Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone Frosting

The summer months bring on the heat, high humidity and the need for things that cool us off!  I’m a fan of winter and baking most, but I also love the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer, especially watermelon.  When it comes to baking, I’m looking for things that are lighter and not as heavy as some of the recipes in the fall and winter.  I love lime and lemon and berry recipes most when it comes to summer baking. With all the roadside stands selling fruit and vegetable produce, they have made it so easy to pick them upon our way home from work.

 

This recipe has got to be less in fat and calories right?  Ok, so it still has calories and fat, but it is more refreshing and lighter, right?  This is a recipe that Giada made on her show on the Food Network channel.  She used a boxed  Angel Food cake mix for cupcake part of this recipe, but adds a couple of things to make it a bit homemade.  I have an Angel Food cake recipe posted that you can use for cupcakes id you want to make them homemade, just click the link Angel Food Cake .  The icing uses Mascarpone cheese, but if you don’t have this kind of cheese, or you can substitute cream cheese in place of the M  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did and as much as the corpsman did at the hospital.

 

Happy Cupcake Baking!

 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Icing_3

 

 

 

Lemon Curd:

 

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

Zest of 2 lemons

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 large lemons

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon fine salt

4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

 

Cupcakes:

1 (1-pound) box angel food cake mix

1 cup water

Zest of 2 lemons

1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Mascarpone Frosting:

 

2 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons mascarpone, at room temperature

2 tablespoons milk, chilled

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Silver or pastel dragees (sprinkles)  Jordon almonds or yellow sanding sugar to decorate

 

For the cupcakes:

 

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.

Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cake mix, water, lemon zest and juice. Beat the mixture on low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate the ingredients, then increase the speed to medium for 1 minute until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Use a scoop or spoon to fill the liners 3/4 full with the batter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden brown and the cracks on top feel dry.

Cool the cupcakes completely before filling and frosting, about 30 minutes.

To fill the cupcakes, use a small spoon to push a shallow hole in the center of each cupcake. Fill the center with 1 teaspoon of the lemon curd.

Drizzle the cupcake with some of the frosting to cover the top.

Sprinkle with the decoration of your choice. Allow the cupcakes to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

 

 

For the frosting:

 

Whisk together the powdered sugar, mascarpone, milk, and vanilla until smooth and shiny.

 

For the curd:

 

Whisk together the yolks, lemon zest, juice, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.

Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan.

Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon or spatula, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until the consistency of the curd is smooth.

Transfer the curd to a heat-proof bowl and cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate the curd until firm and chilled, about 1 hour.

 

For the cupcakes:

 

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.

Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cake mix, water, lemon zest and juice. Beat the mixture on low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate the ingredients, then increase the speed to medium for 1 minute until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Use a scoop or spoon to fill the liners 3/4 full with the batter.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden brown and the cracks on top feel dry.

Cool the cupcakes completely before filling and frosting, about 30 minutes.

 

For the frosting:

 

Whisk together the powdered sugar, mascarpone, milk, and vanilla until smooth and shiny.

To fill the cupcakes, use a small spoon to push a shallow hole in the center of each cupcake.

Fill the center with 1 teaspoon of the lemon curd. Drizzle the cupcake with some of the frosting to cover the top.

Sprinkle with the decoration of your choice. Allow the cupcakes to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

 

 

Yield: 24 cupcakes

 

Angel Food Cupcake with Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Icing_2

 

 

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Another great recipe for lemon cupcakes, this recipe is from Food Network magazine, May 2014 issue.  This cupcake is very lemony and very moist.  I usually buy Food Network magazine, but I buy it mainly in the fall and winter and spring.  The main reason for not buying it as much in the summer is because so many recipes are about grilling, fruit salads and summer vegetables.  Now, I have nothing against any of the three things mentioned because I love all of them, I just do not feel there are enough baking recipes in the summer issues, not enough to buy the magazine in the summer months anyway.

 

On the front cover of the May issue (spring) are 4 cupcakes, one Orange Cream, one Key Lime, one Candied Grapefruit and Triple Lemon cupcakes, I decided to make the Lemon cupcakes.  I have to admit, I didn’t use the icing on the cupcakes below, but I did use the recipe for the lemon cupcakes.  I had previously made “Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing” for a small wedding cake (request from one of the corpsman I work with at the Navy hospital) and after making the icing I knew I would have to make more icing.  Since the Swiss Meringue Icing uses 12 egg whites, I needed 12 more eggs.  I had plenty of eggs, but it also called for butter and I only had two sticks of butter left in the fridge, SO, I had to make a different icing instead of the Swiss Meringue Icing.  So, all went well with the cake and it turned out very nice, and the corpsman loved the cake!  Since I had a lot of Swiss Meringue Icing to use, I decided to make the lemon cupcakes and use the Swiss Meringue Icing instead.   I’ll post the recipe for the Lemon Frosting that was used for the cupcakes in the magazine, but I’ll also post the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing as well.  I hope you enjoy this cupcake as much as I do!

 

 

Happy Cupcake Baking!

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For the Cupcakes

 

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sliced almonds

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

For the Frosting:

 

2/3 cup plus 11/4 cup sugar

3 large egg whites at room temperature

2 sticks Un-salted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

4 drips yellow food coloring (optional)

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

 

For the Candied Zest

 

4 lemons

3/4 cup sugar

 

 

To Make the Cupcake:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.  Combine the flour and almonds in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground, about 1 minute.  Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt and pulse to combine.

 

2. Whisk the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, vegetable  oil, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them three-quarters of the way.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pan 5 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely.

 

To Make Frosting:

 

3. Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers, 240, about 12 minutes.  Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with a mixer on medium high and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes.  With the mixer running, slowly pour in the sugar syrup and beat until cool and glossy, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Add the butter a little at a time, beating until incorporated.  (It’s ok if the mixture looks curdled at first; continue beating).  Beat in the food coloring, then add the lemon zest and juice  and beat until smooth, 2 more minutes.

5.  Make the candied zest.  Remove the lemon zest with a vegetable peeler and slice into thin strands.  Place in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Drain the zest and return it to the saucepan; cover with water and repeat 2 more times.  Bring the sugar and 3/4 cup water to a bare simmer in a separate saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Add the lemon zest strands and cook over low heat, 20 minutes.  Drain the zest and arrange in clusters on a parchment-lined baking sheet, let dry.

6. Frost the cupcakes and top with the candied lemon zest.

 

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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

 

Ingredients:

 

5 large egg whites

1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 pound (4-sticks) UN-salted butter, softened, cut into cubes

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

 

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with a paper towel and vinegar to remove any trace of grease.  Add egg whites and sugar and simmer over a pot of hot water (not boiling), whisking constantly until temperature reaches 140F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy and cool.  Switch over to the paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed, gradually add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and then mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if it curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).

Keep in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, re-whipping in mixer for 5 minutes.  Can freeze for up to 6 to 8 weeks.

Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake.

Now here’s a really good cake that is also easy to make and so yummy, but, you have to like peanut butter and have no peanut allergies.  There is something about this cake that makes you want to go back for more again and again.  This would be a great cake to take to any gathering, indoors as well as outdoors.  This is also a very simple cake to make, and great one for new bakers. I would NOT recommend this recipe to small children because you have to use the stove, unless they are supervised by an adult.  This is a cake that is hard to stop eating! I started to swirl melted fudge throughout this cake but decided against it…but, you can change it in many ways. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do . This cake recipe is from a magazine called “Cupcakes and More” by Gooseberry Patch., on magazine stands now.  This recipe is a keeper for sure!

 

Happy Sheet Cake Baking!

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Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon milk

16-ounce package powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Garnish:  chopped pecans

Directions for Cake

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine butter, water and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Add to flour-mixture and mix well, set aside.

Combine eggs, vanilla and buttermilk in a small bowl; add to peanut butter mixture.

Spread batter in a greased 15 x 10″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 350F for 22 to 28 minutes, until cake springs back when gently touched.

Directions for Peanut Butter Frosting

Combine butter, peanut butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.  Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until desired spreading consistency.  Spread frosting over warm cake and garnish with nuts…Serves 15 to 20.

* I do not cook my icing, I just mix the ingredients well.
** I do not ice my cake while warm, I ice it when cooled.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

I’m always a happy camper when I find a recipe that takes me back to yesteryear and this one takes me back! I remember packing Hostess Twinkies, Snowballs and especially Hostess cupcakes in both my son’s lunchbox.  I recently had a yard sale and came across a shirt that my youngest used to wear when he was in his early teens and still living at home.  When I saw the shirt (that no one purchased), I was so happy it was still there.  I had not seen the shirt prior to my yard sale.  I had pulled some clothes out of a box I had stored in our garage and somehow missed seeing his shirt.  I was happy it was still there…and now it’s hanging in my closet.  Ohhhh how I wish I could go back in time to relive some of those precious moments.  The only thing I can do now it to recall events from the past that remind me of our closeness.  Ohhhh, cupcakes!!!  Hmmmmm, let me continue!

I learned a valuable lesson while making these cupcakes, a lesson I hope to never repeat!  I’ll let you know what went wrong while making them…well, did you know if you beat whipping cream too much, your recipe will never turn out…no matter how much longer you beat it!  This was an expensive mistake because the store only had small container’s of whipping cream at $3.97 per container, and I needed 3 of them!  Okay, so if you did the math you already know it was pretty expensive whipping cream! I could have gone to another store, but I was there, right there, right in front of the case.  You know how it goes when you only have so much time to make what you want to make…so, you just do it!!  You buy it!! lol   Ohhhh, cupcakes, now where was I?

Okay, so I had my whipping cream at home, and I had just enough to make the marshmallow filling for the cupcakes with the whipping cream.  I began whipping the cream and confectioner sugar together and got side-tracked  (I do that a lot).  When I came back to the mixer, the whipping cream was very stiff…past that crucial stopping time.  I thought it would be okay to continue so I did.  I stirred in the dissolved gelatin and suddenly the whipping cream looked curdled and began to separate! What once looked like whipping cream, now looked like butter…..I was making butter!! So, when the recipe says to beat the whipping cream to soft peaks, that’s soft peaks….be careful to know beat further!

I love this recipe so much so, that once I make the cupcakes, I have to get them out of the house or I eat the whole bunch of them! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Happy Cupcake Baking!

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Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup boiling water

Marshmallow Filling Ingredients:

1/2 cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup milk scalded and cooled

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate bar finely chopped

1/4 cup heavy cream

Swirls on Top of Cupcakes:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons milk

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place cupcake papers in muffin pan.  Whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking power or salt.

In a large bowl beat the butter 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.  On medium speed gradually add the sugar, beating until light and smooth 5 minutes.  On low-speed beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.

On low-speed add the flour in 4 additions beating well after each one.  Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of hot water one at a time, mixing briefly until a smooth batter forms.

Fill the cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter each.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes then remove and completely cool on wire racks.  If your cupcakes rise too high and aren’t flat on top you can turn them on their side and slice off the tops with a serrated knife to make them level.  Save them and make mini whoopee pies with the leftover filling.

Make marshmallow filling as directed and transfer to a large pastry bag with a cupcake filling tip, or any wide tip.  Stick the tip down into the center of each cupcake and squeeze out filling into the cupcake until you start to feel the cupcake expand.  Be careful to not fill too much or the cupcake will crack on top.  Just fill until you see the cupcake expand and you see the filling at the opening of the cupcake.  This takes a little practice, but pretty easy once you get the feel of how much of the filling to squeeze into the cupcake.  Once the cupcakes are filled, set aside until you make the ganache.

Make Marshmallow Filling:

Beat all ingredients together until smooth and until it’s like whipped cream and doesn’t taste sugary.

Use for cupcakes and filling.

.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache:

Chop 2 and 1/2 ounces of a bittersweet chocolate bar finely and put in a heat proof bowl.  Heat the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pout over top of the finely chopped bittersweet chocolate bar and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk until smooth.  Dip each cupcake top into the melted chocolate and let excess chocolate drip into the bowl.  Then turn upright until the ganache dries. Once the chocolate has dried on all your cupcakes, they are ready for the swirls on top.

To Make the Swirl Icing:

Whisk confectioner sugar with a teaspoon of milk, add more as needed to make a thick icing.  If the icing is too thin, your swirls will run together.  It’s important to have your swirl icing as think as you can and still be able to pipe it out on top of the cupcakes.  True Hostess Cupcakes have 7 swirls, but it your only able to make 5 or 6 that’s okay, no one else will be counting the swirls! If your icing is too thin, add more confectioner sugar, if it’s too thick, add more milk, but only a teaspoon at a time. Pipe out your 7 swirls starting at one side of the cupcake and ending at the other side.

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Banana & Mini Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

Another keeper for a banana recipe!  Since most of us occasionally have  bananas unfit for human consumption….but, definitely okay to use in a recipe!!  So, here is a recipe that is perfect for using up bananas, and it’s easy to make.  I took 48 muffins to work and they all disappeared in a matter of 2 hours, AND, they came back looking for more!  So, I say this recipe is definitely a keeper.  In fact I have some bananas in the kitchen now, so, I just may make this recipe again today!  Hope you enjoy!

 

Happy Muffin Baking!

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Ingredients:

 

3 medium bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk (room temp)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

For Streusel Topping

1/2 cup flour

7 tablespoons of brown sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375ºF, and spray a 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed banana, water, melted butter, and buttermilk until mixed well.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture, and mix well. Stir in one cup mini chocolate chips and fill baking papers2/3 full.  Then top with streusel topping.

 

For streusel: Mix together 1/2 cup flour, 6 tablespoons of brown sugar,  3 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over muffin batter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

 

Recipe slightly adapted……Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Thank you for a wonderful recipe Sally!

 

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