Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello Glaze

You must be sick of me complaining about this muggy heat, but I’m sorry, you’ll have to hear the same old complaining again, “It’s so HOT!!!”  We’ve been having heat waves, this is when the temperature stays in the 90F’s (32C) for 3 days or more, and quite honestly, I lost count of how many days we’ve been having over 90F temperatures… 
Cooking and baking are my creative outlets, and I’ve been feeling pretty dampened by this heat; so today, I put on a full blast of A/C and started baking.  I’ve been meaning to bake this cupcake for a while, and at this point, no use waiting until the temperature cools down.  I’ll be posting a couscous dish later on today, for now, here’s my limoncello cupcakes!  This was adapted from the Bon Appetit’s June 2006 issue.  Instead of the strawberries as topping, I put blueberries and lemons (since I didn’t want to venture out in the hot). 

Makes 18-20
2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely grated lemon peel

Glaze and Topping:
3/4 cup (or more) powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons limoncello or other lemon liqueur
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

18 -20strawberries OR 18-20 blueberries and 18-20 lemon wedges quartered (or any other fruits)

For Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 18-20 standard muffin cups with paper liners.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions.  Beat in lemon juice and lemon peel.  Divide batter among liners.  Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Transfer cupcakes to racks. 

Glaze: Stir 3/4 cup powdered sugar, butter, limoncello, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and glaze comes to simmer.  Whisk in additional powdered sugar by tablespoons if glaze is very thin.  Spoon 1 teaspoon warm glaze over each warm cupcake.  Cool cupcakes completely. 

Arrange fruits atop each cupcake.  Drizzle remaining limoncello glaze over.  Let cupcakes stand until glaze sets, about 2 hours.  You can prepare this 1 day ahead.   Cover and let stand at room temperature. 

What a delectable treat this is!!!  It’s not too sweet, cupcake is moist, and the icing is wonderful!!  When you bite into it, different lemon flavours just pop into action (lemon peel, lemon juice and limoncello), plus I put that lemon wedge and that adds to the flavour explosion!  Love it, absolutely love this!!


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