Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I was totally craving strawberry lemonade cupcakes a week ago and set out to find the perfect lemon cupcakes and fresh strawberry frosting.

The first cupcake batch I made was good but not quite what I was looking for. The cupcakes were dense and the lemon flavor was bit subdued. I tried again a few days later and found this recipe. It was a bit lighter than the first and brushing the tops with fresh lemon juice after baking helped add more flavor. I'm still looking for a really great lemon cake recipe though, so if you have one send it my way.

While the cupcakes were good, the frosting was AMAZING!!! I don't know why it took me so long to try a Swiss meringue buttercream (probably the whole egg white thing) but now I'm hooked. This frosting is so silky smooth and not sugary sweet tasting like a traditional (confectioner's sugar) buttercream. Plus, I loved the taste of the fresh strawberries in this frosting...perfect for this time of year when strawberry season is at it's peak.

One more look because I'm obsessed.

Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition (batter will be thick).
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. *Poke the top of the cupcake 3-4 times with a tooth pick. Then brush the top with fresh lemon juice*Frost cupcakes. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.

Source: Taste of Home

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1-1/2 cups (8 ounces) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled (6-8 big strawberries)
4 large egg whites
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Puree strawberries in a food processor and set aside.

Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved (the mixture should feel smooth when rubbed between your fingers) and the temperature reaches 155 degrees.

Pour egg whites with sugar into a stand mixer fitted with whisk. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form about 10 minutes and the bowl is cool.

Switch to medium-low speed and add butter a few tablespoons at a time. Mix well after each addition. After all the butter has been added scrape down the bowl and switch to paddle attachment.

Continue beating on low speed until buttercream becomes smooth. Don’t worry if the buttercream starts to look curdled. Just keep beating until it comes together. Then add strawberry puree and beat until combined.

Source: Martha Stewart


  1. I'm obsessed with Italian meringue... I may just have to try swiss meringue next! These look AMAZING! Hope your apron is treating you well :)

  2. @Mara
    Love my apron (thanks again) :)

    I haven't tried italian meringue...but now I will!

  3. Those cupcakes are beautiful! And they look delicious!

  4. these look fabulous! perfect for summer! ps: I have the same platter! love it!

  5. Your cupcakes look amazing! Did you add any coloring to the frosting to get it that pink?


  6. Alicia-

    Yes, I did add just a touch of pink food coloring to get the color a little more vibrant...sorry that I forgot to add that to my post. BTW, this is the same frosting as the one on the cupcake I am holding in my latest entry "It's my blogiversary", except that one does not have the addition of the food coloring.

  7. I can't remember how I found your blog, but about a week ago, I clicked on a link, then another, then another, and ended up here, and I couldn't be happier. I'm a college student who LOVES to cook and bake, but I don't have the time (nor the space), and a majority of your recipes use kitchen staples that I do have that allow early prep to save time later.

    This was the first recipe on your blog that I made and I was pleased to see that I was able to stretch my batter to make 3 dozen, so they went to three different places. I have received rave reviews about the cupcakes as a whole, but specifically the frosting! It was so light, you could just eat the whole bowl! I will keep that one on the top of my recipe book for many baked goods.

    Thanks so much for providing a resourceful blog that is addicting to read and resourceful to more than just mommys!

  8. Katrina-

    Thank you so much for the note!! Totally made my day :)