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Lemon Basil Cupcakes

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups 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 zest 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 zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • GARNISH:
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 new small paintbrush
  • 24 fresh basil leaves

Directions

  • 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 zest. 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 in 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 zest strip. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Strain; discard basil and lemon zest strip. Cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, 3 tablespoons lemon syrup, vanilla, lemon zest 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.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • jensweetser
    Jan 9, 2012

    Granted, this might be user error....but I really didn't think these were super delicious! The cake was moist at first, but once I refrigerated them, they became hard. The cake was delicious in flavor though. The frosting was fabulous and the lemon curd filling was also very good. I will try to make this again because the flavors were wonderful, but I'm hoping my cupcakes turn out better the next time around!

  • m.fichter
    Apr 29, 2011

    I made these in a mini version for my Nice's Communion. Topped with a white choc. and lemoncrunch mini cross, with the basil leaf behind it. Also made my ownlemon curd. Plus when making the syrup, I added lemon zest strips(about 1 lemon's worth) instead of small peel. drained them from the syrup and tossed with sugar and dried; a good topper for the cupcakes along with the basil.

  • ocsurfmama
    Jun 28, 2010

    I wanted to add that before you frost these they are great to make ahead and freeze. Just pull them out and thaw in the refrigerator the night before, or thaw at room temp for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • ocsurfmama
    Jun 28, 2010

    I wanted to add that before you frost these they are great to make ahead and freeze. Just pull them out and thaw in the refrigerator the night before, or thaw at room temp for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • ocsurfmama
    Jun 28, 2010

    I made these for Saturday dinner company and they were so refreshing! I made my own homemade Lemon curd so that added about 20 minutes to the prep time but it was well worth it.The taste reminded me of Lemon Meringue pie. This recipe is most certainly a keeper!I love being able to use fresh basil from my herb garden and fresh lemons to make the curd.

  • diannes0129
    Jun 28, 2010

    These cupcakes were absolutely delicious!! I will make them over again many times--they're worth the extra steps involved.

  • sdladuke
    Jun 28, 2010

    No comment left

  • Scarlet1980
    Jun 21, 2010

    These are very good and fresh tasting. They taste like summer!!