Spring is here! Sort of. And in celebration of the “warmer” weather, and because I offered to bring dessert to Easter dinner, I decided to try to make a strawberry lemonade flavoured cupcake. These cupcakes are light and fluffy, and have just the right zing of lemon to them! The lemon-strawberry buttercream is sweet with just the right amount of lemony tartness.
Fresh Lemon-Strawberry Buttercream
Lemon cupcakes I used my go-to cupcake recipe but added lemon & removed the vanilla.
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice & zest of 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, oil, lemon juice & zest. Beat.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes.
Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Strawberry Lemon Buttercream
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
2 cups unsalted butter
5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Heavy cream as necessary
Puree the strawberries a blender or using your immersion blender.
Transfer the strawberry puree to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add lemon juice & zest. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir often and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree should reduce by half. Remove from heat and cool completely. (You can do this step way ahead of time!)
Beat the butter in your electric mixer using your paddle attachment.
Add 1 cup of sugar and beat until just blended.
Add 2 tbsp of puree. Beat until just blended.
Add 2 cups of sugar followed by 2 more tbsp of puree. I ended up using all of the puree.
Add the remaining sugar and beat until you achieve the desired consistency. If the buttercream is too runny,add some sifted sugar. If it’s too dry, add some of the heavy cream, about 1 tbsp at a time.