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Lemon Lime Cupcakes

Lemon Lime Cupcakes

Refreshing isn’t a word that you often associate with cupcakes, but these Lemon Lime Cupcakes definitely have a refreshing element to them. The cupcakes are bright with both fresh lemon and lime zest, and have a lemon lime buttercream on top. It is sweet, light and surprisingly palate cleansing, for a cupcake. They’re quite different from most cupcakes, as the combination of lemon and lime doesn’t show up that often in cupcake form, and that also makes them a very nice change of pace for those of you getting bored with chocolate and vanilla.

The cake for these cupcakes is very moist and tender, with a soft, tight crumb. The lemon lime flavor comes from fresh zest that is grated into the cupcake batter. Zest – the colored, outer portion of a citrus fruit – is extremely flavorful because that is where all of the intense citrus oils are. . I used one large lemon and one large lime to get enough zest for one batch of cupcakes, but you might want to have an extra lime on hand in case yours turn out to be a bit small. A microplane is the perfect tool for easily zesting your fruit. Don’t skimp on the zest when making these to get the best lemon-lime flavor in the finished cakes – and if you have to cut back, you can boost the flavor with some lemon or lime oil, which you can buy bottled.

The cupcakes are topped with a lemon lime buttercream, where I used the juice from the fruits I zested for the cake to give the frosting a bright citrus flavor. The lemon and lime juice blend well together, and this frosting is one that you could easily use to make a batch of yellow or vanilla cupcakes more exciting. If you find that you don’t have quite enough juice from your zested lemon and lime, and you don’t have any more fruit on hand, you can add a little bit of water to the frosting to make up the difference.

Lemon Lime Cupcakes, innards

Lemon Lime Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lime zest
2 large eggs
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon and lime zest, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk. Mix in all of the remaining flour, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cupcakes are set and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Lime Buttercream
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat together all ingredients in a large bowl, gradually incorporating the confectioner’s sugar until the frosting is thick, creamy and spreadable.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Garnish with a sprinkle of colored sugar, if desired.

Makes 12.

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  • Jeff @ Cheeseburger
    May 11, 2012

    These cupcakes looks refreshing. I bet they taste refreshingly delicious as well.

  • Ashley
    May 13, 2012

    Loved this recipe! However, I found the icing to be a bit runny even after cups of confectioners sugar. Ran out of the sugar at that point so was unable to add more to see how many cups were needed.

  • I love all things citrus and these cupcakes sound amazing!

  • Bindia
    July 17, 2012

    woooow it looks so moist and very tempting. i am gonna try this.

  • Mimi
    October 4, 2012

    the flavour of these were great – very lemony. they were easy to mix as well.
    However, I’m not sure if it was my oven, but they took a long time to thoroughly bake (30 minutes), so the texture was not fluffy, more like heavy cornbread, and a bit dry.
    Since others have had fluffy results, I may try again and adjust my oven settings (it’s an old 80s fan- forced, so this may be the problem).

  • Ashley
    February 6, 2013

    I thought that these cupcakes were great!

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