I was this close to entering July’s Iron Cupcake: Earth herb challenge, but couldn’t find the herbs I wanted – I wanted them fresh. But I decided to go ahead and try the cupcake I wanted to make, but without the herbs, just for fun. It ended up being one of my favorite cupcakes that I’ve made thus far.
And it certainly is pretty! It’s a devil’s food cupcake, frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting and decorated with a homemade candied lemon peel.
The cupcake recipe I chose is from Martha Stewart. It’s the second time I’ve used this particular recipe and I decided that I really like it enough to be my current favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. It uses sour cream in the batter, which gives the batter a beautiful-looking creamy texture. The cake itself bakes up soft and moist, but still firm.
I’ve never eaten lemon cream cheese frosting, and I am admittedly not a fan at all of cream cheese. But if it’s sweetened enough I think it tastes really nice as a frosting. I found the recipe at allrecipes.com. I ended up not having to use all of the confectioners’ sugar; I believe I only used 4 cups, rather than the full 5 cups. It is really creamy and lemony; if I ever need a lemon frosting recipe again, I’ll definitely be choosing this one.
What really put the lemon in the cake, though, was the homemade candied lemon peel. I found the recipe for this from Whole Foods Market. These turned out extremely lemony and tasted great on the cupcakes.
The main inspiration for these lemon chocolate cupcakes came from a memory of eating a Lindt lemon chocolate bar. It’s pretty crazy because I cannot find that Lindt lemon chocolate bar anymore, but I’m pretty sure that they did exist and that I did eat one!