Before I talk about these lovely cupcakes, I want to briefly mention the woman behind them. They’re from my friend, Andie Mitchell’s, new cookbook Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook. If you’re not familiar with Andie’s blog (formerly Can You Stay for Dinner) or her memoir, It Was Me All Along, all that I can say is that she is nothing short of an inspiration. Her struggles with obesity and food resonate with me in so many ways–I feel like her words were written just for me. The struggles surrounding food that she writes so candidly about could be my own. Andie has honestly inspired me to tackle my issues with food and my body, head on. What I love most about this cookbook is how it approaches food and eating in a way that still feels like a celebration. Everyday dishes throughout the book aim to satisfy, while still being wholesome. There are also dishes meant for indulgence, savory and sweet dishes to save for weekends or for sharing with people you love. It’s a cookbook about enjoying food and about finding balance, which is exactly the kind of approach to eating that I can appreciate and implement into my own life.
These cupcakes are from the book and are so delicious. I saved a couple for us and sent the rest to Sean’s office because they are just so tempting. Obviously, these cupcakes are meant for those occasions when only a little butter and sugar will do. When you bite into one, the lemon is totally there, thanks to lots of fresh juice and zest in the batter. The soft crunch of poppy seeds give some textural contrast and the cream cheese frosting is fragrant and flavorful thanks to a double dose of vanilla beans. They’re an easy but special cupcake that I seriously cannot wait to make again.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 vanilla beans
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard cupcake tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and poppy seeds.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined, about 1 minute. Be careful not to overmix. The batter will be thick. Spoon it evenly into the prepared tin.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached, 16 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 2 minutes in the cupcake tin, then carefully turn them out of the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Frost with the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
- For the frosting:
- Put the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Using a paring knife, halve the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Beat on medium speed until the cream cheese and butter are combined and the vanilla seeds are mixed throughout, about 1 minute.
- Gradually add the confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat on medium-high speed until incorporated. Scarpe down the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to high, and beat until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and beat for 1 minute more.
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