My baking effort last week wasn’t meant to be cupcakes. I was supposed to bake butter cookies, but as life would have it, I was handed some lemons.
I mixed and stirred and piped and baked. And inhaled the buttery scents which had so pleasantly wafted through my tiny apartment. After 15 minutes in the oven, I removed the tray with utmost excitement, left the cookies to cool a tad and proceeded to remove one from the tray.
But I couldn’t.
I mean, I physically couldn’t. They weren’t cooked right, or maybe they weren’t mixed right or they weren’t piped right. Or maybe (actually) I think I added too much butter to the batter. Idiot.
If I tried to pick one up, it would crumble.. it would more than crumble, they were the consistency of little piles of sand.
So none of the cookies turned out. My apartment smelled amazing though if that’s any consolation, but then I realised the universe wasn’t done fucking with me yet.
As I reached to put the tray back in the oven, I burnt myself on the back of my left hand, which swelled and blistered and what’s worse? It stung when anything touched it, so all weekend, in this ridiculously long winter we’re having, I couldn’t wear a glove, nor could I keep my hand in my pocket.
And what’s even more worse than that?
The universe only gave me metaphorical lemons. It didn’t even give me real lemons. I had to go buy them myself.
But with lemons in tow, I managed to successfully bake some adorable little lemon cupcakes, adapting a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (I added the juice of half a lemon to the frosting because I wanted it extra zesty).
These are probably my favourite of all the things I’ve ever baked. Oh wait, I lie, my red velvet cupcakes are my babies, but after them, these are my next favourite.
Light, refreshing, moist and ever so adorable.
And everyone loves lemon.
120 grams plain flour
150 grams caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (plus extra to decorate)
40 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
120 mL whole milk
250 grams icing sugar, sifted
80 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
a couple of drops of yellow food colouring (optional)
25 mL whole milk