I received a mini muffin pan for Christmas last year, and have been looking for a good way to christen it. A friend’s birthday party was this weekend, and so I decided to make mini lemon cupcakes for the affair.
These lemon cakes are just as cupcakes should be. They are moist, a bit spongy, and delicate in flavor. What really propels them into Amazingland is the glaze, especially with the addition of fresh lemon zest. Each little cake packs a punch of flavor, and leaves you wanting another.
These little lovely lemon cakes are dedicated to three magnificent women:
To Natasha, my lifelong friend, who celebrated her 29th birthday with flair and class.
To Martha Stewart, whose cupcakes are always a memorable addition to a party.
To Jill, my favorite farmer’s market seller, who provides our home with wonderful produce.
Mini Glazed Lemon Cakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk mixture. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack. Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with remaining lemon juice and zest until smooth. Pour over cakes, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set 30 minutes. Makes about 36 mini cupcakes.