Another birthday baking post today, and this time with a recipe :) Today was Maddy's birthday and we had a girly lunch out at Zen, an incredible thai restaurant in Durham. Between dim sum, prawn crackers, crispy duck pancakes and noodles Maddy was showered with gifts, balloons, novelty oversize boxes and jaunty hats, somewhat to the amusement of the business men making up the rest of the lunch time diners. Once we were all far too stuffed to eat anything else, I whipped these out, lit up the candles and we all sang happy birthday. Occasions like these make me so sad we're all graduating in a month... (But then I go home and start revising and wishing for it all to be over again, so work that one out.)
These cakes are simple yellow cake flavoured with lemon juice and zest, topped with silky smooth buttercream and with a surprise lemon curd core. I have, in the past, made my own lemon curd. It was fairly straightforward and intensely delicious, but, you know. Finals in 3 weeks and all that.
Recipies after the jump!
Lemon surprise cupcakes
makes about 16
notes: because of the intense flavour of the lemon curd, I made the cupcakes less lemony that I would if just topping with icing.
I used under half a jar of lemon curd.
As ever, to get good results it's very important to use proper measuring cups and spoons.
adapted from a 'yellow cake' recipe in BBC food
150 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
115g butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing between additions. Add lemon zest and juice.
Beat for another minute, then add half the flour mixture and beat until incorporated, then add remaining flour and beat until batter is smooth.
Spoon mixture into cupcake cases until full to 1cm below top of case.
Bake in preheated oven for around 15 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and tops of the cakes are firm.
Cool on a wire rack.
125 g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1.5 tablespoons milk
a few drops food colouring
Beat the butter for a minute or so, then add the icing sugar a scoop at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the milk a little at a time until icing is desired consistency. Add a few drops of food colouring and mix until the colour is even.
Cut a little cone out of each cupcake and fill with about a teaspoon of lemon curd, flattening the top. Pipe the buttercream all over the top of the cake, making sure to hide that surprise filling!