citrus sunshine cupcakes

i’m off to the wintry wonderland that is western europe later today.  i’ve been obsessively checking the heathrow airport page to see if our flights are a go after the great xmas blizzard of 2010.  so far it seems it seems like we’re in the clear.  fingers crossed, knock on wood.

we had planned our trip a few months ago when 20-30°F weather seemed theoretically bearable,  the lure of catching a sight of german xmas fairs  beckoned with flair.  we’ll be doing a few days in paris and normandy as well. now that the reality of traipsing around in said temperatures is upon us, we’re scratching our heads a bit, wondering why we didn’t pick a warmer climate.

as i’m heading into a snowy europe, i thought i should post about the sunshine citrus cupcakes i baked for R’s birthday a few weeks ago.   the cake is a citrus blend yogurt cake, topped with vanilla meringue icing and crowned with either candied limes or yellow sanding sugar. R said the cupcakes were delicious, and i certainly hope they brightened up her birthday festivities!

happy sunny and bright winter holidays to all!

Citrus Sunshine Cupcakes
(makes ~2 dozen cupcakes)

AP Flour 3 cups
Citrus Zest Zest of 1 lime, 1 lemon & 1 orange
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 ½ cups
Plain yogurt 1 cup
Eggs 3 large ones
Vanilla 1 tsp
Canola Oil 1 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Set aside.
  2. Mix together sugar and citrus zests for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in flour,baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add in yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and canola oil.  Mix by hand or on lowest mixer speed until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before unmolding.
  7. Pipe on vanilla meringue icing when cupcakes have cooled completely, and then decorate with sanding sugar and candied limes.

All the extras:

  • Vanilla meringue icing: the recipe can be found here.  substitute the 4 tbsp of rum with 1 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract.
  • Yellow sanding sugar: can be found in most specialty food suppliers like Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, etc.
  • Caramelized Candied Limes:  i made my own as follows: slice 2-3 limes into 1/4 inch slices.  blanch them in boiling water for about 5 minutes.  toss them in a bowl with 1 cup of sugar.  then, place each one with some space in between on a parchment lined baking sheet.  sprinkle about 1/2 cup more sugar on the limes.  bake at 275ºF for 45-60 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized and the limes are golden brown.  while still warm, transfer the lime slices to a clean parchment lined baking sheet to allow them to cool.  (note: it  is  difficult to remove the limes when completely cooled; you may need to warm them up slightly again to remove them.)
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