Friday, April 8, 2011

Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes

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Something about lemons just screams fresh and clean-tasting--pure summer deliciousness!  These little cupcakes just moved up to the top of my favorites list.  I make a lot of cupcakes, so that is a very long list.  They're that good.

The cake is light and moist, flavored with limoncello, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Then...they are filled with a bit of lemon curd and topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting.  Help!  So, so good! 


Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur.  It doesn't make the cupcakes so booze-y that you feel guilty handing them to small children.  It's a very tasty, subtle addition.  I think you could easily sub in a little more lemon juice though, if you are opposed to baked goods with alcohol. 

One last note:  I included the directions to prepare the lemon curd.  There is something about tempering eggs that just never works for me.  Perhaps I lack patience.  Yes, perhaps I do.  It just never works for me.  I just bought a good quality (no corn syrup, please and thank you!) lemon curd from the grocery store...and it worked nicely.  Please feel free to make the curd though.  Go for it!
Sweet as Sugar Cookies has a great post about making lemon curd.  Check her out!  You'll find some yummy stuff.  :) 

These really are tasty.  Make some soon!

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes
Source:  Tartlette
Yield: 1 dozen

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
*Or just purchase a pre-made, good quality lemon curd.

For the cream cheese limoncello frosting:
1/4 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon limoncello
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Prepare the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.
2. If you're going for it...Prepare the lemon curd.  (Or, if you are like the jar!)  In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.
3. Prepare the cream cheese limoncello frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
4. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a hole into the center of each cupcake and fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Top the cupcakes with the cream cheese limoncello frosting and garnish with lemons.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday
and Made It On Monday, 
Tasty Tuesdays
Mouthwatering Mondays
Cupcake Tuesday
Savory Sundays
A Baker's Sunday
Sharing Sunday


susankeiko246 said...

Thank you for making my birthday special! These WERE awesome! GONE to the LAST CRUMB!

Lisa said...

What a lovely post with such gorgeous pictures. Those cupcakes look so bright and sunny. You're a cupcake queen.

Brandy K said...

Thanks! I'm going to insist that my family call me the cupcake queen from now on! :))) ...or your highness, for short.

Chels said...


Goddess of Baking said...

Heck YES!! I just bought lemons at the store today and I wasnt sure what i was going to do with them! You solved my problem! Your pictures are amazing too!! I cant wait to make these this weekend!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

They look absolutely fantastic!

Angie said...

I found you at Sweets for a Saturday, and your button is now on my blog.
Lemons do scream summer, and I am screaming "Yippie" because these gorgeous lemon cupcakes are now added to my "to do" list.

Brandy K said...

Everyone-thank you so much!
Angie--Thank you! I can't wait for a little computer time this afternoon to look at your blog. Thanks for grabbing my button! :)

nancycreative said...

Those cupcakes look so yummy and cute! Sounds like a great recipe!

Lark (SparkyLarky) said...

Oh I am so glad you linked this to:
Made it on Monday!

It makes my lips pucker up...(lol)

Trisha said...

These are mouth watering ... I love all the pretty cupcake liners u use!!!

HoosierHomemade said...

Yum! Your cupcakes are beautiful! Thanks so much for joining us on Cupcake Tuesday!

Wende said...

These look so good! I can't wait to try these....

I shared your recipe on my Must Try Tuesday post...

Thanks for sharing!

Eating in Winnipeg said...

Thanks for coming and sharing your recipe! this looks great!

blkenigma888 said...

Great job on the linky party last week! It was very hard to choose from everyone. Come by again and link up to this week's theme: Chocolate! Hope to see you there.

Richard Sandberg said...

The individuals not reading your blogs stuff are missing out much qualitative bubblegum casting legitimate

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