“Hey, you know what we should do sometime?” my friend Anna said to me during my birthday “party” (if by “party” you mean me and my friends making red velvet cake balls) in August.
“We should make lemon cupcakes.”
Cut to four months later, and we’re both standing in the kitchen, spooning lemon curd into cupcakes and cleaning up the huge mess (me and Anna, respectively).
It’s a shame that the two of us don’t hang out more often, because we have fun when we do! She brought her boyfriend along to this particular shindig, along with a zester and the store-bought lemon curd, because there wouldn’t have been time to make it from scratch, as I had to go to work that night.
For once, the cupcakes were not made from a mix! We actually made the cupcakes themselves from scratch, and they turned out pretty good. Maybe not as ~pretty~ as the ones from a mix can be, but still. Very lemon-y and what not.
Also, notice the pretty, pretty baking cups. These had been a present for my birthday but I hadn’t used them until this because I had been saving them for a special occasion. And… okay, this wasn’t really a special occasion, per se, but Anna is awesome and she thought they were nice, so I was like, “What the hell, let’s just use them.” And these are cool because you don’t use a muffin tin for these; you just put them on a baking sheet and plop the batter in.
Although, we probably should have put more in because the cupcakes barely came above the surface, but close enough.
Since I had no idea how to zest and juice a lemon (and I still don’t know, really), Anna was assigned this task while I… did something else. What? It’s been over a month since this happened; I can’t remember all the details, okay!
After the cupcakes were done and cooled, and while we watched Pulp Fiction, which Anna’s boyfriend had never seen before, I cut little holes into the cupcakes and spooned in the lemon curd. And good God, was it ever lemon-y! And the cupcake itself tasted like lemon, too. I think if I ever make these again I won’t put in the curd, because it was just too much lemon to handle. Unless you really, really like lemons.
It was time to make the whipped cream! Now, at this point I had run out of vanilla extract, but I happened to have lemon extract that I never got to use for some other thing that I can’t remember, so I substituted, even though I knew the lemon flavor would now just be totally overpowering.
I’m sure a few of you remember the Swiss meringue debacle, where the hand mixer was just. Taking. Forever. The whipped cream took some time, too, and looking back on it I probably should have kept mixing, but at the time I really just did not want to, so instead I spooned the cream into the pastry bag and swirled it on.
Anna wanted to put lemon slices on top of a few of the cupcakes, like in the photos on the website we got the recipe from. It looked cool, but when I brought the cupcakes to work everyone was just like, “What?”. But it makes for a nifty picture, anyway.
So! Good times! I like baking with friends. I need to do it more often. Especially with Anna. She does such a great job cleaning up.
Get the recipe here at Joy of Baking. Although once again, I recommend skipping the lemon curd unless you are just really gung-ho about lemons.