I never understood why people went crazy for cupcake shops until I attempted to make some cupcakes of my own.  Now I know.  They are damn hard to get right and when you find that perfect one (be they home-made or store-bought), you never let it go.  These Meyer lemon cupcakes were my first venture into cupcake-dom.  They were pretty good but a little dense (probably due to overmixing), a far cry from Molly’s Cupcakes but not unenjoyable.  Hopefully one day when I have the patience I will make them again…. EVEN BETTER THAN THIS TIME!

This post I am doing differently from the others.  Since I didn’t alter one single step from the original recipe I found, I think that you’re far better off reading that well-written well-organized webpage as opposed to one of my half-assed ones.  It is cupcakes after all and things must be perfect and well-measured.  Fear not cupcake-making virgins, between my photos and 52 Kitchen Adventure’s photos, you should be able to pull off some fine cakes.  Good luck, have no fear, make it work, lipsync for your life… I mean.. ummm….

Just a note: I pretty much stopped substituting butter in recipes.  For one thing butter is delicious.  For another, buying fancy European butter makes me think more carefully about what I actually want to use it for.  Here’s a block that I later quartered.  I froze most of it in wax paper but saved about one stick for the recipe.  One half I used for the actual cake and the other I left out at room temperature for the frosting.

Don’t know if you have a juicer, but they’re a great investment!  I bought mine at a Unique thrift store for $1.  They do save a bit more juice than just squeezing fruit by hand and also the seeds, meat, and skin get filtered out.

I was very glad I had a handheld mixer, because I don’t think I could have mixed anything thoroughly enough by hand.  The butter and cream cheese were a bit harder to make uniform but I put the mixer on the highest speed for several minutes and that did the trick.  Here the batter is all set to be poured into the cupcake tin.

Here’s a photo of the frosting .  I made it while the cake was baking.  It was pretty easy to make with the handheld maker, made even easier by the fact that I left the cream cheese and butter out for an hour or so before using them.

Enjoyed a nice after-dinner digestif, as you can see.

I didn’t have a melon baller or a small pastry tip, so I used a plastic spoon to create a triangle outline in the center of the cake.  Because of the slight curvature of the spoon, it was fairly easy to pop the center piece out.

Lemon curd filling was from this recipe.  I didn’t have enough for all the cupcakes so I filled some in with home-made blueberry jam instead.  You could probably use whatever jammies you have lying around in the fridge, just make sure they’re not too sticky.  I think the ones with a bit of fruit or seeds are the best.  Next time perhaps I’ll try some strawberry jam.

Voila!  These don’t look so bad do they?  I had a bit of a pastry bag malfunction, i.e. didn’t know how to use it and ended up squeezing a lot of frosting out of the wrong end of the bag.  It turns out that whole frosting patterning thing is not my scene.

Here’s the blueberry jam one.  I was actually more partial to this one.  The combination of lemon and blueberry really made the cake sweet to eat.

Tada!  Yayyy!