Letter H: Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Honey Frosting
Hey everyone! We’re finally back on track with the alphabet now that I’ve finished letter H. Actually, it wasn’t just me this time; I had a lot of fun baking these with two of my really good friends, Brittany and Alexandra. Although these cupcakes weren’t their favorite (they’ve tried almost all of the flavors so far so they’ve tasted many to compare), I really liked them, although that’s no surprise since I love honey. In their opinions, the frosting was a little too sweet, but the cake was yummy and had a nice, springy texture. If you don’t like your cupcakes as sweet as I do, then you might try these with a glaze instead of a frosting, which is actually what was suggested with the original recipe. (I felt like frosting pretty swirls that day so I found a new, separate recipe for the icing.) I guess, in the end, you’ll just have to try them for yourself. Enjoy!
The cupcake recipe is from http://www.oprah.com/food/Honey-Cupcakes, and the frosting recipe is from http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/lemon-honey-cupcakes-recipe-122603
Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Honey Frosting
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, on high speed. Mix in honey, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until blended, on medium speed.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix into the batter until just blended. Scoop the batter into the cupcake cups evenly.
Bake for about 20 minutes; cupcakes are done when tops spring back lightly to the touch.
Lemon Honey Frosting
1 cup(s) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup(s) honey
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) grated lemon zest
4 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
7 teaspoon(s) to 8 tsp lemon juice
Few drops yellow food color (optional)
Beat butter, honey and lemon zest in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamed, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in confectioners’ sugar until blended. Beat in lemon juice and a few drops food color until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow.
Spoon into a large ziptop freezer bag, snip off one corner and pipe onto cupcakes, or just spread frosting onto cupcakes.
If you want, sprinkle on any leftover lemon zest for added decoration.
So, as I said before, I think these cupcakes turned out well in the end, which is kind of a relief seeing as we had to make some substitutes with the ingredients, and that was somewhat interesting… Basically, we had forgotten to check to make sure we had all of the ingredients before hand. I can hear you guys going “What, you run a baking blog! You should always know to check for ingredients ahead of time!” Well, normally, I do. It’s just that this time, I was with my friends at their house and we decided to bake something on somewhat of a whim, so not that unsurprisingly, we didn’t have the ingredient buttermilk (it’s more of a specialty dairy, only for baking, you know?) No problem, though, because Brittany and Alexandra somehow knew that you can actually make a buttermilk substitute with milk and white vinegar/lemon juice. (If you were wondering how to make said buttermilk impostor, you just mix about a cup of milk with a tablespoon of the acidic lemon or vinegar and let it sit for five minutes. Then, use however much is needed in the recipe as if it were the real thing.) Sounds neat/handy/slightly gross, right? Well, it’s kind of all of those things, but when you’re combining it with a bunch of other ingredients, beating and blending it, and then ultimately making it into a solid by baking it anyways, it works like a charm. I’ll post a picture of the batter when it’s just the liquids, though, and you can see just how unappetizing (maybe even disgusting…) the buttermilk substitute can look like, but don’t worry because then you’ll also get to see the end product (which has a completely normal texture and taste) and you’ll feel all better!
Another thing I feel like mentioning before I finish this post, however, is that the particular frosting recipe that we used is affected by heat (shocker!), so that might influence whether you use this recipe, a glaze, or anything else. I know this because we tried to do a little picnic outside (super cute!) and although the taste was unaffected, by the time we had finished the meal, the icing was looking quite soft and shiny since the 90something degree weather was doing an exceptional job at melting the frosting in a fairly short amount of time.
Ok, that’s about it. These cupcakes were nice, moist, and fresh (I mean that not just because they’re homemade but because the lemon and honey gives it a kind of clean, light taste, you know?), and perfect for summer or spring. The fact that they really don’t have much sugar because of the honey is an added bonus, too. Please do try them with whatever sweetening finish you choose, and as always, let me know what you think of them. Can’t wait until letter I (it’s a fun one!)
See you then,