Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon and Ginger Cream Cheese Icing

As well as making the caramelised white chocolate cupcakes the other day I made some lemon yoghurt cupcakes - these ones - to make sure there would be plenty of cake to go around at work. I also wanted to experiment a little with using the fabulous Kapiti Kitchen cordials in my baking. Unfortunately due to the silly mistake I made with the white chocolate cupcakes the first time around I was running short on time. Since I'd already messed up one batch of cupcakes I decided to stick with the original recipe for the cupcakes, and play with the icing instead.

The batter took pretty much no time to put together - I used buttermilk instead of yoghurt this time as I had some left which needed using up, and I couldn't tell the difference - though I'm far more likely to have leftover yoghurt than buttermilk! 

As an aside, while I was baking I thought I'd try out the lemon, lime and bitters cordial (my favourite so far, by the way) - I had asked Mr Caketo get some soda water from the supermarket so got it out to make up my drink - and check out the label; "Flavoured Soft Drink" indeed... Not sure when sodium bicarbonate started being a beverage flavour!

 I figured I'd use the fruit syrup to make the french meringue buttercream recipe I make most often. I knew that it would take some experimentation to get the water/syrup/sugar ratios right, since the syrup is already some combination of water and syrup. I reduced the sugar by about 10g, but it wasn't enough - though I whipped up the eggs and drizzled it in as normal it didn't whip up - the syrup didn't lend the structure it normally does, so I suspect the ratios affected the boiling temperature and therefore the chemical composition. Woah, that's a bit in depth... Anyway, basically, it didn't work! By this stage it was about 9.45pm so in the interests of my sanity (particularly given the sleep deprivation resulting from a failure to adapt to Daylight Savings) I gave up taking photos and mad some emergency cream cheese icing. I added a couple of tablespoons of lemon and ginger cordial and zest of one lemon, and it was a hit, although the ginger was subtle to the point of being unnoticeable if you weren't looking for it. Not necessarily a problem, but if you were after a significant ginger hit this isn't the way to do it.

These were also a pretty huge hit with my workmates - I think cream cheese icing makes everyone happy, and having a bit of extra zing certainly wasn't detrimental. Was definitely nice to have a bit of affirmation after the failures - I guess I'm all good until my colleagues find this and discover my sneaky secrets! ;-)

Lemon Yoghurt Cupcakes

1 3/4 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs
1 cup sunflower/rice bran/canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup yoghurt or buttermilk
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 190 C. Line 24 muffin pans. Put sugar, lemon rind, oil and eggs in a bowl and mix until combined. Add the salt, yoghurt and lemon juice and mix again. Sift in flour and mix until just combined.

Pour/spoon mixture into your prepared muffin pans. Bake for about 15 minutes, until they spring back when pressed.

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
500g cream cheese
100g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp lemon (or flavour of your choice) syrup

Cream butter, then beat together all ingredients until creamy and smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Makes enough for 24 generously iced cupcakes


  1. I find that cream cheese, like gaffer tape, fixes a multitude of sins. It's hard not to have success where cream cheese frosting is involved.


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