As promised, here is the lemon cupcake recipe! We really enjoyed these. I still want to tweak the frosting a little bit but it's really good. Don't skip the lemon curd, it's excellent and it will make more than you need which is a happy bonus. You can print all of these recipes here.
(Adapted from Ina Garten)
Zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt
Combine lemon zest, sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan.
Cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate – place plastic wrap on surface of curd while it cools.
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
2/3 c. buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Add vanilla and lemon extract and zest. Add buttermilk and dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks before filling and frosting.
RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Using a hand-held mixer beat cream cheese and butter together until light and smooth. Add vanilla extract and slowly add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time until thoroughly incorporated and desired thickness is reached.
TO ASSEMBLE: Remove a small amount of cake from the center of the cooled cupcake and spoon in the chilled lemon curd. Use a pastry bag or Ziploc bag to frost the cupcakes. Store finished cupcakes in the refrigerator.