batter into the cases so that they are 2/3 full.
- Put the tray in the over for 20-25 minutes. Test the cupcakes after 20 minutes with a cocktail stick (if it comes out clean, it’s ready).
- Place the tray on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes before decorating. Whilst you’re waiting, do some washing up, clear your surface and make the frosting/decorations!
How to make the frosting…
- Put the butter in a mixing bowl and melt in the microwave to soften it.
- Sift in the icing sugar in small amounts, mixing it in well before adding the next bit.
- Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon extract.
- The milk is simply to make the frosting softer and easier to pipe. If the frosting is already smooth, the milk is not needed, but if it’s still sticky and powdery, keep adding the milk in tablespoons until the consistency is as you desire.
How to decorate the cupcakes…
- Split the frosting mixture in half and put each half in a separate bowl.
- Get two piping bags ready with a star-shaped nozzle in each.
- Pour a drop of yellow food colouring down the inside of the piping bag so that it makes a streak all the way down. Repeat this so that there are a few streaks running down all the way round the inside. This may be messy so hold the piping bag inside a tall glass to catch stray drops of food colouring if needed. Do the same with blue food colouring in the other piping bag. I chose yellow to represent the lemon flavour, and blue to complement the blueberry decoration.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, starting in the middle and spiralling outwards.
- Roll out your fondant on a suface lightly spinkled with spare icing sugar.
- Use flower shaped cutters to make fondant flowers, and gently press them onto the centre of the freshly frosted cupcakes.
- Snap 5 cocktail sticks in half and push each half through the centre of each cupcake.
- Attach a blueberry to the top of the cocktail stick, which will hold it in place.
- Sprinkle edible glitter over the cupcakes to make them sparkle!