I think I have died and gone to lemon heaven. These Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are to die for. They are decadent, moist, dense yet crumbly and melt in your mouth. I used the reverse creaming method for these bad boys which resulted in a more dense and tighter crumb that is still velvety and soft!
So I’ve become a cake lover all of a sudden. If there’s cake, I’ll eat it but it hasn’t always been my preferred dessert choice until recently. Every afternoon while my girls nap, I drink coffee and have a treat. Well…I recently made this Orange Dreamsicle Cake for a customer and I had to of course make a test one to makes sure I liked it, too. OMG this cake. It is downright one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. I had a piece every day with coffee until it was GONE.
I couldn’t get this cake out of my head and was fascinated by how it was made. It was made with the reverse creaming method which is when the dry ingredients are mixed with butter then all of the wet ingredients are added (See picture above). I have heard of this before but I typically make cakes/cupcakes with the creaming method which is when the butter and sugar is creamed together then the dry and wet ingredients are added.
Both methods result in delicious cakes – it simply comes down to preference. The reverse creaming method results in a tighter more velvety textured crumb (you can see this in the picture above) while the creaming method results in a lighter less dense crumb. Again, both result in a very nice cake but I have to say…I really really LOVED the reverse creaming method which is why I made these cupcakes that way.
I actually made them BOTH ways and I simply preferred the reverse creaming method but the flavor of both methods were spot on. A taste tester actually said “You can’t go wrong with either.”
I think it’s important to understand the science behind baking which is why I like to educate on the blog as well. I am constantly learning and if I learn something new, I am definitely sharing it with you!
Sorry for geeking out but I couldn’t help myself!
I decided to make a cream cheese frosting for the lemon cupcakes. It’s super creamy and has a wonderful light vanilla flavor that paired so well with the sweet lemon cake. I decided not to add more lemon to the frosting because I didn’t want the lemon to be overwhelming. I actually think it helped make the flavor of the cake stand out.
These are too good not to make! I am excited to hear what you think about the reverse creaming method!
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to Pinterest by clicking the image below!
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- zest from 1 large lemon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch slices
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon or 2-3 small lemons)
- 8 ounce block cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
- Cut butter into ½ inch slices and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The butter needs to still be cool in this recipe.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and mix throughly.
- Add sliced butter a few pieces at a time to the mixer on low-speed. Once all of the butter is in the mixer, turn mixer to medium speed and mix until crumbly (see picture).
- In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, whole milk, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- SLOWLY pour in half of the wet ingredients with mixer on low speed at first then increasing to medium speed for 90 seconds until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients in two pourings, mixing for 20 seconds at medium speed after each addition. Batter will be thick and fluffy.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ full then bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few course crumbs. Cupcakes may not dome - this is okay! Remove and let cool before frosting.
- To make the frosting add cream cheese and butter to a stand-alone mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (hand-held mixers work too) and beat until creamy, about 30 seconds. Next add half of the powdered sugar and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Lastly, add vanilla, lemon juice, salt and the rest of the powdered sugar and beat for 1 minute on medium to medium-high speed until creamy.