Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ugly yellow sprinkles.

I made lemon cupcakes. I wanted it to feel like springtime. Because I'm over winter and not yet ready for summer. (Target, I'm looking at you. Put those swimsuits away.)

I was going to garnish said cupcakes with lemon zest, except I used my last lemon when I made the frosting.

The sprinkles (or "jimmies," if you're so inclined) were a good idea in theory. They looked okay on one. On all four? They looked... stupid.

I tried to use a toothpick to pry them out of the frosting, but quickly realized I would destroy all those pretty lines and curves if I continued.

I wanted to refrost, except the leftover frosting was already in the trash. (It was the only way I'd stop eating it.)

Then I thought about adding more sprinkles in another color, like hot pink, hoping that it would add some fun contrast, but I was afraid it'd just make things worse.

Finally I gave up.

I ate two cupcakes to make myself feel better. And thought about swimsuits the entire time. (I hate you, Target.)

The end.

P.S. the cupcakes are damn good.

Lemon Cupcakes
Ingredients | Printer-friendly recipe
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another, combine the buttermilk and lemon extract. Set aside. Combine butter, sugar, and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and much lighter in color. (Beat well, at least 5-10 minutes.)

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate the first egg before adding the second.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk in the following order: add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, 1/2 of the wet, another third of the dry, the rest of the wet, and the rest of the dry. Mix until just combined and finish with a spatula. (If you overmix after the dry ingredients are added, the cupcakes will not rise properly and the texture will be chewy and dense.)

Bake in the top third of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon

Beat butter until creamy. Add 3 cups of the sugar and the rest of the ingredients. Beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, adding 1 cup at a time and beating for 5 minutes after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, continue beating at high speed till the mixture is extremely pale, light, and very fluffy. Use immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate.


  1. You just needed more sprinkles. When it comes to sprinkles, more is more.

  2. Those look freakin' divine! Yummy! I'm drooling at your pictures. Thanks so much for the grams of fat........I know, your'e welcome. LOL!

  3. agree with Hat Chick - more is more where sprinkles are concerned. Multicolor, sparkly, whatever. They're just fun to see especially on fun food like cupcakes. Yours look delicious!

  4. Those little dots are adorable! Look yummy...

  5. Oh, boy, those look so good! I like the sprinkles. Now, I must go eat a healthy lunch because I'm starving and what I really feel like eating is something frosted! Luckily, I have nothing frosted in the house.

  6. It doesn't look stupid in the pictures. It looks delicious, though.

  7. I must disagree with the Hat Chick - more is more only when we are talking frosting, not sprinkles. I'm not a fan of the sprinkle. Love the swirly tops on these.But, sweet mother of God - lemon buttercream?? My birthday is in 12 days - do you need my address? :D

  8. Plans for the weekend...make lemon as many as possible before girls discover them. And lemon butter still my heart! Many thanks for sharing this...hello heavenly spring cupcakes!! :)

  9. Dear God, Help me to not make these heavenly looking cupcakes and frosting that my dear, wonderful, sister has waved before my face!

  10. Damn.I just gained 5 pounds just looking at the pictures and didn't even give the sprinkles a second thought.

  11. what pipe number do you use for your frosting?looks so gorg!

  12. Mmmm, these look great! I've been on the lookout for a good lemon cupcakes recipe for a little tasting project I'm working on. I'll have to try these. Any tips/suggestions if you were to make them again?BTW - I don't think the sprinkles look stupid :)

  13. As hard as you are on yourself, or your cupcakes (or, heck, Target), this was one great post. And these cupcakes look heavenly. I'm with you, ready for spring, but in no way thinking of summer yet. Thanks for the inspiration.Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.Best,

  14. I think the sprinkles are super cute! I know how you feel though :PCute post!

  15. I think your spinkles are cute! Definitely not ugly at all. Your frosting looks so smooth and creamy!

  16. If sprinkles are stupid, I don't wanna be smart.Most delicious-looking cupcakes, ever.

  17. -->Those look good and I say, More Sprinkles!

  18. I will be making these today. Yes, today. Did I already tell you that it's past midnight over here? Yeah, thanks for the recipe! :)I'm making them for my sister's co-workers so they better be good. Just joking. They look delicious.

  19. They look delish! The yellow sprinkles aren't too bad! Great pics. How do you get the printable recipe to post?

  20. They loved them!!! No seriously, they luvvvvvved the cupcakes. I ate two (hey, I had to sample them) and fell in love too. I used another frosting (just powdered sugar + lemon juice, I was tired so I took the easy way) but who cares? I will definitely make these again. Thanks!!!I think one of the co-workers wants to ask me to marry him now. I'm not even kidding.

  21. Don't you dare say such mean things about those sprinkles. OMG, those sprinkles, that cake. I am drooling.

  22. Love the lemon cupcakes and the sprinkles! Will try the recipe, looks delish!

  23. Don't think the sprinkles look that bad, hate Target and their swimsuits too, sorry to admit that I love Twilight, and making these babies tomorrow. (In Schwarzenegger voice:)I'll be back.

  24. How many cupcakes does this recipe make? I want to try these, but I only want to make a few...