Easter has always been my way of celebrating spring. Memories of sunrise services, a group breakfast with friends and family, and a hearty Easter meal. A ham served with loads of vegetables and a few delicious desserts ushered in the Spring and Summer.
I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and when I came across this dessert it struck me as a perfect end to a holiday meal. Celebrating the Spring with the fresh flavors of lemon and raspberry. Lemon cream and fresh berries flavor these delicate vanilla cupcakes.
The most difficult part of this dessert is preparing the lemon cream. The cream is made by heating eggs with sugar, lemon juice, and zest until thickened. Yes, that means constant whisking for about six minutes to keep the mixture smooth while cooking. There’s also a fair amount of whisking needed for the batter, but no heat is required and this can be done with a free-standing or hand mixer with a whisk attachment.
Enjoy this sweet taste of spring. I wish you all a Happy Easter. Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Cream and Raspberries
Courtesy of Food and Wine
Makes 14 cupcakes
- 2 Lg Eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- ¾ tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 stick plus 3 TBSP unsalted butter softened
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Lg Egg whites
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups plus 2 TBSP cake flour (See note below)
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 Stick plus 1 TBSP unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries for garnish
Step 1: In a saucepan, whisk the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Stir constantly over moderate heat until thickened but still pourable, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a blender and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the butter and salt and blend until pale, about 1 minute. Transfer the lemon cream to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set 2 foil muffin cups in a pie plate. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites with 2 Tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla. Whisk in the remaining milk. In another bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder.
Step 3: In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the milk mixture. Spoon into the muffin pan and foil cups and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and springy when lightly touched. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Step 4: Slice off the top of each cupcake and spread with raspberry jam. Replace the tops. Spread the lemon cream on top, garnish with berries and serve.
NOTE: Cake flour has less gluten protein than all-purpose flour, making for a lighter, springer cake. If you don’t have cake flour, replace 7/8 the amount of cake flour with all-purpose flour. In this recipe it would be 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour.
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