Are you all ready for another round of “recipes I’ve found in the depths of my 18 SD cards that have yet to be shared here?” I think once you see how fluffy, tangy and sweet these cupcakes are, you’ll forgive me for hoarding them on old camera cards.
I mean right? Don’t these just look perfect? I’m not tooting my own horn here, I promise. In fact, I’m probably the word’s worst cupcake decorator. It’s almost funny. No matter how many tutorials I watch or people I consult, I just can’t seem to figure out how to make my cupcakes look like the ones you buy at bakeries.
However, after a few failed cupcake disasters and enough frosting to grease a pig, I finally got it. Well, for a few at least. As you’ll see in this photo below, not every cupcake looks as pretty as the one next to it. I’m pretty sure I just gave up when it came to frosting the one on the right (you know, the one that looks like a drunk child frosted it?)
That’s why I added the fresh sprigs of mint. Well, that’s not exactly why but it sure does a great job of hiding frosting blemishes. Despite my complete lack of any finesse in the frosting department, I still love to make cupcakes. There’s something just so elegant about a collection of beautiful bite-size cakes.
That and you can’t beat the combination of lemon and mint, especially in the summertime. In fact, the inspiration for these little beauties came from a lemonade mojito I had (I know, I’ll remake it for the blog). It was almost summer in DC (which means 400% humidity) and it was just too sticky for wine. So I ordered a lemon mojito and it was, hands down, the most refreshing cocktail I’ve ever had. The zing of fresh lemon paired with the mild (but still detectable) mint flavor created one incredible sip.
Oh and the rum didn’t hurt either. I opted to skip the booze for these cupcakes and just bring those two amazing flavors together for a fun BBQ dessert. Or you could have one for breakfast. I wouldn’t tell anyone.
Lemon & Mint Cupcakes
Serves about 12. Cupcake adapted from Real Simple.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: About 18 – 22 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Dash of salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cups raw white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
- 3-3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh mint for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin liner with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, beat the butter, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until creamy.
- Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, alternating with the milk (but ending with flour) until mixture is fully combined.
- Spoon the batter into the liners, filling about 3/4 the way full. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until fluffy and lightly browned. Place on a wire cooling rack and cool completely (about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, beat the butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until creamy. Add in zest.
- Fill a bag with frosting and fit with a piping tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Nutritional information per cupcake:
Fat: 12.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 19.1 grams
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 2.5 grams
Weight Watchers points: 5