I have this cupcake book I bought off the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble. You know the one. Those $3.98 price tags just suck me in! Plus I know the girls love to look at all the pretty pictures. And if a few recipes turn out to be good, it was worth it.
Last week, during winter break, they wanted to make cupcakes, so I let them each choose a recipe from this book. Most of the recipes make small batches - 6 cupcakes - so it was perfect. Of course little girls choose recipes based solely on the pictures so I was surprised when Ginger chose this somewhat sophisticated treat over, say, the super pretty raspberry cream cupcakes or the ooey-gooey sundae-looking after-dinner mint cupcakes. But she's the boss so we made them.
And here's the thing. I didn't think they were that good. Not bad per se, but just kind of hard, dry, and not very sweet unless you got a good amount of glaze in your bite. They had what I call "British crumb." In the same family with British-style scones - not very sweet, not especially tender, maybe a bit crumbly. Definitely needs a glaze and a glass of milk or cuppa tea. This assessment is further supported by 1) the metric measurements in parentheses, 2) the use of terms such as "icing sugar" and "double cream", and 3) the publisher being based in Australia.
Actually, here's the thing. My mom liked them. I had written them off as not worthy of posting but my mom's praise gave me pause. I know she likes hard, crumbly treats, like scones and biscotti, more than I do but I also know she has good taste. It was like an epiphany. Not everyone has the same palate as me. Amazing.
So here I am posting something that, in full disclosure, is not my total favorite, but for what it is (British teatime treat), it is very good. And Ginger was so cute and proud, I think that made them even better.
Poundcake Cupcakes with Lemon-Lime Glaze
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 T sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp each freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice
1 tsp each grated lemon and lime zest
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with the sour cream and vanilla. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Beat in about a third of the egg mixture, then half of the dry ingredients; then another third of the eggs, then the remaining dry ingredients; and finally the remaining egg mixture until completely blended.
3. Divide the batter equally among 6 standard greased or lined muffin cups.
4. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and lemon and lime juices and zests (we saved out the zests and sprinkled them on top instead.) Turn out the cupcakes, place the wire rack over a sheet of waxed paper, and return them to the rack. Spoon citrus glaze generously over the warm cupcakes, allowing some to run down the sides. Serve warm or cooled.
Recipe from Perfect Cupcakes: Delicious, Easy and Fun to Make
Click here for printable recipe