I don’t know about you, but I ate lots of chocolate over the holidays. I felt like a break and decided to make a trio of citrus curds to stuff into some basic vanilla cupcakes. I topped them with a simple cream cheese frosting and a little zest for decoration. Simple, fresh, and delicious.
I used some existing recipes this time around… Magnolia’s Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe (adjusted to use all-purpose flour only) and Martha Stewart’s lemon curd recipe. I have used both of these, on numerous occasions, with great results. I have reprinted them as I have altered them slightly and I provide some tips along the way.
Cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes).
10. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Tip: It is important that the butter is at room temperature and beat well. Otherwise you might get butter chunks which sort of melt into little pools and make the cupcakes come out funny-looking. Not a huge deal, but I thought I’d mention it.
cupcakes ready for baking
Citrus Curd from MarthaStewart.com
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed citrus juice, strained
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
7 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and citrus juice in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes.
2. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in butter, piece by piece. Cover with plastic wrap, and cool in the refrigerator.
3. Whip together cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold cream into the chilled curd.
Tip: The above recipe makes enough curd for over a teaspoon of filling for 24 cupcakes. I made 6 egg yolks worth so that I could get three batches for the three flavors. I ended up with extra, but those who wandered into the kitchen didn’t mind having something to dip the cupcake guts into.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
4. Add half of the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until combined
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like
cupcakes ready for filling
1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon or so of curd.
3. Replace top.
4. Frost with frosting.
5. Decorate as you wish. I topped the cupcakes with zest.