For our Irish themed celebration over the weekend, I made cupcakes. The part where I Made Cupcakes was a big deal! In the past I have always purchased them from my favorite local bakery or called my sister, the baking expert, to produce pretty and delicious cupcakes. Frosted cupcakes were too daunting for me to try on my own.
But, my favorite food bloggers are always posting photos of such lovely handcrafted cupcakes and they got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could do it too. I had the luck o’ the Irish with me after all. So, after fiddling with a few recipes, some crossed fingers and muttered threats, and a few tense minutes when I realized that frosting cupcakes is seriously not easy, I made cupcakes. My frosting skills could use a little practice, but the taste was perfection!
I used Katie’s most recent cupcake recipe because I knew she had perfected it for our high altitude baking issues. I adapted it to fit with our Irish theme – green party, green ingredients! With a Lime Curd filling, a light Lime frosting, and a delightful hint of Mint in the cupcakes, these were the perfect addition to our Saint Patrick’s Day Party. They weren’t nearly as hard as I expected them to be; I see a lot of cupcakes in my future!
Mint Lime Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
For the Lime Curd
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 pounds confectioners sugar, sifted
4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
Lime Extract or Lime Oil to taste
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 F and place cupcake liners in cupcake tins.
Combine the milk and chopped mint in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring the milk to a simmer. When bubbles and foam begin to form, turn off the heat. Let the milk sit until it has cooled to room temperature, then strain out the mint leaves.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
In a medium bowl combine mint infused milk, yogurt, and egg whites, then whisk well.
Place softened butter in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, cream butter until smooth, then gradually add in sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric hand mixer until light, 3 or 4 minutes. Still beating, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once combined, beat in half of the milk mixture, then beat in half of the remaining flour mixture until well combined. Add in the remaining milk and flour mixtures, alternating each, and beat just until batter is smooth.
Divide batter evenly between 18 to 20 cupcake tins with liners. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
For the lime curd:
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine eggs and sugar. Whisk until well blended. Whisk in lime juice. Set pan over, without touching, simmering water in the bottom pan of the double boiler. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is heated through, begin adding the butter, one tablespoon at a time, allowing each tablespoon to melt before adding the next. Stir constantly until mixture thickens, like a very thick pudding. Remove from heat immediately. Set pan in a non reactive bowl filled with ice water to cool. Then refrigerate for one hour.
To fill cupcakes with lime curd, fit a pastry bag with a number 2 tip. Fill bag with cooled lime curd. Insert the tip into the top of each cupcake and squeeze to fill the centers with curd.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl (or a standing mixture with whisk attachment) cream butter until fluffy. Continuing to beat on low speed, slowly add in confectioners sugar. Beat until well blended.
Add in lime juice, lime oil or extract if using, and heavy cream. Blend until moistened. Add additional cream until frosting is desired consistency. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
Makes approximately 18 to 20 cupcakes
For cupcake frosting/decorating help, check out these excellent posts:
What are your favorite cupcake flavor combinations? I am excited to try making more cupcakes!