Fancy a bit of zing...then these little beauties are for you! It would be difficult to get more zingy than a lemon and Limoncello cupcake. They're also mini cupcakes so they're perfectly bitesize and it was a little bit difficult to stop at one!
This is my entry into May's Random Recipes, you can find out more from Dom at Belleau Kitchen. This month to select the random recipe, a cookbook was selected with eyes shut and then for the first time in random recipes history there was a choice of recipes...either the recipe on the first page or the last page. I decided to follow Dom's lead and (fairly carefully!) fling my cookbooks all over the lounge floor, I then riffled through and my hand settled on this gem hiding amongst the big boys.
So the book I randomly selected was Hamlyn's 200 mini cakes & bakes. I then had a choice of two recipes but I settled on this one on the first page...I won't tell you what was on the back page as I'm hoping to make that one too.
These cupcakes are so easy to make, they're just a simple sponge cupcake, topped with a luscious layer of lemon curd and a pretty buttercream swirl which has both lemon juice and Limoncello mixed in. The finished product is a fairly unassuming cupcake but once you bite into it, it packs a punch. I used Limonce limoncello which is an Italian liqueur made by steeping lemon peels in alcohol.
Anyways.... this is also my entry into the 'One Ingredient Challenge', hosted by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and Working London Mummy. An ingredient is selected each month and it is then up to you what you do with it, sweet or savoury...this month just happens to be lemons and as I said, you can't get much more lemony than these mini cupcakes!
For this challenge your recipes should also be family friendly...obviously I don't advocate making Limoncello cupcakes for children (!) but I also made some without as I wasn't sure how strong the cupcakes would taste. I left it out completely for half the cupcakes but if you wanted that lemon hit, a lemon sugar syrup would have the same effect when drizzled over the cake.
65g lightly salted butter
65g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
1 lemon, zest and 1 tbsp juice
3 tbsp limoncello liquer
5 tbsp lemon curd
75g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4 and put 16 mini silicone muffin cases on a baking sheet. I didn't have silicone so I just used traditional cases in a mini muffin pan.
This recipe is really easy. To make the cakes you just need to mix up the butter, sugar, flour, lemon zest and egg in a mixing bowl unitl it's lovely and light and fluffy, before spooning into the cases. Then bake for around 10-12 minutes. Be sure not to over cook them, they should be just firm. When cooked put on a wire rack before removing form the silicone cases after about 2 minutes. You can then drizzle over 2 tablespoons of Limoncello.
Once called spread divide about 2 tablespoons of lemon curd between the cakes and spread over the top with a knife. Finally, make up the icing by putting the butter (softened), icing sugar, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of Limoncello into a bowl and mixing until smooth and creamy. The recipe initially called for 50g of icing sugar which was nowhere near enough, so I've increased it to 100g but I think I probably used more like 150g. Then put your icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe pretty little swirls on to the top of each cake.
* Adapted from Hamlyn's 200 mini cakes & bakes