These fluffy, zesty cupcakes have a surprising garnish. Instead of using sprinkles or candies, decorate them with buttery, toasted cake crumbs.
|3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour||3 eggs|
|2 teaspoons baking powder||2 cups sour cream|
|1 teaspoon baking soda||2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest|
|1/2 teaspoon salt||5 tablespoons butter, softened, for the garnish and frosting|
|1 cup butter, softened||2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar, for the garnish and frosting|
|1-1/2 cups granulated sugar||2 tablespoons lemon juice, for the garnish and frosting|
|1 teaspoon vanilla extract||3/4 teaspoon vanilla, for the garnish and frosting|
|1 teaspoon lemon flavoring||2 to 3 teaspoons milk, if necessary, for the garnish and frosting|
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line thirty 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper baking liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition, until just combined. (The batter will be thick.) Stir in lemon zest.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake in the preheated oven about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the garnish: Remove the paper from 2 of the cupcakes and break up the cupcakes into little crumbles. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium low heat. Add the cupcake crumbs and sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from pan onto a plate and cool.
Make the lemon frosting: In a medium bowl, beat remaining 3 tablespoons softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in enough additional milk (2 to 3 teaspoons) to create spreading consistency.
Place the frosting in a pastry bag with a plain large tip and pipe onto the cupcakes; or, use a small spatula and swirl about 2 tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake. Sprinkle lightly with the cupcake crumbs.
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