Fancy Lemons and a Big Secret

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I'm baaaack! Tonight we had spaghetti and my kids swear that I make the bestest spaghetti in the whole world! I've had several  people ask me how I make it and what my secret is. Well tonight you're in luck. Because I'm not going to tell you my secret, I'm going to SHOW you! Here we go!

Can you handle this......?


              I don't think you can.

                           Hold on tight, here it comes!!

Thank you Paul Newman for making me the best spaghetti cooker the world has ever seen!!! 

Ok now on to real recipes. I met my mom in Austin for lunch yesterday and we went to Central Market where I was looking for citrusey inspiration. I found something so cool.

Stripey lemons......

That are PINK in the middle!!! So I made PINK lemonade cupcakes! Here are some step by step photos and I will write out the recipe for you at the end.

Please note that the recipe calls for 4 eggs, separated! Don't throw away either part, you'll need them both!

Cream together your sugar and butter on medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and the egg yolks and mix well.

Well crud, I'm missing some pictures. At this point, you should also throw in some lemon zest. Just zest all of the lemons you squeezed for the juice. If you use bottled lemon juice, just don't worry about it. They'll still be lemony. (By the way, the pink lemons taste like lemons. It's fine to use regular ones.)

Next, slowly mix in your dry ingredients (that you sifted, yes?) alternating with the milk and lemon juice. If you'd like a strong lemon flavor, replace more of the milk with lemon juice.

Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer in a separate bowl.....

Until they look like this! You want soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Doing this makes the fluffiest cupcakes EVER.

 Here's the batter all pink and egg white folded. Prettttttttty. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. This recipe will make 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes. The frosting recipe will be under the cupcake recipe. :)

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
zest of 2 lemons (or however many you squeeze for the juice)
3 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup milk (for stronger lemon flavor, reduce milk and replace with lemon juice)
pink food coloring (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and put liners in a regular muffin pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the juice and milk and mix well. Add food coloring at this stage if you would like.
  5. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  6. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Pink Lemonade Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup shortening (You can do all butter if you prefer.)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 ounces pink lemonade (sold in pouches in the juice sections, bottles close to the orange juice, or in a       frozen concentrate)
extra confectioner's sugar to stiffen frosting if desired

  1. Beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  2. Sift the sugar and then slowly beat in to the butter mixture until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. *Add pink lemonade and beat on low, then medium speed until well combined. 
  4. Sprinkle in extra sugar a little at a time to adjust the consistency.
*Here's where you need to taste and tweak a bit. This wasn't lemony enough for me so I ended up adding lemon juice and had to keep adding powdered sugar to make it the consistency I was looking for. This made it feel a bit different from normal buttercream and I don't like it as well. My suggestion is to use the lemonade if you are looking for a mild lemon flavor. If you want more of a lemon flavor, skip the lemonade and just use juice. Start with a couple of tablespoons and add more until you like the flavor. Have fun! Don't eat all the frosting while you are taste testing. 

Up tomorrow, Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Roasted Cinnamon Buttercream!