Jacob turned five today and asked, ever so sweetly, for lemon cupcakes for his celebration. I have a strict policy to never make a cake from a box, but it's not a snooty, foodie, I'm so good sort of thing. It's just that homemade tastes so much better and is less effort than running to the store for a cake mix. It really is. Like, I had this ready to bake before the oven heated up. I could not have run to the store in that amount of time.
These turned out dense and moist, bordering on the crumb you'd get from a rich cornbread, but would be lighter, fluffier, and altogether cakier if you skipped the whole wheat flour in favour of another scoop of all-purpose. These were decidedly muffin-esque rather than cupcake-y. They were also quite satisfying, and would be as great for breakfast as for dessert, methinks.
Lemon Ginger Muffincakes
Based, ever-so-loosely, on another spicy, delicious muffin from Dorie Greenspan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour [mine is oh-so-finely ground]
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1-2 Tbsp ground fresh ginger, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted, but not hot
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Put your oven rack in the center, and preheat to 375˚F. Butter or spray a 12 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners. Put the muffin tin on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and baking powder. Stir in brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps. In another bowl, stir together butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients into dry, and stir quickly, but gently, until the flour just disappears and the batter is lumpy. Gently stir in the lemon zest. Plop them into the muffin cups, and bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Thinking that the lemon of these would be rather subtle for a five year old, I shot homemade lemon curd into them, topped them with candied lemon slices, and frosted them with this to really up the lemon ante:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
juice of 2 lemons
3-3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup lemon curd (optional)
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it's soft and fluffy, several minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, adding more sugar, as needed, to obtain the desired consistency. Add lemon curd, if using, and add sugar, as necessary, to get it just the right thickness. This would also be nice with just a hint of ginger in it to keep the adult-level spice right where it should be, but I left it out this time.