Sunshine Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes & My First 10K

Does anything scream spring to you more than the color yellow? Springtime brings about yellow daffodils, bright yellow sunshine, and of course, the dreaded yellow pollen. Seriously, my car is now a lovely shade of greyish yellow and I'm pretty sure I will be coughing up yellow after the 10K on Saturday. DSC_0144edit

Speaking of the Monument 10K - anyone running or walking it?! This will be my first ever road race (I was registered for one and then found out about the dreaded foot fracture the day before) and this will be my longest distance to date since my stress fracture! I'm feeling ready and excited - I'm run/walking it with my mom (I think we start around 9:20?) so say hi if you see us! I'll do a race recap next week and give you all the details.

Anyways, back to yellow things that don't make your head throb - yellow, lemon cupcakes!

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These cupcakes are the peak of lemon-y, springtime-y goodness. It's a simple, almond-based lemon cupcake filled with the best lemon curd and all topped with some vanilla cream cheese frosting. And cute yellow sprinkles, obviously.

I originally made this recipe for a friend's birthday and now, it is one of my go-to spring-event cupcake recipes. This particular batched was whipped up for a coworker's baby shower/party that is happening today. Another coworker/blog reader (hey Leah!) asked if I would be willing to make some cupcakes and of course, I was more than happy to oblige. These little lemon gems immediately came to mind because really, nothing says springtime baby shower like a lemon treat. (Sidenote: In the particular cupcakes shown here, I used an egg-free lemon curd since tempered egg yolks aren't the best choice for pregnant women.) I made some substitutions to my original recipe and ended up with a cupcake that reminded me of lemon poundcake - it's denser than a cupcake and has less of a crumb and dare I say, I may like it more than the original. Poundcake, lemon, and yellow sprinkles? It's like a little bite of spring.

Now go enjoy this yellow sunshine, preferably without the yellow pollen.

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P.S. These photos were all edited using the Sunshine action from The Pioneer Woman. I normally don't mess with my photos too much but sometimes, playing around in Photoshop is oh-so-fun. The photos in this post were edited using the Seventies action (one of my favorites).

Sunshine Lemon Poundcake Cupcakes

Yields: approx. 12 cupcakes

See original recipe here.

Here is the general order of operations since this is a bit of multi-step process: Make & cool lemon curd, make & bake cupcake batter, make frosting while cupcakes cool, cut out cupcakes and brush with syrup, fill with curd, frost. Refrigerate until serving.

LEMON CURD: see Joy the Baker’s recipe - just sub lemon for the tangerine. It's really the best lemon curd ever. If you're looking for an egg-free version, check out this one.
1. Make sure lemon curd is fully cooled before filling cupcakes!

CUPCAKES:

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sugar in the raw
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 egg whites + 1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups simple syrup, optional but highly recommended.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. You already have your lemon curd cooling, right?
2. Mix all dry ingredients, including lemon zest, together in mixer until they are incorporated.
3. Add in lemon juice, eggs, vanilla, honey, and oil. Mix to combine.
4. Line cupcake pan with liners, fill liners about half way full. These cupcakes get a lovely little dome so I find that under-filling the liners is better than over-filling.
5. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes, turning pan half way through. They’re done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it and the tops spring back when touched.
6. Let cupcakes cool completely.
7. Using a small, sharp knife make a square cutout in the center of the cupcake. Remove the cutout and push down with the end of a spoon. This “cone method” creates a little hole in the center of the cupcake for the filling. Alternatively, you can fill the cupcakes using a piping bag and a filling tip if you have one.
8. Put the cooled lemon curd in the cutout center using a spoon. Fill until the curd is just spilling over the top of the cupcake. Smooth the excess over the cupcake

9. This is optional but I think it really takes them over the top. Grab your simple syrup and a pastry brush and simple brush a few thin layers of syrup over the cupcakes and let them sit for a few minutes.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Note: for these particular cupcakes, I made my icing super gooey (ok, so that was an accident) and I have to say I prefer it that way for these cupcakes! It mimics the glaze on a poundcake and is plain addictive.

2 packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
a small squeeze of fresh lemon
approx.1- 2 cups powdered sugar (use your judgment and taste buds)
1. Beat together the softened cream cheese, desired amount of powdered sugar, squeeze of lemon, and vanilla until creamy.
2. Add softened butter and beat again until nice and gooey.
3. Refrigerate for a bit if you can, if not, no big deal.
4. Frost cupcakes and refrigerate until serving.

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