Last summer we planted an itty bitty lemon tree, and this year our itty bitty lemon tree has some not so itty bitty lemons on it. In fact it has so many that our tree is straining to remain upright. A heavy laden lemon tree is fine with me since I love lemons and especially love lemony desserts. One of my favorites is Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake and this is a variation of her loaf I love so much. This time I turned her loaf into lemon cupcakes and topped them with a vanilla buttercream and a few shavings of lemon zest. The lemony the better for me!!
Lemon Loaf Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, about 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegatable oil
1/3 cup squeezed lemon juice
1 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl with a whisk beat together greek yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients. Fold in vegetable oil into the batter making sure to fully incorporate it. Pour batter into each cupcake liner filling 3/4 of the way. Bake for between 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted placed in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cupcakes are done, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While the cupcakes are still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the top of the cupcakes and allow to soak in. Allow cupcakes to now cool completely before frosting.
Combine butter, sugar and salt. Add the milk ad vanilla and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Place your frosting in a piping bag and let set in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes before piping onto cupcakes.