Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Lemony Limoncello Cupcakes

I have always loved to eat tangy and tart foods.  As a kid (and perhaps a bit more recently) my favorite candy was always sweet tarts.  I love anything with a bit of lemon flavor and a bit of tang.  Therefore, it was only a matter of time before I decided to experiment with some lemon flavored cupcake variations.  You may recall, that I made my own Italian Limoncello liqueur about a month ago.  I decided to use the limoncello today in my baking, to make lemon cupcakes with a twist, and jazz them up with a bit of limoncello.

I started by including lemon juice and limoncello (in lieu of vanilla extract) in a basic recipe for vanilla cupcakes, adjusting the proportions of the flour and eggs, to accommodate the addition of limoncello as a key ingredient in the cupcake batter.  Then, I made a lemoncello infused cream cheese frosting.  In between layers of the cupcake and the frosting, I prepared a basic lemon with limoncello to add a burst of that lemony-limoncello flavor.

These cupcakes are a cheerful, lemony treat.  They are different from your standard lemon cupcakes in that they have a bit more of a burst of flavor and impart the sweet tangyness of the limoncello.  Here is the recipe below that I settled on in the end:

Sasha's Lemony Limoncello Cupcakes (Batter) (Made 11 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 T homemade limoncello (or store bought)
3 egg whites
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup sugar

Lemony Limoncello Curd
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 T limoncello
3 egg yolks
zest of one lemon

Lemony Limoncello Frosting
1 stick of butter
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
2 cups of powdered confectioner's sugar
3 T limoncello
drop of yellow food coloring

To prepare the cupcakes, beat the butter and sugar in the mixer.  Continue beating on medium high, adding the egg whites (save the yolks for the curd) one by one.  Beat in the lemon zest.  Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Alternate (while beating on medium) the addition of the dry ingredients and the milk.  Beat in the lemon juice at the end until combined.  Fill your silicon cupcake trays (lined with cupcake liners) about 3/4 of the way full and bake until it comes clean with a toothpick, which took me 35 minutes in my oven.  Allow the cupcakes to cook completely.

To make the curd, combine all of the ingredients over medium heat. Heat, stirring constantly, until a curd forms that is slightly translucent in color.  Top each of the cupcakes with a dollop of curd.  You can also put the curd inside, if you prefer to do it that way.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese in the basin of your mixer, on high speed.  Beat in the powdered sugar until combined into a frosting.  Add the limoncello for the flavor, and add a drop of yellow food coloring to add a subtle boost of color.  Beat until combined into a frosting and frost the cupcakes using a fluted tip fit onto a pastry bag.



  1. I love tangy lemon flavor so much too! These look fabulous and I love the color of your frosting! :)

  2. I love tart with sweet! These look scrumptious! Like biting into sunshine.

  3. Excellent cupcakes - I love the triple lemon flavor in the cupcakes, frosting, and curd! Yum!

  4. Sasha, These sound great and look beautiful. Great color!

  5. lemony! And so pretty!


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