Thursday, March 26, 2009

lemon-raspberry cupcakes

aren't they pretty?

oh boy. these cupcakes have a story. we'll get to it, i promise. but first, these are the cupcakes i paired with the s'mores (posted below) to bring to the doctoral celebration. when searching for a good complement to a rich dessert, i wanted fruity. i found these lemon cupcakes on apple a day and figured since i used martha's chocolate cupcake recipe, i couldn't go wrong with using her lemon one. once lemon was decided, i wanted a berry component. easy pick was husband's favorite: raspberry.

extra lemony cupcakes with raspberry filling = yum

1-2-3-4 lemon cupcakes (martha stewart adapted by apple a day)
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 c granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 c buttermilk
zest and juice of 2 lemons

1. sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside
2. cream butter on low speed to fully soften; increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy and light in color 3. continue beating and gradually add the sugar until fluffy, about three minutes
4. gradually drizzle in eggs, beating between additions until batter is no longer slick
5. alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk on low speed, a little at a time, starting and ending with the flour
6. beat in lemon juice and lemon zest
7. divide batter between cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F

once cooled, i cut out a cone from the top of each cupcake and filled it with all fruit raspberry preserves (not overly watery). i replaced each cone and topped with a basic raspberry buttercream.

raspberry buttercream
2 sticks room temperature butter
2-3 c powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp raspberry preserves

1. cream butter until fluffy
2. gradually add powdered sugar until frosting consistency
3. beat in raspberry preserves until a pinkish hue and light raspberry flavor is achieved

(i never follow a buttercream recipe...i stop when i like it)

pipe over top (this won't work to spread with a knife all that well with the whole cone cut out deal) and pop a raspberry into each center.

pre trashcake

these were also very good. the cake was moist and had a perfect lemon flavor and the raspberry filling and buttercream was sweet and fruity. they were less popular than the s'mores (that's usually the case with fruit vs. chocolate), so i had some left over. i decided to treat my coworkers (poor them! they never get anything from me!) and bring in the rest (in a giant box) the next morning for work. enter cupcake gate 2009.

9:15 am: i have a training all morning so i ask husband to deliver the cupcakes to my office, placing them next to the coffee machine - our snack area.
9:23 am: i gchat with tsquared, telling him to try the delish cupcakes by the coffee.
9:24am: tsquared responds that there were none, but he works in a satellite office, so what does he know.
9:27 am: i gchat with another coworker in my office to ask him to check on the status of the cupcakes.
9:28 am: status confirmed - all cupcakes gone.
(WHAT? 20 cupcakes gone from an office of 11 people in less than 15 minutes??? impossible.)
9:29 am: i tell him such.
(meanwhile i am supposed to be learning stuff at my training course.)
9:30 am: coworker gchats that he has found the cupcakes...all of the garbage!
(i faint at my training.)
9:31 am: i regain composure, slightly, and frantically gchat to figure out why brand new, fancy cupcakes were tossed.
10:00 am: time passes. i have gchatted with husband and every coworker about this tragedy and have not learned a single thing at training.
10:05 am: gchat status' change to "RIP cupcakes", "who threw out the cupcakes", and "there were cupcakes?".
(i try to learn stuff at training.)
11:30 am: i return to the office to find my cupcakes mangled but on a plate next to the coffee. coworker tells me they've been removed from the trash.
(i faint again.)
12 noon: all but a few cupcakes have been eaten. coworker #1 eats one. he likes it enough to have a second.
12:30 pm: coworker #2 eats a cupcake.
12:45 pm: i throw the rest away and close the book on cupcake gate 2009.

i later learned that these cupcakes were accidentally dropped on the floor, must have all fallen out of the box, and were subsequently thrown out to prevent harm to others. harm from floor particles, i guess. but then people ended up eating floor and (clean!) garbage liner particles. yes, our trash is changed every night and the liners are always brand new in the morning. still!

this was hilarious (although not so at 9:30 -11:00 am) and awesome and tragic all at the same time. trashcakes for everyone! or not, since many missed out. what made it even better, and possibly could have been noted earlier, was that my training was in a computer program that likes all caps. SO ALL OF MY MESSAGES IN GCHAT LOOKED LIKE THIS. it only added to the extreme nature of my posts and desperation to find out the story. next time you want to chat with 6 people and do a training, i suggest using all caps.

moral of the story: cupcakes never, ever get thrown in the trash. OK?


Anonymous said...

What a great story! They must have been some great cupcakes for people to still eat them! They do look delicious.

Cindy said...

Alauna, these were AMAZING, thank you. I now check your blog every day :)

Thomas said...

Man alive, they look and sound yummy. I wish I hadn't read this, I never would have known what I was missing! I love how now that anything comes into the office, we have to joke about eating it before it gets thrown out. Only I'M NOT KIDDING. Loves caps.

Jen said...

I visit your blog, check out your yummy treats, drool, and then am forced to go to the vending machine as a last resort to satisfy my sweets craving. Thanks, Alauna. The baby thanks you too... :)

Loriann Valencia-Serna said...

Hi Alauna! Thanks to your post that I found while browsing for "raspberry" cake recipes, I had a huge success in my kitchen this morning! A friend of mine gave me boxes upon boxes of raspberries and I think your recipe was simply perfect. With leftover batter I made mini cupcakes, and learned after the first batch it is best to only fill those half full as I had some overflow when I filled it a little higher. Aside from that, the lemon was so fresh the buttercream complimented it perfectly. Thank you so much! Here is a link where I posted it to my blog:

Mrs. T said...

I found your blog in a google search for lemon-raspberry cupcakes. These look delicious, I can't wait to try them!

Julie said...

Hi Alauna,

I made these cupcakes (plus some double chocolate mint) for my sisters wedding. Before the wedding all of the chocolate fiends were coming up to me telling me how they would eat all the chocolate cupcakes. I told them all to try the lemon raspberry. They agreed to, but were not excited. The lemon raspberry were totally devoured and I had chocolate fanatics informing me that they had 1 chocolate cupcake and 4 or 5 lemon raspberry.

That, my friends, is how good these cupcakes are. Also, I suggest people making these make their own raspberry preserves (boiling down raspberries with cornstarch and a little bit of cranberry juice and sifting out the seeds). I find the stronger the preserves the better the cupcakes turn out. Also, I found it a lot easier to use a cupcake injection needle (or eclair filling tool) for putting the preserves in. The lemon cupcakes were a bit to delicate to cut cones into.

Amazing recipe! Its now my go-to cupcake for events.