Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

Its spring…about time people! It was 56 degrees which meant t-shirts, no coat, and the windows wide open to let in some fresh air. I even broke out the flip flops which wasn’t a good idea because by 7 o’clock it had cooled off 10 degrees or so and my feet were freezing!

In the spirit of spring, I made some amazingly delicious cupcakes that are filled with lemon-y goodness and they were perfect for any spring time party. These lemon surprise cupcakes not only deliver on that bright lemon flavor I love but also are super easy to make. These are a “semi-homemade” delight that will fit into anyone’s busy schedule.

Lemon Surprise Cupcakes

For batter:
§  1 box of your favorite white/yellow cake mix (and all the fixings needed to prepare the box mix)
§  ¼ tsp Lemon Extract
§  ¼ tsp Lemon zest
1. Prepare your cake mix as directed.
2. Add lemon extract and lemon zest.
3. Mix well.
4. Line 2 cupcake pans. The box fills about 24 cupcake lines but I usually only let about 18 cupcakes out of the batter. I tend to over fill the liners at about ¾ or so.
5. Bake as directed.

For frosting:
§  2 cups Butter Flavored shortening
o   (I used Crisco sticks. They are a lot easier than scoping out the shortening for the tub like my mother use to do back in the day. You could also you use regular shortening or even butter. I prefer shortening to butter because I feel like it comes out fluffier but it’s all about preference)
§  ½ tbsp Lemon Extract
§  ½ tbsp Vanilla extract
§  1 tbsp whole milk or water
o   If you plan on coloring your frosting, use milk. When coloring frosting, tap water sometimes will change the color of the frosting. Blacks/blues/purples usually don’t come out true.
§  4-5 cups of powdered sugar
o   The absorption of the sugar into the wet ingredients really depends on your environment. Sometimes I use 4 cups of powdered sugar and then other times I use 5. Once you’ve made your frosting a number of times, you will know how you like your frosting.
1.      Cream together the shortening, milk, lemon extracts, and vanilla extract.
2.      Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time or you will be engulfed with a cloud of sugar.
To decorate my cupcakes:
1.      I used Bismarck tip 230 with jarred lemon curd to fill my lemon cupcakes with it’s a surprise.
2.      Decorate as desired.

Tips for decorating cupcakes
§  Tip 1M – makes great swirls. If you start from the outside, it will make a cute little swirly-cue. If you start from the center, it will make an adorable rose top.
§  Tip 22 – makes tight swirls.
§  Tip 12 –  makes soft fluffy swirls.
§  Use both hands while piping your frosting. Take one hand closest to the tip and one on top of the bag. This will give you the best control of the frosting flow.
§  If the frosting gets too warm, pop it in the freezer. I like my frosting quite cold but that’s preference.

Hope you all enjoy.