Limoncello Cupcakes

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Remember when I started making Limoncello!?  Ya, that was a long time ago.  I zested about a million (or 14) lemons, waited patiently for a month and then added the simple syrup.  This golden yellow concoction has been sitting in our cupboard just waiting to be strained and used.  

The main reason why I wanted to make Limoncello is because I saw this recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker's blog.  Immediately I knew I had to make them.  I am so glad that I did!  Although they are pretty time consuming and I'm not much of a baker, these little cuppies packed quite the lemon punch!  I love the contrast of the super sweet frosting with the tart lemon curd.  Amazing.  

I will definitely be making these again...probably soon since lemon is my mom's favorite flavor and her birthday is coming up soon!!  Not to mention I have about a gallon of Limoncello left.  Do you have any ideas or recipes that I can use this liquor for?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!!! 

Until then, try to refrain from licking your computer screen. 

Happy Wednesday! : ) 

Musical Selection: Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machines.  Just because it sounds good. 
So here it is in all of its lemon zest glory.
Strain it up....
Here it is...finally able to use it!  Mmm...Hey, Mr. Schwartz, make me a lemon drop martini will ya?!
Okay, sorry, moving on.  Yes, I took a picture of my stand mixer.  I have to note that this was our maiden voyage!  I LOVE this stinkin' mixer.  My sweet mother in law gave it to me for my bridal shower.  I am one lucky daughter in law that is for sure!!! Thank you Mrs. Schwartz!!!  And don't mind my reflection in the bowl...barefooted, wearing yoga pants in the kitchen...weird.  
Enough of the shenanigans, to make the cupcakes, start by sifting together the dry ingredients.  Flour...
Baking powder...
And salt. Set aside.
Then add the butter to the mixing bowl.  Make sure to set out your butter ahead of time to bring it to room temp.  I did this with the eggs as well--I hear that makes a big difference.
Add the cream cheese as well...
Oh, and the white sugar.
Mix er up....
Add the eggs...
Cream together.
Add the sweet Limoncello nectar.
Measure out the buttermilk.  I also hear this makes cakes super moist.  And I do have to say these were pretty moist....
Add 1/2 of the sifted flour mixture...
Then the buttermilk....
Then the remaining flour mixture....
Mix until incorporated...add the zest.
And juice your lemon.  Have I told you how in love I am with reemers!?  Wow, they really work great and you just need to strain the liquid.  Let's just say I gave the business to these lemons.
Stir in the lemon juice.  This batter smelled ah-mazing.  But don't worry mom, I didn't eat any of know salmonella is in eggs. Last time I made cake at my parents house I had the tiniest taste and it was as if I put battery acid in my mouth.  Sorry mom, I can't help myself : )
Get your liners all set up.  I love this aluminum cupcake liners.  They don't turn all funky when you bake them....
Get your ice cream scoop out and fill up the cups.  Pop the cupcakes in the oven....
While the cupcakes are baking start to work on the lemon curd.  This takes a whole 3 seconds. Well, maybe a bit more but really much easier than I thought it would be. Zest two lemons...
Then give them the business with your reemer....
Add the juice to the zest in a small sauce pan.
Add the sugar and bring to a simmer....
Put one egg + an egg yolk to a separate bowl...whisk them together....
Add a small amount of the lemon zest/juice to the are tempering the eggs so that they don't turn into lemon scrambled eggs.  Add a little of the hot liquid at a time while whisking the eggs....
Once the majority of the juice is in with the eggs, return the egg mixture to the sauce pan and heat on the stove until thickened.
Like this...a nice thick curd. Set aside to cool....
Oh hey pretties, are you already done baking?!  Why don't you cool down while we work on a few other things....
Like Limoncello cream cheese frosting.  Take the other 1/2 of your butter and pop it into your mixing bowl.
Add the other part of the cream cheese block.  Seriously love that this recipe just used everything up...I dig that.
Cream these together.  Oh and disregard the whisk attachment in the previous want to use the paddle. I must have been drinking some of that Limoncello....maybe I was. It was Sunday, don't judge.
Speaking of...take a few tablespoons and add it to the butter and cream cheese.  I did about 4 tablespoons even though the recipe called for 1.  I wanted a little more lemon flavor in the frosting.
Add the powdered sugar...
Mmmmm.....I could have finished this whole bowl off but, those cuppies were counting on me to top them. So I worked on my self control.  I was even nice enough to give Mr. Schwartz the paddle to "clean up."  Limoncello cream cheese frosting+Mr. Schwartz+NASCAR=true love.
Once the curd has cooled, I put it into a zip lock bag and cut the corner off so I could easily fill the cupcakes.
Once they have cooled, it is time to "core" them.  I used a frosting tip.  It worked okay.  I hear using an apple corer works even better.  I might need to invest in one of those...
Because I had to supplement with this little toothpick thing.  It worked pretty well though.
Cored cupcakes just waiting for lemon curd.
See, I cut the tip off...
Fill it up!
Like this.....
Next is the frosting...
Ha, I laugh when I look at these now, I had a hard time with my pastry was leaking and I was getting mad so, they look a little rough.
See, those are some rough lookin' cupcakes.  I'll work on it, I promise.
But hey, look at this little beauty!
Absolutely perfect combonation....sweet, tart, fluffy.  Yep, true love. 
So glad I brought the others to work yesterday...they needed to make others as happy as they made me.  And our waistlines did not need to eat 10 more.  Yikes.

Limoncello Cupcakes
(Makes 1 dozen)

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
For the cream cheese limoncello frosting:
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons limoncello
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Prepare the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins with an ice cream/muffin scoop. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.
2. Prepare the lemon curd. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.  Once curd is cooled, fill a zip lock bag with it and cut the corner off for easy filling of the cupcakes.
3. Prepare the cream cheese limoncello frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
4. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a hole into each cupcake with the the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese limoncello frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Decorate with lemon slices if desired.


  1. Oh Anna, I wish there was one left for you!!

  2. so tasty! I made minis of these and want to do again but wondered if i can make the frosting ahead of tome - day or 2 and refrig....making a variety of desserts for Thanksgiving an have alot to do....


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