Easy Nigella Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes are a delightful twist on traditional baking, blending the invigorating zest of lemons with the softness of a sponge cake to create a perfect treat for any occasion. Ideal for tea time, celebrations, or simply as a delightful dessert, these cupcakes offer a burst of lemony freshness in every bite. It serves 8-10 people, this recipe can be prepared in about an hour.

In this guide, I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions to bake Nigella’s Lemon Cupcakes, along with practical tips to ensure they come out moist, tender, and full of flavor

What is Nigella Lemon Cupcakes Recipe?

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes are a delightful twist on the classic cupcake, infusing the sweet, tender base with the bright, tangy essence of lemon. This combination results in a dessert that’s both refreshing and indulgent, a perfect balance of flavors that dance on the palate.

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple Elegance: These cupcakes blend the simplicity of baking with the sophisticated flavor of lemon, offering a dessert that looks and tastes gourmet.
  • Versatile Serving Options: Perfect for various occasions, they can be dressed up or down depending on the event.
  • A Joy to Make: With clear, step-by-step instructions, even novice bakers can achieve impressive results.

Ingredients Needed to Make Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

To make Nigella Lemon Cupcakes, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Lemon Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions to Make Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

Follow these simple steps to make Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

Step 1: Preparing the Batter

  • Preheat Your Oven: Start by heating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners to ensure easy removal after baking.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This ensures your cupcakes will have a light, airy texture.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy. This process introduces air into the batter, crucial for soft cupcakes.
  • Add Eggs: Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next. This helps maintain the mixture’s emulsion.
  • Incorporate Lemon Flavor: Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, blending until evenly distributed throughout the batter. The zest is key to a vibrant lemon flavor.
  • Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; overmixing can lead to dense cupcakes.

Step 2: Baking

  • Fill Cupcake Liners: Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full to allow room for rising.
  • Bake: Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool: Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This step prevents the cupcakes from becoming soggy.

Step 4: Preparing the Lemon Frosting

  • Beat Butter: In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, beating until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  • Decorate Cupcakes: Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a piping bag or a knife to apply the lemon frosting. For an extra touch of elegance, garnish with a small piece of lemon zest or a thin lemon slice.

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

What Do I Serve With Nigella Lemon Cupcakes?

  • Tea or Coffee: A warm cup of tea or coffee complements the tangy sweetness of the cupcakes.
  • Fresh Berries: Serve with a side of fresh berries for a refreshing contrast.
  • Lemon Sorbet: For a summer treat, pair with lemon sorbet to double down on the citrus theme.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

  • Use Fresh Lemons: For the best flavor, use fresh lemons rather than bottled lemon juice.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature to achieve a smooth batter.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter until just combined to keep the cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • Rotate the Pan: Halfway through baking, rotate the cupcake pan to promote even baking and coloring due to oven hot spots.

Variations of Nigella Lemon Cupcakes

  • Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes: Add a cup of fresh blueberries to the batter for a fruity twist.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes: Stir in 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds for a classic variation.
  • Lemon Coconut Cupcakes: Fold in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut into the batter for a tropical flavor.

How do I Store Nigella Lemon Cupcakes Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature: Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerate: For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 1 week.

How do I Reheat Nigella Lemon Cupcakes Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature: Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Microwave: If you prefer them slightly warm, microwave for 5-10 seconds.

FAQs

Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice Instead of Fresh Lemons?

While fresh lemon zest and juice are recommended for the best flavor and aroma in Nigella Lemon Cupcakes, bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch. However, keep in mind that bottled juice may lack the vibrant zestiness of fresh lemons. For the zest, there’s no perfect substitute, but lemon extract can help mimic some of the flavors in the cake batter.

How Can I Ensure My Cupcakes Are Moist and Fluffy?

To achieve moist and fluffy cupcakes, pay attention to the following key steps: ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing; cream the butter and sugar well to incorporate air; and be careful not to overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added. Overmixing can develop the gluten in the flour, leading to dense cupcakes. Also, don’t overbake – start checking for doneness a few minutes before the recipe suggests.

Can These Cupcakes Be Made Gluten-Free?

Yes, Nigella Lemon Cupcakes can easily be adapted for a gluten-free diet by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Look for a 1:1 baking blend that’s designed to replace all-purpose flour directly. Make sure the blend includes xanthan gum or add it separately if needed, as it helps mimic the texture and structure provided by gluten.

What’s the Best Way to Store Frosted Lemon Cupcakes?

Frosted lemon cupcakes are best stored in an airtight container to keep them fresh. If the frosting is buttercream or cream cheese-based, it’s safe to store them at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, or in warm climates, refrigerate them to prevent the frosting from melting or going bad. When refrigerated, let them come to room temperature before serving to ensure the best flavor and texture.

Nutrition Value List (per cupcake, approximate):

  • Calories: 280 kcal
  • Fat: 14 g
    • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
    • Sugars: 24 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg
  • Fiber: 0.5 g

Final Words

Nigella Lemon Cupcakes are a testament to the beauty of baking, where simple ingredients come together to create something truly special. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, these cupcakes offer a delightful experience that’s sure to impress. Happy baking!

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