Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Fosting

I just simply adore Holiday baking, and  cupcakes are just darling to give as gifts in adorable little boxes and baskets!
This recipe from Cupcake Goddess Elinor Klivans for Gingerbread Cupcakes calls for Lemon Filling as a surprise delight, but I opted for a lightly-lemon frosting that was just as divine. 

Gingerbread Cupcakes
Yield 12
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

I doubled the recipe to yield 24 cupcakes, and it doubled perfectly.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses together until blended. Using a large spoon, stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions and water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and stirring until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth. Fill each paper liner with 1/3 cup of batter, to about 1/4 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.

Elinor Klivans' Lemon Filling
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and lemon juice over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 130°F on a thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together to blend them, then whisk in the dissolved cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot butter and lemon juice into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon, just until it comes to a boil and thickens; it will take about 6 minutes. When thickened, the sauce will leave a path on the back of the spoon if you draw your finger across it and look clear rather than cloudy. Immediately remove from the heat, strain into a small bowl, and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the sauce, use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to let steam escape, and refrigerate until cold. The sauce will thicken further as it chills.

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or, spoon the cold sauce into a plastic freezer container, leaving at least an inch of space in the top of the container, press plastic wrap onto the surface, seal tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Lemon Kissed Buttercream Frosting, a la Cupcakery Blog

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I wanted it to be lightly flavored, so I used just 1 Tbsp.)

1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and salt for about 30 seconds.

2. Add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl. 

3. Add the remainder of the powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.

The lemony frosting was just such a pretty pale yellow!

All packaged up for Holiday gifts!