Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

As you may be aware I was responsible for making some gorgeous cupcakes for my brother's birthday last weekend. I was really unsure which flavours to go for so I had a bit of a think and decided I needed a chocolate, a fruit and something else.

The fruit came in the form of lemon. I really like lemon in desserts. The sharp citrus matches perfectly wit the rich butter and counteracts the sweetness of the sugar.

These were a bit of an experiment actually. I used the Red Velvet recipe and tweaked it to make a lemon cheesecake flavoured cake. I used good quality lemon curd in the middle of the cakes and topped them with a lemon cream cheese frosting that was to die for. The lemon curd did sink a bit in the batter but it didn't really matter. There was a lovely lemony gooey centre/bottom to these cakes and they were a big hit at the party!

195g plain flour
85g butter, softened
225g sugar
1 large egg
Grated zest and juice of 1 1/2 lemons (you'll use the other half a lemon in the frosting)
3-4 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
1 jar (400g) of good lemon curd (you may not use it all)
3/4 tsp salt
175ml milk + 2 tbsp lemon juice (or 175ml buttermilk)
3/4 tsp cider vinegar
3/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 180C and line muffin tray with 12 paper liners.
In a small bowl, sift the flour and set aside. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a cup and set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat well.
Add the lemon zest and a little yellow colouring if desired.
In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
Place a generous spoonful of batter into each muffin case and top with a spoonful of lemon curd. Cover the lemon curd with more batter so that it is sealed in. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting I used this recipe as I needed it to be pipeable (is that a word?) and this guaranteed that it would be. As has become the norm I've converted the measurements to metric and added my alterations. This is also for 12 cupcakes rather than 24.

65g butter, at room temperature
115g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g icing sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp lemon curd

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
Add the zest and lemon curd and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)


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