My mother loves vanilla cupcakes. Every birthday she requests vanilla on vanilla. This combination does nothing to spark my interest, but as a good daughter should I make them for her. I need more flavor in my cakes than just vanilla and as far as blonde cupcakes go these are my favorites. The addition of a bit of lemon and the subtle flavor of the poppy seeds takes a vanilla cupcake and makes it something that I can get behind. These cupcakes are tender, moist and full of flavor. They can absolutely be enjoyed as is, but the addition of a cream cheese icing is literally the icing on the cake. It takes them from muffin to dessert and makes them perfect for bake sales or birthday parties.
Lemon Poppy Cupcakes – Ingredients
- Grated zest plus 2 TB juice from 2 lemons
- 2 c flour
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup of sour cream
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 12 TB butter at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 TB poppy seeds
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers.
- Zest the lemons into a small bowl. Add the 2 TB of lemon juice and allow it to sit while you sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Cream together the sugar and butter until lightened, about 2 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time and mix until incorporated. Add in your vanilla and your lemon juice/zest mixture.
- Alternate adding in your flour and sour cream. Start with one third of the flour then half of the sour cream. Repeat, ending with the flour. After the last addition of flour mix until all the flour is well incorporated and then give it another 20 seconds of mixing to develop a bit of structure in the batter. Allow the batter to sit for ten minutes before scooping into the pan.
- Fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs clinging to it.
- To Make the Frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer. Add in the sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add in the salt and vanilla. Do not mix it too much it will not get really fluffy like butter cream.