Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lemon Basil Cupcake... trust us on this!!!

Hi all--- as you might be SO shocked, our baking fever just hasn't broken yet, and our cupcake craze has continued. I was inspired this week by my grandmother, given that Mother's Day has just come & gone, she mentioned to me that lemon cake was her favorite, and she hadn't had it in a long time. Time to get baking.... but this time I didn't want to just create her a simple lemon cupcake, but wanted to top it off with something special. And then BOOM.... the idea for a basil cream cheese frosting popped into my head! Or, maybe it was because I spent the previous hour watching a show on the Food Network, and basil was a star ingredient. Nah, let's just say it was plain ole' fashioned creativity that brought this idea to me! The Lemon Cupcake with Basil Cream Cheese frosting was born... and here's how it all gets put together! Mom, Grandma, Friend, Sister, Brother... all will appreciate this refreshing spring time treat!


(Cake Batter):
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar, at room temp
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp lemon extract
2 lemons, (zest & juice)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then slowly add your dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and vegetable oil. Then, add the lemon extract, along with the juice and zest of two lemons. Once combined thoroughly, add 1/4 cup heavy cream. Preheat the oven to 350, bake 25-30 minutes or until the toothpick test is passed. Let cool completely before frosting..... wait, now we need to MAKE the frosting!

Basil Cream Cheese:

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter, unsalted
2 cups confectioner's sugar, (more if you prefer stiffer/sweeter icing)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
2 tbsp milk, if desired, to thin out icing if preferred

In a mixer, whip together the cream cheese & butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time, less or more depending on desired consistency & sweetness. Add vanilla extract & a splash of milk to thin out icing if desired. Add the basil as the last step & fold in with a spoon or spatula and mix evenly. Pour into a piping bag or simply smear it onto your lemony cupcake and EAT UP!!!! Refreshing, sweet, and simply put: amazing.

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