Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

Crowned with Fresh Strawberry Frosting and preserved lemon slices, these scrumptious Lemon Cupcakes are as delicious as they are adorable. 

Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Serves: 48
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh Strawberry Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: Preserved Lemon Slices (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 48-well mini muffin pan with foil liners or paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together milk, lemon extract, and vanilla extract until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk mixture, in thirds, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating at low speed until combined.
  6. Using a 2-teaspoon levered scoop, divide batter among wells of prepared pan. Tap pan on countertop several times to level batter.
  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.
  8. Place Fresh Strawberry Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe an upright frill of frosting on the top of each cupcake.
  9. Garnish with a preserved lemon slice, if desired.

Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Serves: 2 cups
  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ teaspoon strawberry extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  1. In a blender or food processor, purée strawberries until liquefied. Push puréed strawberries through a fine-mesh sieve. (There should be approximately ¾ cup purée.)
  2. In a small saucepan, boil purée until it reduces to ¼ cup, stirring occasionally as it foams up, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer purée to a medium bowl, and refrigerate for several hours, or until very cold.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar with a mixer at high speed until combined. Add cold purée, cream, strawberry extract, and salt, beating until incorporated. Add remaining 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Use immediately, or store for up to a day in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Preserved Lemon Slices
Serves: 16
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Using a serrated knife, cut lemon into ⅛-inch slices, discarding ends.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer, and add lemon slices in a single layer. Cook, turning lemon slices occasionally, until rinds are tender and slices look translucent, 13 to 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer lemon slices to prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Let dry for 24 hours.
  5. Store in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Just before using, cut each lemon slice into sixths.


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