I have not had a cupcake in months, which is actually really sad, because cupcakes are some of the greatest foods in the universe. However, since it's Father's Day today, I endeavored to make palatable gluten free cupcakes. I believe I have succeeded.
I never understood mini cupcakes, though. I guess someone decided to miniaturize an already miniaturized thing. Why call them mini cupcakes, though? Why not bite-sized cake bits, or something like that? But I (thankfully) did not make miniature cupcakes, I made normal-sized delicious gluten free lemon curd filled lemon cupcakes.
A couple years ago, when my blog first started, I posted a recipe for lemon cake (click HERE to view that recipe). Yesterday, I decided to revamp it bit, and turn it into cupcakes. Why is it that cupcakes always taste like a billion times better than cake? Is it because there is a greater frosting to cake ratio or something like that? Or maybe it's all psychological, because cupcakes are cute.
I was a little nervous using gluten free flour, because I was not entirely sure how well it would rise up. However, I was needlessly concerned, they looked exactly like normal wheat-filled cupcakes, just with a slightly grainier texture. The flavor is pretty much intact. I think I have suggested Krusteaz gluten free flour before, but so far, it has mimicked regular flour the most effectively in texture and flavor.
Additionally, I filled the cupcakes with homemade lemon curd. This step can be skipped, but it adds a nice bright lemony flavor to the cupcake, that is not as apparent in the frosting or cake itself. I would definitely suggest adding lemon curd, but it's an optional step.
GLUTEN FREE LEMON CUPCAKES:
OVEN: 350 degrees F
YIELD: About 12 cupcakes
2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
Cool for about 15 minutes
In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
To assemble, cut a small hole in the center of each cupcake, and hollow out a small space. Using a spoon, fill the hollowed out cupcakes with lemon curd.
Using a piping bag, pipe frosting onto the cupcakes in whatever design you desire. Serve immediately. (Storing for more than 2 days will result in dry unpleasant cupcakes.)