Ahh Valentines day. Some love it, some hate it, Hallmark makes tons of money off of it. I could take it or leave it but its always a good excuse to make cupcakes, especially ones with lots of glitter and sparkle. Since Valentines day is really more of a girly "holiday" than a manly one I decided to go over the top girly and make some fun, glittery, royal icing toppers. I ADORE the blog, Sweetopia, and saw her LOVE cupcakes and wanted to try her technique, but not copy exactly. Marian is a genius when it comes to royal icing, her cookies are incredible, and she so generously posts tutorials and answers all of readers questions. I, on the other hand, am NOT so great with royal icing, but I am learning.
I had a pile of lemons that I couldn't remember exactly what I was originally going to do with them so I decided on some lemon cupcakes, but I have made lemon cupcakes before so I wanted to try a new recipe. We just recently signed up for a home dairy delivery from a local farm to get fresh, local, organic, lightly pasteurized only milk and stay away from the grocery store milk ( even the organic brands are homogenized and ultra pasteurized which kills all the GOOD stuff about milk) and the price is totally comparable. So yeah we have a MILKMAN now. So cool. I feel so retro, like a 1950's housewife. So I ordered a pint of real deal cultured buttermilk and made lemon buttermilk cupcakes. And to stick with the theme of Valentine's day and because I think they go so good together, I made Strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.
Sweetopia has the tutorial on these and recipes for royal icing. I don't really know what I did wrong but mine were not dry in 24 hours and as I was trying to slide them off the acetate paper so many broke or bent from not being dry. And I know I used way too much Disco Dust. I have it all over my house still. Its basically floating in the air with all the rest of my house dust.
Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes
my recipe I adapted from several other recipes
For the cupcakes you will need:
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
- 4 egg whites - room temp
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest ( I use a lot but it makes them so good!)
- 1 tsp lemon oil or extract
- 1 cup buttermilk - room tem\p
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two pans with cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating until well combined. Add lemon zest and lemon oil, beating well. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until smooth. Add lemon Juice, beating until just smooth.
- Scoop batter into pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
IngredientsMakes 5 cups
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 cup strawberry puree ( puree either fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries in a blender)
- In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees). I use a candy thermometer and gauge it that way instead of sticking my finger into hot sugar egg whites.
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry puree with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.