As much as I love chocolate, I tend to gravitate toward fruitier desserts in the summertime. Let me tell you how this seasonal preference might have actually saved my dog’s life (or at least saved her a tummyache).
My boyfriend remarked the other day that it must be difficult to be a dog in my apartment, because there are so many great and enticing smells wafting around, but it’s all human food and not intended for canines.* Well. He was right that it must be difficult. I had a batch of these cupcakes sitting in the middle of the table, cooling, when I went to another room for a couple of minutes. When I returned to the kitchen, I noticed that one cupcake was missing from the corner of the arrangement and that my puppy was looking rather pleased with herself. She had scarfed down the whole cupcake, liner and all, and didn’t leave a single crumb behind! I have never seen a puppy on a sugar high before, but let me tell you, it was a little bit frightening. All in all, I’m thankful that (a) the cupcakes didn’t have any chocolate and weren’t yet frosted, and (b) she either had enough self-control to eat only one or she didn’t have enough time to eat more. Clearly, I’m going to have to find a better place to cool baked goods, especially before fall and winter when I’m sure the chocolate cravings will resume. I really can’t blame the pup for sneaking a cupcak, though—these are fantastic. Fruity, light, moist, a subtle hint of crunch from the poppy seeds…om nom nom. Enjoy!
*Not entirely true. I sometimes bake dog treats from scratch. If you have a BFF (best furry friend) in your life, stay tuned – I’ll post a dog-friendly recipe or two soon!
- 2 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 14 tablespoons butter (1 3/4 sticks)
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease cupcake pans or line with cupcake liners.
- Combine milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
- Combine butter and sugar in a mixer and beat until fluffy.
- Add lemon zest and milk/vinegar mixture (reserving 1/3 cup) to butter and sugar. Beat on low until mixed.
- Combine flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Mix and then add to butter and sugar. Beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites with remaining 1/3 cup milk/vinegar. Add to batter in 2 separate additions, mixing batter in between additions.
- Portion into cupcake pans, filling each cup no more than two-thirds full. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- While cupcakes are cooling on a wire rack, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook until liquid has reduced slightly.
- Before cupcakes are cool, brush tops with lemon syrup. You may want to position the wire rack over a large platter or baking sheet to catch any run-off.
- Mix together butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and almond extracts and milk. Beat until smooth.
- Once cupcakes are completely cooled, top with frosting. Garnish with berries as desired.
cake lover says
These look very delicious. One question: do you have a good way of using the leftover egg yolks? It seems like such a shame to waste them…
Good question! This is always a problem with recipes that don’t use one part of the egg. One thing you can do with leftover egg yolks is make lemon curd. Here is a quick recipe from Martha Stewart for lemon curd, which I’ve scaled up to use 5 egg yolks.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
5 egg yolks
zest from 5/6 lemon
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons butter, cold, cut into pieces
1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.