Please join me in welcoming Holly, who is guest posting today to share her awesome Double Lemon Cupcake recipe with us! I can’t wait to give these a try!
Hello Heavenly Homemakers readers! My name is Holly. I am a Christian, a military wife and momma to an 18 month old son, and I am really excited to be sharing a recipe (or three) with you. The past year I have been learning about traditional foods; I have reinvented how I shop, cook, eat, and feel about food. The most recent milestone in this journey was birthday cake. Remember when Laura asked us to choose between chocolate and vanilla? Well, to celebrate my 24th birthday I chose option C.
I wanted a birthday dessert that satisfied my emotional desire for cake, but also fulfilled my sensible need to eat wholesomely. I knew that if I did not satisfy both halves I would be left either feeling like a whole wheat martyr or a big sugar-filled failure. Yuck. Blessedly, I found a happy medium with these sweet and tangy cupcakes.
Let me just say that I am normally very relaxed baker, I never sift. I fudge the temperatures and can be lazy with the mixing. But for this recipe, if I say sift I do mean sift. The same goes for temperatures and times. It may seem fussy for some of you, but the results are rewarding.
Double Lemon Cupcakes
3 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 c butter, room temperature
1 c orange blossom honey
4 large eggs, room temperature
the zest of 3 lemons (I recommend organic because you are consuming the peel), plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour the inside of two round cake pans or two dozen muffin tins. Zest the lemons (just the yellow part, try to avoid the white pith because it is bitter), you want this to be very fine. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Add the lemon juice to the buttermilk.
Cream the butter and the honey until they are nice and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, until well mixed in. Add the zest and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk in three parts. Beat until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepped pans and bake until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test, 30-35 minutes for a cake, 25 minutes for cupcakes.
While the cakes are baking, mix up a nice batch of…
8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ c plus 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
½ c orange blossom honey
teeny pinch of salt, about 1/8 tsp
¾ c unsalted butter (10 tbsp or 1 ¼ sticks) cold, cut in pieces
Wisk together all ingredients except butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture registers 160° F on an instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove from heat. This should take about 8-10 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer, just do what I did and use good quality eggs.
Remove pan from heat and add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Strain through a sieve. It is normal for small bits of cooked egg to strain out, don’t worry you did it right. :) Cover this with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge at least one hour.
Fill your cupcakes with lemon curd. You can use a pastry bag and large tip, or poke a hole with the wrong end of a wooden spoon and use a plastic baggie with a corner snipped off. Spread extra curd on top of the cupcake. If you’re making a cake, spread the lemon curd between the two layers. Then whip up your frosting.
Soft and Fluffy Frosting
8 egg whites
¾ c orange blossom honey
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Combine egg whites and honey in a large heat-proof mixing bowl (or the bowl for your stand mixer if you have one and it’s heat-proof) set over a pan of simmering water. Wisk rapidly for two minutes Make sure your water does not boil! You will end up with scrambled egg frosting and it will be gross. Cook this until it reaches 160° F on an instant-read thermometer (or if like me you don’t have one, use good eggs and cook for two minutes). Remove from the heat and beat on your mixer’s highest speed for until soft and fluffy, about 7-9 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Use this frosting immediately.
I used (some of the) leftover curd to decorate the tops of some of the cupcakes. Or you could eat it with a spoon and not tell anyone there were leftovers. I won’t look.
Thanks Laura for letting me share my recipes with you and your readers!
Holly wanted me to be sure to let you know that the curd will keep in the fridge about 3 days, but it is best served in the first 24-36 hours, and the frosting should be used immediately after it’s made, because it will start to deflate after a few hours. It’s still edible for several days, but the quality goes down after 6-8 hours.
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.
Yum! that looks so good, Holly! I cant wait to try this!
Hallee the Homemaker says
Those look wonderful!
Mrs Team S says
That looks really yummy!
What is orange blossom honey?
Holly in Virginia says
Orange Blossom honey is from bees that harvest the pollen from orange trees. It is light in color and has a light, clean citrus taste. If you cannot find local orange blossom honey, then another light honey like clover would do well. Try to avoid strong dark tasting honeys, like wldflower.
Holly in Virginia says
I mean, avoid them for this recipe, because they will compete with the citrus notes, instead of enhance them. I love wildflower honey in teas, I will make a strong syrup of chammomile tea, peppermint tea, honey and elderberry extract, it’s wonderful for colds and sore throats.
How do you use cinnamon oil instead of DEET? This could be great news for us as no.2 son is allergic to all biting beasties (and living in Scotland there are loads of them) so anything to help him whilst avoiding nasty chemicals would be much better.
Dr. Mercola has a natural bug repellent we use, as I need something that really works to keep mosquitoes away since I’m highly allergic to their bites.
The active ingredients are citronella, lemongrass, peppermint. No chemicals and certainly no DEET. You can read about it at the included link. Hope that helps!
You can just dab some cinnamon oil onto your skin…easy as that!
Oy! There is more than 2 cups of honey in this recipe. Too much sugar for me! Too much of a “good” thing isn’t so good.
You could cut it back, it’s a sweetener, it will NOT affect the recipe, it’s not like oil that would make a HUGE difference. honey is a whole lot better than sugar anyways. And if you get the good honey, there should be too much sugar added to it.
Holly in Virginia says
It does make over a dozen cupcakes, plus a lot of curd and frosting. To me, I would rather eat two cups of good quality local honey than two cups of sugar cane, even natural sugar cane juice, like sucanat. The point I was trying to make is that you can have special occasion sweets without using refined sugars. This definitely isn’t an everyday dish, not even a once-a-month dessert. It’s a special thing. Like cookies at Christmas.
Holly in Virginia says
Also if you are going to cut back, since it’s also a liquid component, you may want to reserve some of the flour and check the consistency first.