Delicious! I have made these several times now... the last time adding a few sprinkles of raw sugar on top of the frosting. The little bit of crunch was just the icing on the cake... so to speak.

These cupcakes are amazing. They were light and fluffy. The only change I made was I didn't us as much icing sugar. I cut it down to 3 cups as I didn't think it needed the extra icing sugar. They were a big hit!



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 small lemons, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar (equivalent to about one 16-ounce box)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • To prepare the cupcakes, adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners (*see Tips & Tricks below).
  • Set a large sifter or fine mesh sieve over the large bowl of an electric mixer. Measure flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt into sieve and firmly hit the palm of your hand against its side to sift all of the dry ingredients together into the bowl. (If desired, repeat this process a few more times for fluffier cupcakes.)
  • To the sifted dry ingredients, add the softened butter, sour cream, milk, lemon juice, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat at medium speed for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 15 more seconds.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the 24 cupcake liners (I find it easiest to do this using a cookie scoop). Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cupcakes are light golden and test done with a toothpick inserted in center (mine were perfect at exactly 20 minutes). Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pans before transferring them to a wire rack set on top of wax paper or foil (to keep the counter clean for the next step).
  • While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the Lemon Simple Syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the mixture is boiling, add the lemon slices and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to remove the lemon slices to a sheet of wax paper; allow to cool. Stir the 1/4 cup lemon juice into the simple syrup and set aside.
  • Once the cupcakes are done and have been transferred to the wire rack, use a toothpick to poke a bunch of holes all over the top of each cupcake. Use a pastry brush to slowly brush the top of each cupcake with lemon simple syrup, allowing it to soak down into each cupcake. Brush each cupcake once, and then repeat the process (brushing each cupcake again) until all of the simple syrup has been used up. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • One the cupcakes are cool, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined. The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become. Frost the cupcakes using your desired method (*see Tips & Tricks below...depending on how you decide to frost your cupcakes, you may need to double the frosting recipe).
  • Top each cupcake with a piece of candied lemon and white or sparkling sugar sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve, allowing them to come to room temperature a bit before serving.

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