January 29, 2010

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon's worth)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
zest of 2 large lemons

ethereal lemon frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line 12 wells in a cupcake pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix together the oil, zest, sour cream, lemon juice and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing.

My thoughts:
These are the best lemon cupcakes (or even cake) I've ever had. They strike the perfect balance between tart and sweet. I normally generally make butter based cupcakes but I decided to make these with oil because that give the cupcakes a lighter, fluffier more cake mix-like texture and since I was making these for a friend's party where some cake mix lovers might be lurking. Which isn't to say that these cupcakes taste like they came from a mix at all-no fake lemon flavor or chemicals here-but they do have a chiffon like texture that I find that people who are not used to denser, buttery homemade cupcakes prefer. They garnered rave reviews at the party. I loved them too, they had lots of bright lemony flavor that was perfect for a lighter cupcake.