Lemon cupcakes are a delight of summer, and a touch of basil really dresses them up. They're a wonderful light ending to a meal or a bright breakfast choice. Garnish each one with a candied fresh basil leaf. —Julie Ohnstad, Marietta, Georgia
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
- 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd
- LEMON SYRUP:
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 lemon peel strip (1-1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
- LEMON MOUSSE FROSTING:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 new small paintbrush
- 24 fresh basil leaves
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
- Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small round pastry tip. Fill with lemon curd. Push the tip through the top of each cupcake to fill.
- For syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, basil and lemon peel. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Strain; discard basil and peel. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, 3 tablespoons lemon syrup, vanilla, lemon peel and extract until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Frost cupcakes. (Cover and refrigerate remaining syrup for another use.)
- Place corn syrup and sugar in small bowls. Dip paintbrush in corn syrup; brush over a basil leaf. Coat leaf with sugar. Repeat. Garnish cupcakes with basil leaves. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Lemon Basil Cupcakes in Taste of Home August/September 2008, p26
Sweet White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.
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