Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lime Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

The inspiration for these Lime Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting were these cute cupcake liners and some limes I had on hand. Linda's Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake seemed like a good base for the batter. I simply substituted the lemons with limes and found an easy buttercream frosting recipe from the blog, Unsophisticated Cook. To give the frosting a little more zing, I added some lemon extract and lime juice, but could have easily added more lime juice and zest. To make it less sweet, I cut the sugar in half and added more butter. It also yielded more frosting, which came in handy when attempting to pipe the frosting. As you can see, I compensated for my poor piping skills by applying them with a butter knife in a way to resemble flowers. I actually preferred my method to the piped ones.

Below, is a picture I took with my phone of the cupcakes ready for Mother's Day. 

See my recipe after the jump.

Lime Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Yield: Makes 30 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature*
1 teaspoon vanilla
grated zest of 2 lemons limes
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Buttercream Frosting:
1-3/4 cup salted butter (2 3-1/2 sticks), softened (OR unsalted butter + about 1 teaspoon salt)
 4  2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (OR increase fresh lime juice to 2 tablespoons?)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or more
2 teaspoons of lime zest (1 teaspoon to go in the frosting and 1 teaspoon to go on top)
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream

1) Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.

2) Butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube (Bundt) pan or any baking pan, and tap out the excess flour. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

3) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside.

4) Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5) Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and zest.

6) On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour.

7) Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.

8) Spread evenly in the pan. Pour batter into lined muffin tin, leaving about ¼ of room at the top.  (Jiggle the entire muffin tin to distribute the batter evenly.)

9) Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours 20 minutes. (Rotate tins 10 minutes in.)

10) Bring the lemon juice, zest, water and sugar to a boil over high heat and cook until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.

11) Allow syrup to cool before drizzling onto the cake.

12) Place muffin tin on a wire rack and let Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.

13) Drizzle half the syrup over the cake. Invert onto the rack and brush with the remaining syrup.

14) Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.

Recommended technique: If a recipe calls for room temperature eggs, place the uncracked eggs in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes so they can lose their chill.

Buttercream Frosting:
15) Using a paddle beater, beat softened butter and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes. 

16) Add sifted confectioner's sugar and stir on low until incorporated. 

17) Add vanilla extract, lemon extract and/or lime juice, lime zest, and 3 5 tablespoons of heavy cream. 

18) Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides once or twice. 

19) If a thinner frosting is desired, add additional heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

20) Frost cupcakes and top with lime zest.

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